Posts Tagged ‘household’

Being Busy Steals Your Life Away

busy womanMost of America and many other developed nations feel that being busy is a badge of honor

We think gives us our worth.


I think the opposite.

I think that being busy can keep us from being who we TRULY are.

I think it gets in the way of doing the things that are the MOST important to us.

I think that WE use being busy as a way to protect ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone into what we feel deep inside we ought to be doing — and I am not talking about all the nagging ‘shoulds’ that come from outside, but those things which we know we are ‘called’ to do.

Doing Good, or Doing the Best?

We’ve all heard the quote, “The good is the enemy of the best”. I am not saying that many of the things you are doing aren’t good things. They may even be GREAT things, but, they may not be the BEST THING for YOU at this point in your life. When busyness gets a hold of us, we become bound by our ‘shoulds’ and we cannot be at peace in our lives.
work life balance sign

So how can you be sure you are doing the right things?

Christ wants us to have life and have it abundantly. He wants us to have what is best for US. We must be in tune with Him and with our hearts to avoid this empty busyness.

Below is a list adapted from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. Included are links to many of his helpful tips to accomplish these things.

10 Ways to Stop being So Busy

  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.  
  2. Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things. Article here.  
  3. family organizer cozi

  4. Evaluate your time. How do you spend your day? What things do you do, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? Make a list, and evaluate whether they’re in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your day.  
  5. Simplify work tasks. Our work day is made up of an endless list of work tasks. If you simply try to knock off all the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll never get everything done, and worse yet, you’ll never get the important stuff done. Focus on the essential tasks and eliminate the rest. Read more.  
  6. Simplify home tasks. In that vein, think about all the stuff you do at home. Sometimes our home task list is just as long as our work list. And we’ll never get that done either. So focus on the most important, and try to find ways to eliminate the other tasks (automate, eliminate, delegate, or hire help).not to do
  7. Learn to say no. This is actually one of the key habits for those trying to simplify their lives. If you can’t say no, you will take on too much. Article here on how to say NO.  
  8. Limit your communications. Our lives these days are filled with a vast flow of communications: email, IM, cell phones, paper mail, Skype, Twitter, forums, and more. It can take up your whole day if you let it. Instead, put a limit on your communications: only do email at certain times of the day, for a certain number of minutes (I recommend twice a day, but do what works for you). Only do IM once a day, for a limited amount of time. Limit phone calls to certain times too. Same with any other communications. Set a schedule and stick to it.  
  9. Limit your media consumption. This tip won’t be for everyone, so if media consumption is important to you, please skip it (as with any of the other tips). However, I believe that the media in our lives — TV, radio, Internet, magazines, etc. — can come to dominate our lives. Don’t let it. Simplify your life and your information consumption by limiting it. Try a media fast.  
  10. Purge your stuff. If you can devote a weekend to purging the stuff you don’t want, it feels seriously terrific. Get boxes and trash bags for the stuff you want to donate or toss. Here’s my guide on decluttering. Here’s a post on starting small.
  11. Do what you love. Once you’ve freed up some time, be sure to spend that extra time doing things you love. Go back to your list of 4-5 important things. Do those, and nothing else. Read more.

Woman WritingIt will take time to implement these steps. They cannot be accomplished in a week, or even a month. I encourage you, however, if you find that you are not at peace with your level of busyness, that you go through this list, examine your heart, spend some time in meditation, and create an action plan for creating change in your life.

What are some things that you would like to change or possibly do away with in your life? Are there some things you would actually like to add?

 My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ last night

under the tuscan sunI am a bit envious of Frances’ freedom to just buy a villa in Italy. Now, granted, she got that freedom by her husband having an affair and and a nasty divorce, so I don’t envy that part! (if you have not seen it, you can watch the trailer here). She arrived there with the one suitcase she was traveling with. The ability to start afresh with no physical burdens to bear is an awesome thought.


There is a move in this country, and even the world, called minimalism. It has also been called voluntary simplicity. As we have achieved and acquired so much in our lives, it now feels if IT is weighing us down.

The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you.

As I have been journeying down the road from my mental meltdown, and working through the healing process, I have been trying to redefine who I am, what I want from this life and what I want to give back to those around me.

I know now that I do not care for this house full of stuff. (I am so glad we didn’t upsize 3 years ago!)   I grew up in a very cluttered home and have realized the clutter makes me anxious (don’t need any more anxiety!)  So I am working currently on beginning to clear some of the extra stuff from our home. I want to create some ‘white space’ around me, room to breathe and create a beautiful yet simple home for us to relax in.

