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I Want Life to Be Simpler – But How?

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A few weeks ago, my cousin told me to listen to the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. My cousin knows I don’t schedule reading time into my week, so I figured she must really think that I need this book.

I devoured the book, which mainly focuses on how to simplify our lives by doing a lot, lot less. Of course, doing less makes life more simple, my struggle is how to do less. Things come at me faster than I can discern which things I should agree to do and which things I shouldn’t agree to do. There were many techniques shared in the book, but the one that stood out to me was (paraphrased from Derek Sivers), “If it’s not a hard ‘yes’, it’s a hard ‘no.’”

Almost immediately, it became so clear to me how our family entertains waaaay too many offers in our schedule. All week I paused before adding even the tiniest little thing to our schedule. I asked myself… 

Is this a hard ‘yes’?

Is this going to make things more complicated?

Is this going to mean more driving?

Will this mean zero downtime on Saturday?

Will this cause us to have to reschedule something else?

Now that this unexpected thing came up, shouldn’t we cancel that other thing?

It didn’t take long to realize that I had to continually pass on things that would absolutely be a hard ‘yes’ if we were in a different stage of our lives. You know the stage, the one when you don’t have four teenagers involved in multiple sports teams and activities every weekend/all weekend. But that’s the stage we’re in. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, “It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” Right now—that’s our family.


And (if you haven’t already)…

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  1. Mags, I absolutely love reading your inspirational blog and the photos are amazing. You always give me something to think about and how to change the way of doing things in one’s life. Keep doing you. Thanks for this. Deb

    • DEBRA!!!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to spread the love—yahoooo!
      I really appreciate reading that you get a little something from our Friday morning check-ins.
      Thank you for your continued encouragement and support, it means so much to me. <3

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I would love for you to join me as I work to undo these old patterns and evolve to create a more serene and accepting existence. (And you should know that I still want to ear flick the little knuckleheads {this includes my husband} when they don’t rinse a dish before putting it in the dishwasher — always a work in progress.)
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