06 June 2012

Striving For A Simple, Prioritized And Joyful Life

image via

I have been thinking a lot about how we humans are so easily inclined to run too fast, take on too much and try to be too much for too many people - all at the expense of our mental, physical and emotional well-being. Our relationships, our families and our work pay for that too.

I grew up on a farm and come from a long line of farmer-ranchers. When we were young we raised our own chickens. And that means we "harvested" our own chickens too. This was not one of my favorite activities. When you cut a chicken's head off, it begins to flap its wings wildly and flails itself up, down and all around in a pretty large area of space. Once they truly fall down dead, then you have to go hunt them all down and bring them back to where you started. I realize this is not a very pretty image for a blog about pretty living.

You have surely heard the phrase "She was running around like a chicken with her head cut-off." I feel like I hear more often "she" than "he' in that sentence. That may be due to we women's propensity to overly multi-task and take on too much. Multi-tasking has over the past few years become less and less impressive. Giving part of our attention to a bunch of things and our total attention to nothing is not very efficient or effective and at times can even be very dangerous.

Taking on too much is unhealthy. I so often hear people talking about how often their families are ill and how many bazillions of things they try to accomplish every day and wonder if those things might not be connected. How does a our need to be overly involved in everything then trickle down to affect our family life and children's lives. Being completely exhausted all the time is not the way we were intended to live and certainly not a trait we should pass on to our kids.

So we need to choose our priorities. This is something I feel a constant challenge with. For me I can make a list of six things that should get my attention in descending order. I cannot have them all at the same time in the same amounts or intensity and stay well. I have to ask myself what I'm willing to let go of to maintain my sound health and well-being - and really and truly be able to peel my little fingers off that "want to" item.

Remember the image of the chicken banging all around with it's head cut off. Is that the impression we want to give to our families, friends and associates? How much of the beauty of our lives are we missing by such action? Would we be better served to exemplify a woman of calm, control and conscious living? People are not as impressed with our fancy blogging, baking, clothing and other "accomplishments" are they are about how they FEEL when they are around us.

The true art of living seems to be in simple living. Think about your most joyful recent experiences. They were simple, weren't they? A summer night outside with your kids, dinner with family, a chat with a friend. Simple joys lead to the most happy AND healthy life. Whoever enjoys most wins I think.

I know there are so many others out there thinking about these same challenges. I would love to hear how you are standing up for a simpler life in your world. What is working for your family? What have you cut out? What have you added?



Beautiful words, Kalani, on a topic that I care about, too.

Learning to say no really helps.

kalanicut said...

Ah, good to know I am not alone. :)You are so right, an easy solution to so many potential problems. Such a simple word, that "N-O" word. So hard for our little mouths to say sometimes.

Jenn said...

So, my husband and I have started this thing -- one friday nights or saturday mornings we have a VERY specific and detailed discussions about our to-do list for the weekends. And then we edit, edit, edit. It really does help both of us feel less stressed and we can then get everything that absolutely needs to get done, done. Everything else, doesn't really matter anyway. I've also started saying yes to only one social event a day on the weekends -- no more running around like a crazy person to a bunch of different events. WAY too stressful!

kalanicut said...

I love that idea Jenn. Thanks for sharing it. We need to incorporate something like that into our weekends. I think one social event per weekend is all we can handle but we also have one more person in tow which makes things immediately more work. I'm amazed how much harder it is to get two people out the door than one, and three people out the door is so much harder than getting two people out the door. But the trade-offs are pretty great. ;)

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