Being kinder to myself this year includes simplifying my daily life. It's not easy because I'm actually having to learn and action a lot of new things. Writing I love but keeping lists and a diary; and journaling daily are new.
Truth is, I am and have always struggled with the immense demands of managing a family, home and marriage. I often feel overwhelmed regularly by the relentless work involved. Making meals, cleaning, shopping, finances, caring for three sons and home upkeep, staying married and having quality friendships - that's a lot of work. First world problems I know but it's my life and these things are hard.
I'm solution oriented. I've spent so many hours reading blogs, perusing Pinterest and Instagram, and watched lots of YouTube videos on managing a home especially. I'm drawn particularly to minimalism themes, frugality and self sufficiency. I also love reading blogs of women who create homely atmospheres and quality time for their families. I read books by the dozen and talked to friends all to glean ideas about raising a family and being married so I can tweak my own relationships. I have an awesome community and I'm wealthy with great people.
It's why I've determined to simplify my life this year. I can barely handle the basics when things get too complicated so I'm starting with our daily processes. For instance, I get stressed out everyday making meals for my family. We bought a Thermomix machine (expensive but very useful investment) to make cooking healthy and frugal meals for our family simpler. I'm culling and reorganizing the kitchen to have less stuff because I can't stand not being able to find things in the pantry. We're doing a 7 day meal plan. Same meals = same ingredients = simpler grocery shopping = saving money. Plus I'll just have a few meals to concentrate on, and my confidence and skills will increase. 44 and I'm still learning to cook. Sigh.
My inner dialogue about this kind of stuff is very critical. "Useless mum can't cook", "useless wife making her working husband cook at the end of his long hard days" etc. Richard actually loves cooking and my boys never complain. I want to champion these areas for myself. This is my gift to myself so I can rewrite my scripts and know that I can cook. I've taught myself simple ways to keep my home clean and tidy. I have only a few things to deal with and I can do it.
Simple, Kind and Gentle are my guiding words. I have to slow myself down and focus on one small project at a time. Live one day, one moment at a time. In a world that is fast paced it's almost anti-cultural what I'm doing but it makes the most sense to me. Focus on the basics. Only do what's important and meaningful and adds joy to my family.
For years I've focused outwards to the needs of others but right now in this season, I'm giving myself permission to slow down, rest and resolve my own issues first so I can be more present for my loved ones and be happy within myself. xo