I went on a beach trip for a week last July. One of my favorite parts was waking at 5:45 and rushing down the street to watch the sun rise over the ocean. I adore sunrise/sunset, and not only for the glorious picture opportunities. I sat, in the cool air coming off the ocean, sand in my toes and watched the sky lighten. I realized I wanted more of that. Slow, deliberate moments of quality.
2014 was a chaotic year. There were some good moments, but a lot of pain and frustration, too. I'm worried about carrying that over to this year. I have big plans for the end of the summer and I look at my lists, my to-do lists that only seem to acquire more items and not lose enough. I felt the same way when my husband and I first bought our house; get all the things done!
But I have to keep reminding myself that I can only get done what I can get done. Everything doesn't have to be done in an orderly fashion, checked off a list. I don't have a deadline and if I want the house to sit undone for a week or a month while I sit, that's ok too. No one is going to scold me. It's hard because growing up, someone did. I was always rushing to make sure I wasn't idle, that things got done.
And then two of my favorite blogs posted stuff that was tapped directly from my brain and I didn't know it.
Reading My Tea Leaves
I come by the habit naturally. At my mom and dad's house, there's a list taped to the side of the refrigerator. It's written on lined paper and my mom's insanely neat handwriting spells out in perfect rows a series of tasks that she and my dad hope to accomplish around their house. Some of the tasks have been crossed out in thick stripes of yellow highlighter. Others are still left undone. The specifics of the list don't matter nearly as much as its existence. Yes, it represents mundane tasks. But reglazing windows, pane by twelve-over-twelve pane, is also a metaphor for optimism, care, and intention.
When I start questioning if I should buy more, I’m always glad I have a specific limit on my wardrobe. Because I know myself. I spend (maybe a little too much) mental energy on little decisions like this. If I don’t check myself, I can use up my energy on these little things — and not have enough left for the more important things.
I’m still working on my single priority this year, but I’m thinking it may be along the lines of how I spend my mental energy. Something along these lines: Stop giving energy to small things that don’t really matter. Then, pour it out for something that does.
Do Less, Be More
And then I found this list of ways to do less and be more.
My word for 2015 is quality. I aim to fill my year with just that.