The Year of Living Simply

I have been doing some thinking over the past few months. Sporadically, because it seems that is all I’ve had time for. Which has been a bit of a problem because I’m rather partial to thinking. I like a good mull. I  like to sit and let my brain go on a good ole meander. I used to have time to do this, but lately, over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that my time has slowly been gobbled up until my days consist of getting up, writing, going to the day job, coming home and crashing. A couple of days a week I manage to drag myself to yoga so my muscles don’t atrophy. I wish I could say the same for my brain. 

I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. I am, however, one to make a plan for the year. I’m an ambitious sort and I love to push and challenge myself. A Capricorn without a challenge can be an ugly thing. Or so I’m told. 😉

So when I sat down to do my 2015 Plan, I devised a very ambitious one, fuelled mostly by my desire to switch over to full time writing. To do this without my husband having to carry the weight of the household bills and retirement fund, I determined I needed my writing income to equal my day job income, allowing for a relatively smooth transition. And in order to do that, I needed to have more books out. And in order to do that, I needed to step up my production plan, jam more books into the year, continue working 7 days a week.

There was only one problem with that scenario. For the past 6 months, I’ve felt the burnout creeping up on me. You can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before you run out of candle. I’m running out of candle. I can tell this because my house is a disaster despite my husband’s best efforts. He’s been stellar at taking care of a lot of the housework. But the simple fact of the matter is, he’s the cleaner and I’m the organizer. I haven’t been organizing. I’ve been slapping a bandage on a gaping wound. Crap has overtaken the house. It’s spilling out of every nook and cranny. For a person who finds peace in order, this leaves me horribly agitated. Downright hitchy, in fact.

And all the things I love to do outside of writing? Read, knit, explore, bike, walk, wander, try new things, journal? Barely. Things that would make my life easier? Organize said crap, purge what isn’t needed, make meals ahead of time? Not happening. Everything is rush, rush, rush and yet I always feel as if I’m falling behind.

The idea of another year at this pace left me feeling ill. Usually I attack the new year with a sense of heady anticipation, all fired up over what I’m going to accomplish. Not this time. Something was wrong. I knew what it was, but my ambitious Capricorn nature refused to accept it. 

Slow down? What is this language you speak? There’s a mountain to climb! Let’s get ‘er done!

But all the pep talks in the world wasn’t going to shake the sensation that what I really wanted to do was find a lovely cabin in the woods somewhere and hole up with a good book, some lovely yarn and needles and my journal. Sit by a roaring fire. Hone my writing craft to the next level without constantly looking ahead at the looming deadline.

In the end, my 2015 Plan was simple: Simplify.  

Take a breath. Take a few breaths. Purge out the crap you don’t need. Keep only what is essential. Slow down. Find the joy. Set more manageable deadlines. Lift your head up. Look around. Wander a bit. 

And if that isn’t a challenge, I don’t know what is. 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.


One Response to The Year of Living Simply

  • I will tell you that life is too short and you need to do things you enjoy. Writing is what I love and I’m happy that the changes in publishing have made it possible for me to write the stories I’ve always wanted to write, but I take out time to do other things I enjoy. Do take time for yourself and don’t feel badly about doing that. A day will come when you will look back and be happy you did.

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