As you all know by now, this month’s inspirational word here at Model Behaviors is simplicity. What perfect timing, as I have been recently striving very specifically to simplify every area of my life including diet, possessions, space, finances, and more. My husband and I have enthusiastically taken on a “less is more” approach to life, and we truly have reaped more benefits than I could’ve possibly imagined.
This past week, as I was getting my monthly post ready, I looked around and thought, “What am I doing? This is not embracing simplicity.” In addition to launching a new product collection for my party decor shop*, preparing for a marketplace event, filling seemingly infinite orders from a recent sale, keeping two children and a dog (and a husband) alive-fed-clothed-happy(?), putting away Legos for the 39823712304th time, shooing rabbits from our newly planted sweet potato vine, keeping up with my “real” pay-the-bills job, running as many miles as I could fit in, and so, so much more, I realized that my post on simplicity was a joke.
I sat in my 85-degree office around 2:30 a.m. a few sweltering nights ago with an air-conditioner on the fritz and a bottle of wine cracked. The post just wasn’t coming together. There was so much else on my mind and on my plate. I powered through, though, and stitched together a few half-assed printables. I even uploaded and sent them to my editor (which I blame on the wine) before it hit me.
Simplicity. This was anything but.
For the first time since having children, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t divide the pie any further this month. Even with baby #2, I sat in my hospital bed between feedings and filled orders. I just couldn’t say no. I didn’t want to give up anything. While determination and hustle are invaluable qualities, there is a point where one must realize that quality is, in fact, more important than quantity. The printables weren’t up to the standard I set for myself. So I deleted them, deleted the post, and began to digest the fact that for once, I just had to say no.
Instead of giving up on the post altogether, though, I thought it would be nice to share the experience. As multifaceted, well-rounded women, I know we all struggle to find a balance in our lives. But I’m discovering that you don’t have to find that balance every day. There are days that the laundry will sit in the dryer, fluffed again and again. And there are weeks that will go by where self-care just doesn’t happen…at all. Hell, my last haircut was sometime in 2014! We don’t have to do it all each day. Sometimes the hardest thing is saying no. But no longer will I see turning down that engagement that is just one-too-many as the wrong choice. No longer will I lie awake at night stressing over the number of commitments I’ve made. And no longer will I beat myself up about the decision to stop at two children. I have cut that pie into so many slivers these past two years, and at the end of the day I am just one person.
Do what you love. Do as many things as you can. Spread yourselves as thin as possible. That is great, and I love you for it! But please, please remember that it’s okay not to do it all, all of the time. Prioritize. Simplify. Make time for happiness and love and family and friends as well as business and career and money. No one wants a single bite of pie; make those slices worth it.
After all of that, I still want to leave you with one of my favorite tools to simplify my life on the daily! I found this printable years ago, and I have gotten so much use out of it. I even give it as a gift to at least one person every year!
It’s the holidays. Your in-laws have just flown halfway across the country for a week-long visit. You have the guest room all made up, the fire roaring, the bar stocked and the tree trimmed. Mom and Pop sit down on the couch after a long day of traveling and want to check a few emails while getting settled in. “Hey, what’s the Wi-Fi password?” they will undoubtedly ask. Shit.
Avoid digging through every drawer and file to find that napkin you wrote it down on three years ago when the AT&T guy told you to keep it in a safe place, and instead download this chic printable! Throw it in a cheap IKEA frame, and display one copy in the guest room and a second near your desk area or family computer. What a simple and convenient solution to a problem that is difficult to avoid these days!
And last thing…if you are like me and need to put pen to paper to stay organized, as opposed to being a digital diary kind of gal, check out some of my favorite planner options that are gorgeous, customizable and truly cover it all at Erin Condren’s Life Planner and The Nifty Planner.
How do you keep your commitments at a manageable level and prioritize your to-do list?
*a very special thanks goes out to Holly Natale of Holly Natale Photography for capturing some behind-the-scenes photos from the new product line shoot.