Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Throwing off excess weight: take it slow

I'm not talking about physical weight (this actually has never been a problem for me), but about things, commitments, relationships, projects, obligations that are clogging our life and dragging us down, preventing us from focusing on what is truly important. Some things are inevitably missed out on if you aren't walking at a slower pace, preferably like the caterpillar in the picture above.

I'm not sure whether this is normal, but I feel it's necessary for my sanity to have a clear, not-too-crowded routine, to know what to expect from my day, not to feel torn between various obligations that make my time rush past without allowing breathing space. I like it slow, clear, simple, straightforward, with a few goals that can be reasonably achieved without cramming.

I guess this makes me a misfit in the modern world, where being overwhelmingly busy is an inseparable part of a successful life. But then again, I suppose my definition of successful life is somewhat different.

Same goes about things. Clutter is constantly irritating to my brain. I like to have just as many things as I can reasonably and comfortably place in my closets and cabinets without cramming. I prefer the empty look to the overstuffed. And my refrigerator - no, it's not that I like it empty, but when I open it to place a pot inside, I like to have comfortable space without having to move everything on top of each other.

The bottom line is, I don't like the thought of there being anything that I'm supposed to have done, without actually the time/possibility to do it. If I can't let go mentally, it will continue sitting at the back of my mind, harrassing me.

So I prefer to simplify. There is abundant joy in knowing you don't have to do, have, go, see, say too much. It allows to focus on the truly important. For me, watching along with my children as a young tortoise pokes its head out and starts crawling between the bushes counts as truly important. Children are not adapted to the rush-along life, and neither are most of us, if we look deeply inside - not long-term anyway. As a mother of little ones, I'm happy to live my life slow.


Stephanie said...

I am exactly the same way. I tend to be easily overwhelmed. When I see some people doing a bunch of things in order to be successful all I can think is "how do they do it?" We should try not to compare ourselves to others as God has his own plans for each of us.

Kari said...

The life you write about sounds so peaceful! It's the life I want to live, I just haven't made it there yet. I'm working on it, though.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Persuaded said...

Anna, I've always been like this... I need lots of breathing space in my life. When I was working outside of the home I was always on the go, always busily flying from one thing to the next, stopping at home between work and whatever evening activities were planned. Some people love that kind of life and thrive on the busy-ness... I felt as though I was suffocating and losing everything valuable and unique within myself. Women like us would have been would have been called home-bodies in another age and that would have been a good thing. I think in this current age we are looked at as maybe a bit lazy? A bit of a fragile flower? and not in a good way either, lol.

It's okay, I have come to the place where I can accept myself, limitations and all. I function best when I can focus on doing a few things well, rather than many things not-so-well. Some people may not understand or value that in me... and that's okay too:)

Kate said...

LOVED this post! LOVE it. You are so right on all points. That is the well-lived and well-enjoyed life!

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way. If I have a week where we have a Dr's appt, an extended family get together and then maybe I have several errands to run, I feel overwhelmed. I used to be a "go,go,go" person before I had little ones. Now that I have 3 children 2yo and under (set of twins) I feel like they are going enough around the house that we dont need a bunch of extra stuff to committ to. Jill

Mrs. H said...

I have found that committing myself to less and less "activities" outside the home has taught me self-control and discipline. Two things I have needed badly. You are so right. I don't like to have harassing obligations, either. I can think of three I have right now, and they are giving me anxiety! They are all related to me doing something to make income, which is not necessary.

Thank you for your wise words.


Anonymous said...

I am glad you wrote this and shared it. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I just couldn't be away from home for too long--especially every day. My home was always calling. Everyone else is running around, accomplishing great things. And here I am content with home and when something threatens to get in the way of what I had planned to do at home, I get very disappointed and stressed. I value my day and much of it is spent taking care of my home and husband and sometimes enjoying the company of my four year old grand daughter who lives around the corner. I feel there is too much in competition for my time and energy--good things, but things I have to say no to in order to keep my life simple. Thanks again. I am learning that God made me this way and it is good.

Cindy said...

Wholeheartedly agree! We have 6 children, and one foster baby, and we homeschool. Our 4 oldest kids all have jobs. And with a foster child that has high special needs, comes many meetings, doctor appointments etc. So, although my days dont always flow as smoothly as I would prefer, it is always the goal.