Some of you may have noticed that it’s been one or two… or 5 Monday’s without a posting from On Fire Over 40. I’m a little shocked myself that so many weeks have gotten away from me. I think it started with my mini vacation. It was such a great head-clearing experience that I came home and was overwhelmed with the amount of “junk” I had going on in my life. It sent me into a bit of a funk and I guess I just haven’t felt “on fire” about anything for a bit.
Actually that isn’t exactly accurate. When I was up on the mountain all by myself, I had three silent hours to spend reflecting on so many things and I made a decision to begin the project of removing some “waste” from my life; to do away with some things (and people) that I have been putting up with for far too long. At the risk of repeating myself, one thing I love about this new adventure of being in my forties is that whether or not I know what I want out of this life, or where I’m going, I am quite sure of several things I DO NOT want or need. I was on fire about that. The funk came when I touched back down to reality and had no idea how to get started. Womp womp…
I have a strange personality characteristic that causes me to freeze at a certain point when I feel overwhelmed with my situation. As a single parent I’ve become extremely self-sufficient in many areas but one person can only handle so much so when the burden gets too heavy I tend to mentally curl up in a ball and become paralyzed. It happens when my 3 daughters bury me in clothes, dishes, papers, backpacks etc. and I feel like I will never have a clean house — This is every day by the way. This ADD/OCD mother lives in a constant state of torture. It happens when there is too much month at the end of my money. It happens when I have to deal with certain people in my life that will be part of my life forever whether I like it or not. These are all things that cause me to feel powerless and out of control of my surroundings. All throughout my 20’s and 30’s I have handled those situations by taking a moment to curl up in a ball, then eventually crawling out to resume trudging. While that method does build up some muscle, you don’t get very far and in the event that you turn around to see how far you have come it can be super discouraging.
But guess what y’all… It’s a new day!
In the past several weeks I have made a few moves. Baby steps if you will toward a new simpler existence. Now that might not mean the same thing to you as it does to me, but regardless we could all probably stand to get rid of some things in our lives that we’ve been dragging along behind us.
Another thing about me is that I love a good list. It’s the OCD (which makes up for the ADD) so when I decided it was time to make some real quantifiable changes I went looking for a list. My favorite and the most realistic was titled Simple Living Manifesto: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life by Leo Babauta. I encourage you to take a peek if this post resonates with you at all. My favorite thing about it is the fact that Leo gives us a summary or “short version” (“ADD Me” loves this) which simply states:
- Identify what’s most important to you.
- Eliminate everything else.
Bam! There you have it. It really is that simple. You may not be in a place where you agree, or at a point in life where you think you can embrace the concept, but one day you will be. I recommend you put this in your pocket for later.
You know when you have those little stacks of stuff in the corner that aren’t really in the way but you keep telling yourself, “I really need to move that stuff”. Yet there it sits, staring at you day after day. Then one day you just pull the trigger, fling yourself off the couch and deal with it, and you realize, “Wow, that really wasn’t so hard. Why did I let it sit there so long?” Yeah, THAT!