Simple Gifts

What can I do to simplify my life?

This is a surprisingly hard question to answer. On one hand, I feel like I’m always trying to simplify, but that other people are making it complicated.simplicity

On the other hand, I feel like simplicity is not a big goal for me right now. When I moved to CA this summer, I spent a lot of time decluttering for the move. I’ve blogged about this. I got tired of it. Simplicity had taken on a complicated life of its own.

While I was in the midst of it, I found this hilarious article from The Toast: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Live Abundantly

  • Thank every item in your refrigerator deeply – kiss each one of them softly and slowly with your mouth – then prepare for each item a small Viking funeral. Set them adrift on a blazing ship into the waters of a very cold lake. In the future, when you are hungry, eat your memories. The only thing that belongs in your refrigerator is mindfulness.
The interior of a clean white refrigerator showing a solitary green apple
The interior of a clean white refrigerator showing a solitary green apple

Yeah. That’s how I’m going to simplify my life 😉

Perhaps the one thing that would help me simplify my life right now, is to “declutter” anxiety. A number of my complicating behaviors are either unhelpful responses to anxiety that’s already there, or meant to ward off anticipated anxiety that might be coming. I gave up anxiety for Lent last year, with mixed success.

There’s the usual stuff: facebook less, sleep more, exercise more (and these are all intertwined).

There’s also, “write more.” I’m doing NaNoWriMo, and I’m behind in word count, but that fact doesn’t bother me. I can catch up. The first year I won, I wrote the last 5,000 words on the last day. Last year I wrote 25K in the last week.

No. What’s been making me anxious and complicated are the emotions that writing this story is uncovering. I wrote the original version many years ago. It, and I, have changed a lot since then. I always knew I wanted to make it into a novel. People encouraged me to. Yet, it became this big anxiety-provoking thing, I became paralyzed, and it sat in a drawer.

I still catch myself thinking, as I’m writing, “someday I will be different. Someday I will be able to do this, to write a good novel about this material.”

In fact, and simply, someday is now.


7 thoughts on “Simple Gifts”

  1. Geez! I so hear you about the whole NaNoWriMo thing and the anxiety that accompanies rewrites. I participated and finished a manuscript two years ago (90,000 words), and it’s taken me all this time and friends bugging me about it to figure out I hate the protagonist the way she is, she has NO character arc. They think they’re helping, but in reality it just stresses me big time. So good luck with your writing this month.

    I chuckled at the idea of giving up anxiety for Lent. 😀 I usually go with something trivial like Coke. Generally I ADD something to my spiritual practices instead. Last year year I sent homemade Lenten cards to ALMOST everyone in church. I also wrote a note on one and sent it to one of my favorite authors in Britain. Got a lovely note back. That was way cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a neat idea for Lent! Maybe I’ll try it next year. It would help me get to know more people in church. I miss my Boston-area church in a big way and am still not really settled here. I blogged about trying to fit in at a new church on the Veterans Day service–scheduled for tomorrow. Giving up anxiety is more of a year-round project. 😉


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