Friday, October 23, 2009


I have been thinking lately, about how to simplify our lives. I have been feeling overwhelmed by clutter, schedules, commitments, responsibilities, choices........and distracted from the mothering that is most important. I have realized that when our home is cluttered, my patience is lacking. When I am faced with too many outside commitments, we spend our time rushing to and fro instead of enjoying where we are at. In looking for some words of wisdom, I came across the introduction to this book by Kim John Payne about simplifying our lives and thought that I would share.

Here are a few excerpts from the introduction.

In every aspect of our lives, no matter how trivial, we are confronted with a dizzying array of things (stuff ) and choices. The weighing of dozens of brands, features, claims, sizes, and prices, together with the memory scan we do for any warnings or concerns we may have heard; all of this enters into scores of daily decisions. Too much stuff and too many choices. If we’re overwhelmed as adults, imagine how our children feel! Whichever came first—too many choices or too much stuff— the end result of both is not happiness. Contrary to everything advertising tells us (but obvious to anyone who has chosen a cellular calling plan), too many choices can be overwhelming. Another form of stress. Not only can it eat away at our time, studies show that having lots of choices can erode our motivation and well- being.

If, as a society, we are embracing speed, it is partially because we are swimming in anxiety. Fed this concern and that worry, we’re running as fast as we can to avoid problems and sidestep danger. We address parenting with the same anxious gaze, rushing from this “enrichment opportunity” to that, sensing hidden germs and new hazards, all while doing our level best to provide our children with every advantage now known or soon to be invented.

To have moments of calm—creative or restful—is a form of deep sustenance for human beings of all ages. Relationships are often built in these pauses, in the incidental moments, when nothing much is going on. [ We need to discover how to ] reclaim such intervals, how to establish for your children islands of “being” in the torrent of constant doing.

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