Hi. I’m amy. And I am a complicated person.
As I’ve told my friends for years, “It’s not easy being me.”
I am high maintenance. Not like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but like that statue- The Thinker.
Just ask my hair stylist-
I drive her crazy. She gives me these gorgeous haircuts and highlights and I wear ponytails and baseball caps. Or pinned back bangs and banana clips.
I avoid styles that require more than the 15 minutes I allot to “get ready” in the morning.
As I sat in her chair one time, I told her about a recent study I read that said “exercising hard for 10 minutes 3x’s a week had similar health benefits to hour long workouts.” I was terribly excited as I told her, “Maybe I can shave more time off my exercise routine!”
She stopped working on my head and stood staring at me in the mirror. She asked, “You don’t have time to do your hair and make-up; you don’t have time to exercise; you don’t have time for Facebook. What do you DO that takes up so much of your time?”
I thought about her question and surveyed my life.When she put it that way, it did sound rather ridiculous. I worked part-time in my counseling practice. I had one kid, not four. And a husband who’d go to the grocery store.
“I think.” I said sheepishly.
“You think?” she asked. Not in a condescending tone but more curios (and slightly suspicious).
“Yes,” I said more confidently this time, “I think. I read and study and write and think.”
We both laughed (for different reasons I’m fairly sure.)
My inner life is complicated like that. For a long time, my outer life was too.
Because I am a recovering multi-tasker. I used to believe I had to juggle lots of things at once. I was continually stressed out and dropping pins like the circus clown who can see the elephant coming out of the corner of his eye. The difference is- that guy is funny. I was not funny. Just frantic.
And I didn’t used to understand why I was like that? Why I felt frazzled so much of the time.
Then a few years ago, I read the book, “The Magic Art of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo.
The book changed my life.
It taught me how to release things rather than hoarding. Not just material items and clutter but also lies and control and guilt and commitments and dreams that weren’t blooming. It taught me how to best evaluate the habits, people, ideas, and things I wanted in my life. Then how to gratefully let go of the rest.
It taught me to focus on one thing at a time. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t all in the book, but it was in me. The book simply sent a spark that lit an inner realization.
Since that time, I’ve become fond of simplicity in every form.
My number one desire is to simplify.
Because simplifying gives me more time to be the complicated person I am.
People long to simplify for all kinds of amazing reasons (beyond my weird one.)
Whatever the root cause for simpler, slower living, we often need help doing it.
That’s where my friend Colleen comes in.
Her life is a prime example of simple living. She has taken specific measures to drastically change her lifestyle so she has more time for the things she loves.
I’m fascinated with her process and how she writes about it.
She’s agreed to take 14 days and help us clear some clutter.
A note from Colleen at the Slow, Simple, Life.
With more people trying to declutter or experience the life-changing magic of tidying up, it can seem like housekeeping is all the rage
But subtracting stuff from our homes- keeping only what we use, love, and need and getting rid of the rest- adds up to a lifestyle that can bring us out of the fog of consumerism into the light of freedom. Less time spent acquiring, cleaning, maintaining, and organizing things frees up time and space for the people and experiences we love. It also reduces strain on the pocketbook.
That’s a pretty big payoff for just getting ride of a few things you didn’t like or never used anyway.
We can take some small steps to earn a big reward. These tasks won’t take you more than 10 minutes a day to do, but they will help you gear you mindset toward living a simpler, lighter, freer life!
I’m super excited about spending 10 minutes a day to simplify my surroundings.
If you’d like to take this 14 day challenge with me, just reply to this email- “Yes.”
I’ll get you all set up on my end to receive the emails.
Also published on Medium.