At around this time every year I go through a phase of reflection; thinking about what has happened and how I’ve changed. It’s like I need to evaluate before I move into the season of celebrations and resolutions.
For a number of reasons, 2013 has been a tough one for me, but equally, a rewarding one. Nothing particularly shocking or sad, but after many years of continuous trudging, things spun and came to a head. I changed, we moved, things are entirely different than they have ever been. I struggle more these days in many new ways, but a lot less, in many others. And I don’t think I’m alone in my struggle. Perhaps it’s a way we all travel through life, in various ways and in a multitude of different forms (to lesser or greater degrees). In retrospect, this year has been so hard because it’s been overwhelming; I’ve taken a lot on and sometimes it’s been too much. There’s been moments of regret, shame, and moments too, of great joy and accomplishment.
But in the midst of it all, I’ve also had the opportunity to stop and realise that it’s wasn’t how I wanted to live and it wasn’t how I wanted the rest of my life to be. The hardest part has been re-focusing, re-defining and settling a vision, which in so many respects is unsettling. My master plan is still unwritten, and this unformulated plan continues to disturb me somewhat. So, I’m prioritising myself and choosing to simplify life. The word, simplicity, has been a constant for me this year and I embrace it because its good for me. It’s good for my mind, my body, my home, and my little family. It’s what I come back to when I feel things are getting out of hand.
So what does it mean?
For me, it’s…
…spending a whole Sunday morning snuggled up inside a coffee shop with a friend, drinking coffee and hot chocolate talking photography while it rains outside.
….christmas shopping down the North Laines on a cold November morning and saying “yes!” to sharing cake with a friend, rather than my usual “I’m good thanks…”
….treating myself, just because, and not getting tangled or caught up in unnecessary financial worries.
…making pumpkin spiced oatmeal for dinner, even if I did eat the exact same meal for breakfast.
…being okay with not being there yet, and being okay with the fact that I may never be there, and instead, enjoying the journey.
…accepting that I can’t change some of the closet people in my life, and that acceptance comes in loving both their beauty as well as their faults.
…accepting that my body will simply always be what it is, and being willing to work with it and not against it.
…going to bed early (to read books), regardless of how many things have or haven’t been ticked off my daily “to-do” list.
…leaving the mess that is currently my bedroom to go in search of some material for the office, despite a deadline that is looming.
…taking up an opportunity that doesn’t necessarily appeal, because I’m scared, because life is defined by chances – even those we miss.
…putting aside more time to take pleasure in the little things and cancelling a casual appointment to stroll along the promenade to breathe and watch the ocean.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi
What does simplicity mean for you?