HAPPY NEW YEAR! Another spin around the sun. A new book with empty pages to fill up. New moments, new memories, new lessons and new opportunities. Dreams of the future and another year to make resolutions that promise to turn you into a better person!
Are you feeling inspired? I was. I am! I always feel energized when it’s resolution time. I’ve tried a variety of methods for making resolutions each year and this year it includes the “my one word” movement and a bullet journal.
Have you heard of the My One Word movement? It’s a single word you choose to replace that list of resolutions that we (the collective we, that is) never actually get around to achieving. Instead, this movement suggest you select a single word. Choosing a single word allows you to focus on one effort through the year. This one word will permeate all areas of your life with the intention, of course, to improve your own self during the next 365 days.
My word this year is Simplify.
The past 365 days have been some of the more challenging of my life. In addition to a transcontinental move from Africa to Texas our family also
- renovated a home,
- sold a home,
- bought a home,
- bought a car,
- had major surgery
…and those are just the big ticket items. We started homeschooling again, had proper dental and medical care for the first time in nearly 3 years, spent nearly 4 months apart, dealt with the IRS and the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. (I honestly can’t tell you which one drives me crazier.) Last, but not least, we were able to consolidate all of our household goods in one place. Unfortunately, one of our shipments was full of broken furniture and mold. And, to be honest, we have a last trip to Arizona we need to make to bring the last of our household to Texas.
2018 was a year of survival. Our family did not flourish. We also did not despair. Overall I give it a solid 5 out of 10….smack dab in the middle. Not great. Not terrible.
THE NEXT 365
This all brings me back around to my resolution word of the year. Simplify. What does it mean? What does it mean I’m going to do?
Perhaps I should start by telling you that I very nearly chose the word deliberate. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to accomplish this year and deliberate seemed to fit. I wrote it down with a definition that every choice I made was going to be thought through and decided on for a specific if not spectacular reason.
You can stop laughing now.
Yes, it became clear after a few days of “trying out” the word deliberate that it wasn’t right for me. First of all, I’m way to impulsive. Second, I wasn’t ready to do all that stopping and thinking. I have kids! I homeschool! Part of my survival is having an instinctual reaction to things that are happening. Take our school day yesterday as an example. About 1/3 of the way through we took a huge detour and derailed our planned schooling efforts. First, reading about ancient China intrigued us to look up how rice is grown and harvested and how how silkworm silk is harvested and wove into fabric. Then we got back on track for a bit, but there was this whole thing about Sacagawea and the Shoshoni tribe that took us down the rabbit hole on how Native Americans made moccasins and used them for hunting.
By the way…all three of those things are pretty fascinating.
So, yeah. Deliberate was NOT my word. Instead what I found motivated me was something that I think is going to be difficult, but fulfilling.
(What good is a resolution without some good old fashioned painful angst!)
The word simplify is actually an oxymoron.
- a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction
To truly simplify my life it is going to take a monumental effort of time, energy and discipline. Pretty much every aspect of my life is going to be modified in some way by this endeavor. There is nothing SIMPLE about this word.
I am starting this year with simplifying things. Do you remember reading that part where I said we consolidated all of our household items in one place? Yes, well that was 4 different locations…not including the Arizona lot we still have to get! And so…our house is busting at the seams with years of things we’ve accumulated.
It was while I was binge watching Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up show on Netflix both that Mr. Chucklehead and I decided it was time to start our own tidying up to simplify our lives and we started on saying goodbye to clothes.
By the way…if you haven’t watched this show you may be the last person in America to not have.
Seriously. Get on the bandwagon, people. Fill those thrift stores up with all kinds of goodies!
The real reason I’ve jumped on the Marie Kondo train is that when I watched her show I was excited to try it. Then, as I used her method I actually felt peaceful and calm while tidying up. Let me repeat that, “…peaceful and calm while tidying up.” In fact, I’ve decided to erase the word cleaning from my vocabulary and only use the words tidying up. It’s just so much more motivating and feels less dreadful.
So, the KonMari method is working for me. I’m not feeling the normal anxiety that I feel when considering “thanking” and donating items in my closet and home that I’ve been packing around for years.
YES, REALLY. SOCKS.
Like those Avia socks in that donation bag.
I originally purchased no-show ankle socks for walking/exercising at the suggestion of a friend who swears by them. Guess what? I do not like no-show ankle socks. They rub me wrong..and yet I’ve carried around 6 pairs of socks…one pair worn and 5 untouched for who knows how many years. Why? I’m frugal. I know…it’s silly when it comes down to all of maybe $5 I spent on those socks and yet giving them away (despite knowing I’ll never wear them) felt like a waste of money.
Are you thinking I may have bigger problems than the word simplify will cover at this point?
You are probably right, but getting back to my story…I held them in my hands and when I thought, do I want these in my future it was a solid NO. Then without any guilt at all those socks were donated with a sound thank you to each pair for teaching me that I don’t like that style. Maybe a little strange, but it worked for me…
MR. CHUCKLEHEAD GETS IN THE GROOVE
Mr. Chucklehead made a mound of all his clothing on our bed… Then went to play video games. His dedication was short lived.
As a result, he has made an enormous mess in our bedroom. But, I will offer big kudos on his grand scale effort. He eventually did a great job sorting and thanking and finding out what sparks joy. Including pairing down his t-shirt pile from 50 down to 20. The man loves his t-shirts.
If I continue to follow the Konmari tidying up method I’ll simplify books next. I feel pretty prepared for that step. We just sorted and donated a huge pile of children’s books.
However, step three is papers…a daunting task when I think about the filing cabinet FULL of paperwork from who knows what and from who knows when. Thank you, Army.
Next up is step four… Komono or miscellaneous. Here goes my kitchen, bathrooms, linen closet, homeschool area, craft area, garage….
Sorry….took a moment to keep myself from fainting away.
Last, but not least is simplifying or tidying up sentimental items. Another hard task for me because I like to keep family heirlooms. This will, however be a good chance to explore methods of displaying or storing these types of items.
Can you see that this will not be a task completed in a week or even a month? I think this will truly be a task that I work on for the entire year. I suppose we shall see over the next 365 days how well I do. I plan to document the journey. I’m sure you all can’t wait to view the before and afters of tidying up!
WHAT’S YOUR WORD?
So, I chose the word simplify. Have you selected a word for 2019? What did you choose for your resolutions?