The more things you commit to, the less of ‘you’ there is.

Speaking of relaxing, the minimalist movement is not just about reducing stuff, it is about creating space in your life, space for the things that are most important to you. Living life YOUR way, with balance and peace in the areas that matter the most to you.  People who live a minimal lifestyle are living intentionally. They may be involved in activities or committees, but they choose intentionally how they want to spend their time by what is important to them.

Minimalism does not look the same for everyone.

There are some who are part of the 100 item challenge, I don’t think I’ll ever be there! Maybe 1000 things?

Others reduce their belongings and purchases to leave a smaller footprint on the earth.

Myself, at this point, am at the point where I am minimalizing mentally and emotionally, to quiet the noise in my head from several years of overload. The piles of clutter around me are indicative of what is happening inside my head. 

As I begin to quiet the noise and be comfortable with who I am and see the beauty inside, I am ready to create some beauty around me. I finally feel I deserve it!

The Healing Process

As part of my healing process, I have greatly reduced the things and activities I am committed to, even my job (currently on medical leave). The majority of what I am currently involved in either has to do with taking care of my body, soul and mind (gym, doctors, and church!) or spending time with my family. These are the most important things in my life!

Eventually I will have to add back in other things, but at this time, I am enjoying gaining peace within my soul and mind. God has been gracious to come down and meet me where I am, broken and desperate, and move me towards healing.matthew 11:28 poster

What are your thoughts or experiences with simplifying your life?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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Resources for minimalism and voluntary simplicity





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1960s Family Portrait Outside Suburban House Parents 3 Three KidsA house, a car, or even 2 or 3 cars!

A riding mower.

Stainless steel appliances.

Flat screen TV, Wii gaming system.

Swimming pool, designer landscaping.

Four wheelers, dirt bikes.

Guns, paintball, airsoft.

Boat, jetskis.

Dinner out several times a week.

Karate, baseball.

Cheerleading, softball. 

PTA, homework. 

Checkups, sick days.

Vacations in high gear.

Portable DVD player, iPad.

Paying bills, balancing checkbook.

High speed DSL, HiDef TV.

Doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom.

Taking care of pets, taking care of parents.

Shopping for Christmas, paying taxes.

Non-stop weekends.

Smart phones, Skype.

X-box 360, Sony Playstation.

Fixing cars, fixing washers.

Painting walls, leaky plumbing.

iTunes, Starbucks.

300 channels, nothing to watch.

Closet full, nothing to wear.

3 laptops, 4 iPods.

100’s of friends, no one to talk to.

3 college degrees, no job to be found.

Great paying job, miserable life.

Waiting for someday to finally come.

Is this what you signed up for?

A little different post for me, just overwhelmed by all the things that seem to crowd our lives. Are they things we really need, or even want?  Do you have time to just BE?

If you’d like to know an alternative, read my post, the Cure for the American Dream


My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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In our crazy, fast-paced, hurry-hurry society, we still have a right to choose.  we have the right to choose how to respond or how to react to any situation we are presented with. 

Consider a day like this- you get up in the morning, go to your demanding job, and you work hard for nine or ten hours, and at the end of the day you’re tired, and you’re stressed out, and all you want is to go home and have a good supper, a glass of wine and maybe unwind for a couple of hours and then hit the hay because you have to get up tomorrow and do it all again.


 Ahh, but then you remember there’s no food at home – you haven’t had time to shop this week, because of your demanding job – and so now, after work, you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It’s the end of the workday, and the traffic’s very bad, so getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there thegrocery store is very crowded, because of course it’s the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping, and the store’s bright lights and neon colored signage compete for your attention, not to mention the advertisements playing over the PA system andyou figure this is the last place you want to be, but you can’t just get in and quickly out; you have to wander all over the huge, overlit store’s crowded aisles to find the stuff you want, and you have to maneuver your crappy cart with the squeaky wheel through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course there are also the  slow old people and the spacey people and the kids who all block the aisle and their parents who are ignoring them and you have to grit your teeth and try to be polite as you ask them to let you by, and eventually, finally, you are ready to checkout, except now it turns out there aren’t enough checkout lanes open even though it’s the end-of-the-day rush, so the lines are incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating, but you can’t take your fury out on the frantic teenager working the register.

