We live in a world of optimisation. A place where in we are supposed to do as much as possible and do it all WELL. We are supposed to ‘organise’ our lives so that we can fit in as much as possible.
It is my true belief that the vast majority of us spend a lot of time doing things that do not align with our values. Simply put, we waste a lot of our precious time doing things we don’t like doing.
(To work out what your values are check out www.theminimalist.com/v That’s what we did!)
It is important to say that I do not believe that a simple life is a destination or an ultimate achievement. It is very much a journey or an experience.
I have always been someone who will fills my metaphorical plate with as much as I can fit on it, determined not to spill a drop.
Let me say now, if your plate is full it is not a matter of if you will spill something but when.
Even before children I would work a 70-90 hour a week job, socialise with friends, play sports and try and build a business on the side, oh and all at the same time.
Since having children, I have tried to slow down on my personal endeavours and focus more on activities we do with the children and as a family. Little did I know that in doing this I was making an unknowing
attempt at living a purposeful life.
Purpose: Spent more time together as a family
How to: Do as much as we can…as a family.
Result: Anxiety, guilt, Shame, fear, frustration and of course my old friend ANGER!
(This is what we call unrealistic expectations of reality)
We were over saturated by choice. We tried to fit in so much and cover so many bases that we often would spend our days upset and anxious about achieving our daily family goals.
This meant swimming lessons for three of our children, individual extracurricular activities for each child as well. Plus, homework, family walks, learning to ride bikes, play-dates, trips to restaurants, the cinema, and family weekends camping. Just writing all of that now makes me feel ill.
We have been forced over the last six months, to slow down. We have not had the same access to as many activities as we once did. It was almost by surprise that we discovered that we as a family we are happier, closer and more content to just be in each other’s company. We didn’t have to be spending money or out doing a planned activity.
Doing less had to extend to me as a person as well. I decided to take on less. I was studying, working full time, training for a marathon amongst a plethora of other things.
I let go of many things by starting to work through our second rule,
2. Find out what you HAVE to do and get it done
See previous post for the full list of rules on simple living for a family of 6 (https://sixonpurpose.com/2020/10/01/how-do-we-live-a-simple-life/ )