So this week, I don't think I did all that much to simplify my life. But the point of voluntary simplicity is not simplifying for simplicity's sake. It is to simplify so that you are spending your finite hours doing things that are worthy of your time, not wasting your life on pointless pursuits. I have done several things that are in line with an attempt to get more out of life. Here are a couple things I did (or didn't do) this week that are in line with this ethos:
(1) I'm appreciating my belongings. I have been cleaning out my house slowly this fall. Trying to get rid of things that I don't use or need. I've given a lot to thrift stores. And cleaning out helps me to see what I own. I've realized some things I was holding on to are just broken and need to be thrown out. And some things I'm rediscovering with gladness. I recently realized my 17 year old tea kettle needed replacement. I did that last week and I've been enjoying tea again. I've even learned out to make chai latte, which is a fun way to start my day. Several of the items in this list flow from this new found pleasure in tea drinking.
(2) I had some herb tea one afternoon. I always start my day with some tea for the caffeine. But that is all I have. I'm too sensitive to caffeine to have more than that. And I'm always running around, too busy to have tea without caffeine. The other day, however, I made time to make myself a little pot of herb tea and enjoyed it throughout the afternoon. What a lovely little luxury!
(3) I rearranged my teas. So, I wasn't even drinking tea much, but I had quite a collection. I've been slowing working my way through it this fall. But particularly as I have been drinking more tea this week, I've found that the little containers I used to organize different types were chaotic. So, I took a few minutes (while waiting for water to boil!) to organize my stash. Now I can find non-caffeinated teas quickly if I get a moment to enjoy some.
(4) I have been focusing more on relationships. I haven't gotten as much done in terms of de-cluttering our home this week, but that is ok. I'm focusing more time on relationship. I am blessed to have a lot of wonderful folks in my life, but that takes time to make time for us to spend together. A good chunk of my free time this week went to that. Our garage is still a disaster area, but still it was time well spent.
(5) I have also been focusing more on my dreams for the next phase of my life. There are several different "projects" I want to embark on as I enter this new season of my life. It is hard to get started and to figure out all the details. But I'm not getting deterred. I'm moving forward and making solid steps to make things happen.
(6) I've fed my spirit. There are a couple things that fall into this category but one is that I went to a meditation class offered at my church this week. They have been offering these every week for a long time. They always sounded neat, but I couldn't ever find time to go. When I was working, Sunday nights were a busy time when we were all trying to get ready for the week. And this fall, I've been keeping a standing commitment with my mom to attend a concert series. Now that is over, and I finally got a chance to attend the meditation class.
As I prepared to go to the class, I was nervous. Meditation is a little whoo-whoo in my book. I'm a native Texan. No offense to anyone, but culturally I get a little skeptical about things that are at all new agey. And I'm a Type A personality with a never ending to-do list. It is hard for me to sit for long periods and "do nothing."
In college, I also had a bad experience at a Quaker quiet meeting. Only five of us showed up. Everyone was so sweet, but we almost immediately went into a 60 minute session of everyone sitting quietly in silent prayer in close quarters. I spent the whole time desperately trying to not look at my girl friend whom I had convinced to go with me, I knew we'd burst into a fit of giggles if we made eye contact. I was also struggling to not giggle even with my eyes closed. And I was very worried my tummy would grumble because it was lunch time. It was not exactly a spiritual experience as I prayed over and over: "Lord, help me not laugh or have a growling tummy!"
With that history, and some trepidation, I went to the meditation class at my church. It was lovely. And I did fine. No urge to giggle. I don't think I had any tummy noises, though I heard some around me. That is fine. And I was amazed at how long the class lasted. I had told my family I'd be home in an hour. The class lasted 1 1/2 hours! But I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt at peace. I've also felt like I've had several important epiphanies and important moments of self-understanding this week. Anyhow, I cannot go again this week, but I am going to make a tremendous effort to go again soon.
I hope you are having a lovely Sunday!