Friday, September 18, 2015

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.

A popular slogan used in 12 Step groups is keep it simple. This is great in theory, and so many of us would love to simplify our lives, but we don't know how. Recently I've taken some steps that have made a difference, so I'll share them with you.

I went through my email inbox and removed myself from several mailing lists. So my first tip is, unsubscribe. If a blog sends you notifications of new posts too often, it can be overwhelming, and you may feel obligated to read each post. So you keep them in your inbox to read later, and soon you have several accumulated messages. If you really love the blog, you will go there without reminders. Jennifer Scott posts to "The Daily Connoisseur" every Monday, so I visit her blog each week without being notified. I only post here at Organic Mothering 2 or 3 times a month, so I promise not to clog your inbox if you do wish to follow me via email!

One of my biggest hassles was an overabundance of emails, with numerous attachments on each, that I received several times a week from the Catholic school where Beezy takes a la carte art and gym classes. It suddenly occurred to me to ask the principal to take me off the list. I told her it would be fine to send a paper copy of the weekly newsletter home with my child, and that would serve our purposes. I am now receiving hardly any email messages at all, and it's wonderful!

You can do the same thing with paper magazines. If you don't absolutely adore the publication, cancel the subscription, or do not renew it when it runs out. I have so many magazines that have accumulated in my home that it's difficult to know where to begin, but I am paring them down. Donate old issues to a thrift store or to your local library. Make sure that you also deal with snail mail immediately. File any bills and recycle the junk. Do not allow piles to grow.

I deactivated my primary Facebook account. A couple of years ago I had deleted it altogether, but after my grandma died last year, I wanted to be able to stay in touch with family members. That has been a great thing, but to be honest, most of what I see in the newsfeed is uninteresting. Not the personal stuff, but all of the "cute" animal videos, asinine memes, and general nonsense. It's too easy to get sucked in and waste valuable time. There is also the issue of being offended by what someone wrote, or feeling obligated to respond to someone else's offense over something I've posted. It's just not worth the stress. Real life throws enough curve balls at us, like when I was at the park yesterday and desperately needed to use the restroom. It was locked up for "painting," though I saw no signs of painters. Then when I hurried to the outhouse, I discovered it was out of toilet paper. Thanks be to God that I noticed this before I went ahead with my business. We don't need Facebook on top of daily life. Really.

I do still have a pseudonym FB account in order to remain active in a particular group that is important to me. Even here, I find myself getting too caught up in my advocacy for Charlotte Mason homeschooling and spending too much time thinking about what to share and how to get others involved in edifying conversation. The idea of letting go of my "baby" is almost unthinkable. But I'm thinking about it. I have caught myself designing posts in my mind, and this can become habitual. I know you know what I mean. This is no way to live.

So there you go! Consider just one thing that you can do today to simplify your life.