Anyway, you finally get to the checkout line’s front, and pay for your food, and wait to get your check or card approved by a machine, and then get told to “Have a nice day”  and then navigate your cart through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and try to load the bags in your car so that everything doesn’t fall out of the bags and roll around in the trunk on the way home, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, rush-hour traffic, etc.

The point is that a typical frustrating day like this is exactly where the work of choosing comes in. The traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and I must make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, otherwise I’m going to be ticked off and miserable the rest of the evening.  And think about it, we all have days that are a lot like this that make up the weeks and months and years of our lives.

 Jaime from Mangiabella wrote some wonderful comments to me yesterday, and one of them was about my post on perspective.

She wrote, “Webster’s dictionary defines perspective as: one’s “point of view”, the choice of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences.  I LOVE how that’s worded. “the CHOICE of a context for opinions, beliefs, and experiences.”

Every day when we wake up we have a choice ~ we can choose how our attitude and perspective will be for that day! It sure takes a concentrated effort though, doesn’t it? But WE have the choice – I love that!

What if we chose to have a different perspective then our usual stock response? What if we purposed it in our hearts to deliberately see the joy over the pain? What would change? Who would be impacted?”

We must make up our minds to stop being a victim of our circumstances. We must choose to enjoy each moment. We can choose to smile or scowl at those around us, which choice brings a richer life and joy to others? What a small choice, but oh, what an impact just that one thing could make! 

Preaching to the choir here! This is directed to me as much as anyone else! 

What about you, how do you choose to react to the stressors in your life?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog, please click here to share!

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I am taking part in a blog party called Frugal Friday and our host is Shabby Nest
My tip is not necessarily frugal, but it is a good solution for not a lot of dollars! My 17 year old has a TON of earrings, that’s an exageration of course, (NO IT’S NOT!) And a lot of them are dangly chandelier type earrings, so needless to say, most regular earring storage didn’t work.
So I had something in mind and took off to Office Depot (could proabaly find elsewhere too. In the desk supplies they had a metel mesh desk letter tray, came in sliver or black. Bought the silver one, here’s a picture of the black one:

Now, you have to picture it: stand on its long edge with the raised side on the bottom. All the little holes are fantastic for hanging her earrings! She really does have probably 60-70 pairs stored there!

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How did I end up here? Are any of you asking yourself that question?  I know that I am.  On one hand, I can’t believe what I HAVE been able to accomplish, and on the other, I say, “Is this all there is?”

I am proud of what I have done. I have raised 4 amazing kids (with the help of my dedicated husband and by the grace of God!). I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way (can’t wait to meet Kenley Grace in September).  My children put us through some rough times, and I will say that, as teenaged parents, we put THEM through some rough times. 

We were two messed up teenagers from two messed up homes, trying to create a family, a home.  I feel that we did a pretty good job with what we started out with.  Don’t get me wrong, as my kids have grown up I am sure they will be the first to point out mistakes we made!  The thing is this, we sincerely had their best interests at heart. We wanted more for them than we had, and I am not talking about “stuff”.  I am talking about love and security and connection, a sense of belonging.  The cool thing is, that as they get older, we able to talk about how they felt growing up.  About the mistakes we made and they made.  And, as they take issue with some of what we did, and they see us as the imperfect parents we are, they understand that we are not perfect, we are human, just as they are, and they begin to understand why we did what did and still do what we do. 

I just pray this, that they will carry our successes and learn from our failures to the next generation.  Will they be perfect parents?  No, there is no such thing.  But, maybe, just maybe, they have learned that the most important things are not things at all. It is about relationships, about connecting, about experiences, about loving one another and being loved in return. 

Is our family perfect now?  How boring that would be!  I have 4 adults/young adults who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to live their lives.  It is an exciting journey to watch.  In my generation, you were supposed to know “what you wanted to be when you grew up”.  I want my children to know, and I want you to know and understand this, that that journey began when we were very young, and it will continue till the day we leave this earth.  The parents of our generation were taught to get an education, get a job, and settle in for their “life”.  This generation is SO different!  I think that so many of us in my generation feel discontent because we don’t feel right settled into our “life”. 

I will be writing more on this subject as it is close to my heart, but let me leave you with this question?  Have you settled?  Are you still settling?  This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband, family, children.  Just think about it.  The first step to finding ourselves is to admit we are lost. As we begin this journey, I would love to hear from you and read your comments.

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