Why Simplify?

A few days before Christmas, our house was burgled. They didn’t take much, but it was still a mess to sort out, not to mention the fact I am still petrified every night when I come home, and super jumpy the rest of the time.

One of the things they took was a handbag I keep downstairs and mainly used on weekends. The rest of the week, I keep dumping things in there that I mean to take upstairs, for example a hair brush, a rogue bottle of nail polish, spare change, that kind of thing. They also took a bowl of loose change and bits that was near the alarm they ripped out of the wall. I cannot tell you how annoyed I was with myself that I had no idea what was in there. I think it contained some jewellery, we estimated how much cash was in there, I remembered we had a pair of sunglasses there. But I’m also sure it had more stuff in there, I just don’t know what exactly. And this is really annoying.

We’ve since decided to move house. We had planned to look at moving house in 2014, but the burglary brought everything forward. So for the last few weeks, we’ve been sorting things out to make the house ready for viewings.

The main things I’ve learned in this process are:

1. We own a lot of stuff we don’t use and are unlikely to ever use.

2. Getting rid of things you don’t need is incredibly liberating.

So I’m taking this to the next level and making it an actual resolution for 2013 … and for my whole life, not just my house. I plan to simplify things in my friendships, work and everything else.

Friendships? I’m the kind of person who likes to please others, so I try to stay in contact, albeit loosely, with lots of people. However, I mainly do this via Facebook (as it’s easy). This year I want to make more of a real effort with my close friends, so emailing those who are not on Facebook (quite a few of these knocking about), phoning those I don’t speak to often enough and making a point of sending cards/thank you notes etc.

At work, I’m full of ideas, but I’m afraid that’s not always a good thing. I need to remember I’m just one person, and while I can achieve a lot, I cannot do everything I’d like to in the time I have at my disposal. So I need to identify what I can do (and can do well) and do that, then either delegate or ask for help – and accept help when offered it, which I struggle with. The rest will have to wait.

I’m so bought into the theory of simplification, but in a lot of ways it goes against how I operate and to a degree who I am. I like big ideas and I like being busy, but I think living life simply is what I need to do now. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

The trouble is, we think we have the time

I love Pinterest. I could spend hours on it, looking at pretty pictures, dreaming about all these cool things I will make to go in the amazing house I will be living in … you know, some day. And then one day I saw this. 

Image

And it hit me. 

I’m 33. I’m a grown-up. I am a mum. This is my chance. It’s not about dreaming, it’s about DOING. It’s not about hoping to have a nice home, it’s about making a nice home. It’s not about pinning cute pictures of things to do with toddlers, it’s about actually doing them. 

So I’ve decided to make some casual resolutions for the new year, among which was joining the thousands of people who will log on to WordPress this week to create a blog which will be abandoned again soon. I hope I won’t stop with this blog like I have done with countless others. Because I hope to use this blog to hold myself accountable for the resolutions I’ve made. 

One of my resolutions is more of a new theme for my life and the other is quite specific, so I will start with the latter: to learn the geography of Africa so I know where all the countries are. I’m from Africa, so I really should know this, not least because whenever something along these lines comes up in a quiz, everyone stares at me expectantly.

The second one probably deserves its own post, which I hope to write soon. It is SIMPLIFY, and inspired the name of this blog. 

I’ll catch you soon for that update.