Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. ―
This month was spent on the Great Simple Challenge … something that takes a lot of work to be successful at. It was my daily focus in my meditation time… simplify… and simplify more. And I discovered that simplifying is much easier said than done.
We (Steve and I) don’t live very simple lives. Work for him is stressful and that stress spills over… because of course it does. Family miles away (mine) and family next door (his) are not simple. Trying to drop that COVID 20… absolutely not simple. Learning something new (hello, painting!) so not simple!
So this month I worked hard to “get my thinking clean” to focus on simple.
- No checking what “news” I might be missing.
- No checking what Tweets I might be missing.
- Not caring what, if anything, was posted on Instagram.
- Half listened to the stress spillovers… realizing I don’t have to have a solution, just “listen” helped with that.
- Self-affirming that I did my work on raising my children… they are not perfect, they will all make decisions I would not… and being okay with that. (In case you think this is easy… oh boy, think again… hardest thing ever!)
Instead this month when I felt the complicated creeping in, I stopped and did a bit of breathing (thank you, Nadia for sharing this focus that has been incredibly helpful!) until calm returned. Sometimes just a few breaths, other times… well, the breaths eventually work just keep breathing!
In my ongoing quest to simplify and my successes:
- I found knitting to be my very best companion. Slow, meditative… one stitch after another. I can feel the complicated vanish just picking up my needles.
- I have created a space where I can paint and not feel guilty about the “clutter” that painting brings. It was my huge success over the weekend…I moved all the painting bits and bobs and set everything up. I am very, very ready for my first class this morning! (And so eager to begin!!)
- I stopped myself from “thinking about that next project” and stayed focused on the current projects. When I am itching for “something new” I knit another “pop” square for the blanket. It gets the urge for something new out of my system!
- And I plotted out some sewing time as well!
- I am still washing dishes by hand… and am not at all upset by this. We will eventually get a new dishwasher. I think, lol!
There is one thing on my list that I have not gotten to yet and likely won’t before August arrives. I need to finish the reorganization of the living room and find a better spot for my little e-Spinner. It is in the “out of sight, out of mind” space right now. I want to spin a bit more each week… or perhaps it is better said to do some spinning each week!
Being simply full will be a work in progress… and perhaps one I won’t ever be finished with! But getting a taste of being simply full has been wonderful. I am not sure I have a need to move mountains, but a simple life is so, so, so appealing!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing the landing space for us all to share our journeys with our word.
I will be back on Wednesday with some making and reading!
Definitely looks like your focus on simple is paying off Kat. Congratulations! I do hope you share some of your “new” painting with us – enjoy your class!!
Oh my, you are so right simple is not easy. Good for you and all the steps you have taken, you are doing amazingly well.
As is so often the case when I read your posts, Kat, I was sitting here nodding and nodding and nodding along! It sounds like you have gleaned LOADS this month…so many ‘keepers’ with Simply Full. You make such an interesting + true point–that whether family is miles away OR right next door, neither is simple. (We’ve now done both! And they make for different kinds of easy, different kinds of hard…)
I will be interested to hear how this carries through for you. Feels really rich.
I very much identify with the spillover effect of the stress in someone else’s life. It can be hard not to let that affect you, too, especially when there’s no way to fix it. You’ve really hit on something here in just listening and accepting that you don’t have a solution.
Your simplification sounds BIG, Kat! During John’s last three years of work before he retired, he very often came home stressed and would start to rant/vent. I got tired of it, and knew we had to do something different. We started going for walks together as soon as he changed his clothes, he would vent, I would listen, and then his time was done when the walk was done. If we couldn’t walk for some reason, I would ask if he wanted a solution or to just vent. I was mainly just a sounding board, and the “half-listening” worked well for both of us. I may use your bullet points as a simplification checklist for myself!
I think it’s a universal truth that simple – which seems like it should be so easy – is actually very hard! It sounds like you are finding ways to make it work for you. I think it’s hard sometimes to realize that just because you always do something, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to do something.
Good luck going forward!
I love your thoughts on simple. I design “simple” patterns, which can take much longer to do than designing complex patterns in many ways. Something that looks harder than it is can be a challenge. . Also, I haven’t lived with a dishwasher since I left home. We don’t have kids but washing dishes by hand is really not a problem.
Your list of things you are not thinking about is great. It sounds like you are really making progress with this word.
What a lot you have learned this week. You are musing and writing about important things. I look forward to seeing a little of your painting. I’m glad you were able to find a space for those things. And what would we do without our knitting?
Oh, YES! It sounds like you really found a great, balanced place to “be,” Kat! What wonderful lessons this year’s word is bringing you! (And . . . how did your class go this week???? I’d love to hear all about it!) 🙂
I just love your Great Simple Challenge. It is inspiring me to think about what simple might look like in my own life and how to get there. My obvious solution: declutter. But that’s not so simple!!
I can relate to your simple thinking goals. It is hard to be a parent of an adult child. I try not to focus on tweets and instagram made it worse so I’m rarely there. I try to bundle when I look at the news and then stay away the rest of the day. I admire your efforts and it sounds like you were successful in starting something new.