As part of my ‘Year of Living‘, I’ve been trying lots of new things. Some big, some small. Some have been a breeze to do, other have taken a lot of effort. I thought I would share them here with you (so you can keep me accountable!) and in case you might like to try some too!
I started email sprints
After reading this article, I have taken up three twenty minute ’email sprints’ each day. I’ve tried lots of different things to tame my inbox, but this is the one that has definitely worked the best.
I have become single minded and wholehearted about a ‘radical simplification’
Last Friday night, I heard the incredible poet and philosopher, David Whyte speak. I made a lot of scribbles during his lecture, but the one thing that made my heart seize was when he spoke about ‘radical simplification’
… radical simplification of [our] self, a giving up of the old light filled certainties and a willingness in the midst of it all, to start again, even when we do not know exactly where to place our feet in the faint light.
This thought encapsulates so beautifully, what I have been trying to do this year. To simplify who I – not in a decluttering or slow living way, more a shedding of the things that don’t contribute to the life I dream of. This radical simplification almost feels like a stripping back of the layers that come with being a wife, mother, friend and business owner and a return to ground of who I really am.
I tinted my eyebrows
Oh the joy of small things! Tinted eyebrows = no need to fill in my brows every morning = less time getting ready = one happy, lazy girl!
I deleted my Twitter account and took Facebook off my phone
Whether it’s standing in line at the supermarket, waiting for a friend to arrive or in sitting front of the TV, one of my worst habits is that I mindlessly scroll through social media whenever there is a lull in my day. So, I decided to take Facebook off my phone and have deleted my Twitter account altogether. And the funny thing? The sun still rises, the earth still turns and I haven’t missed either….or had one moment of FOMO!
I’ve stopped saying sorry
“I’m sorry, is this a good time?”
“I’m sorry, but we’ve been waiting almost an hour for our meal.”
“I’m sorry, but do you mind turning the music down?”
A friend recently pointed out that I over apologise. I often say ‘sorry’, regardless of whether I’ve actually done anything wrong. In fact, it’s almost become a reactionary response when I feel uncomfortable. A filler. A way to politely ask for something without offending. Lately though, I’ve been policing my language and saving sorry for only when I need to apologise. Something that is definitely easier said than done when it’s been a lifelong habit.
I’m having a lunch date with the newspaper
Looking back at the last few years, I can’t think of one day where I stopped for lunch. I’d eat at my desk and continue replying to emails or working. But this year, I’ve started taking an hour off, leaving my laptop in the studio and heading to a cafe or the park with a newspaper under my arm. Funnily enough, I still get all my work done but I’m a lot nicer to be around!
I’ve halved the amount of screentime our kids have
While I’ve always been fairly strict about keeping a lid on how often the kids watch telly or play on the iPad, over time it has definitely been creeping up. So, the other week I decided to cut things right back. I knew this would only have a positive impact on them (once we got past the whinging!) but I honestly can’t overstate how amazed I’ve been. They have been play together beautifully and setting up elaborate, imaginative games that sprawl from one end of the house to the other. Life is all about balance – and I think we’re there when it comes to our kids and screens.
I’ve been giving my gut a little TLC
With the cooler weather approaching and everyone around me having sniffles and coughs, I’ve been giving my gut health a helping hand. I normally drink Kombucha every day and am good with fermented foods, but I’ve added a Practitioners Probiotic to the mix to keep my immune system fighting fit.
My to-do list only has two things on it
I’m guilty of starting each day feeling totally overwhelmed with a to-do list the size of a phone book. While I’m a big fan of writing down a to-do list so that it’s one less thing your brain has to keep track off, I’ve recently been trying something new – picking just two major tasks from my list to work on and achieve that day. Taking this approach has enabled me to stay focused and be realistic. It sets me up for success (rather than ending the day with ten half completed tasks and no satisfying ticks on my list) and feel more in control than if I was facing a massive to-do list.
We get ready the night before
Manic mornings were standard issue in our house. Mabel would have 15 outfit changes, I wanted some ‘me time’ and wanted to fit in some exercise…oh, and there was usually a school form that was missing and needed to be found.
To calm the farm, I’ve started making everyone get ready the night before. School bags are packed and by the front door, Mabel has to pick out what she wants to wear before she goes to sleep and I’ve even started putting on the dishwasher straight after dinner so I can empty it before bed. It all sounds awfully anal and boring but it means there is less to do in the morning and more time to ease into the day rather without me saying ‘quick sticks!’ 300 times!