The older I get, the more I am strive for simplicity. Since 2015, we have moved several times, and each time we have shed a lot of “things”, however it seems that as quickly as we shed possessions we accumulate something to replace the space. I recently read an article and saved the quote “The interiors of our homes reflect the mind’s interior. They tell our story and reveal who we are.”
Beyond the interior of my home, I am becoming more streamlined in running my business, parenting, meal-prepping, and even self-care. Keeping things simple reduces stress and maintains a sense of fun and light-heartedness. I have overwhelmed myself many times by “cluttering” my minds interior. Over-thinking what to eat, what to blog, what to wear, what to do with my business, how to parent. Seriously, I could overwhelm you in a paragraph by showing you how I can clog my mind, lol.
Keeping it simple in family life has been the top priority. At the end of 2017, our family “hit rock bottom” so to speak, we were feeling very unsuccessful as parents, our diets were a wreck, and our business was stuck. We had to wake up and take inventory of what was going on that kept us in this loop. Two self-employed people dancing circles around each other with little productivity was NOT working!
I have found having a daily rhythm and structure are what keeps our family most harmonious and afloat. Both of my kids, a teen and a toddler, thrive with predictability. As a family, we are working on identifying what we value, and what the vision is for our family life. Some things we have identified as values are time for focused work, time outdoors, positive communication, and healthy meals. So, then we take these values and note if our actions line up with what we’ve identified. Were we practicing what we were preaching?
With these values in mind, we have a large white board where we plan our lives in 2 week intervals. We create an outline for our days, our required activities, our food plans, etc. The structure is loose on some days, and others, of course, busier. I am also becoming more structured with including time for self-care, journaling, and reflective time. This is our way of intentional living. We have found that structuring our days and weeks creates effective productivity, and allows more space and time for what we consider fun, all the while keeping our eyes on the ball.
The other benefit of having structure is that there is less time and space in my mind for negativity. It is amazing to me how well my kids have responded. The toddler is structured with naps and meals, the teen has an outline of how the day looks and knows our expectations for pulling his weight, and I spend less time diffusing problems and wasting time and energy on things that are not in alignment with our ultimate vision and value set. I have two books I have referenced for inspiration, Steady Days by Jamie C. Martin and Living Simply with Children by Marie Sherlock. Both of which have helped with some strategies for keeping our lives intentional.