“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci, my new mantra. Simplify. Perhaps my breast cancer experience taught me to learn to live simply.
Truth be told, I was always a ‘Triple A’ personality and living simply just wasn’t my thing. I’ve always juggled hundreds of tasks at once, never dropping a ball. I always had lots of things coming and lots of things going. Did logistics ever matter? Not really. I was always a pro at multi-tasking and expected results to be more than one hundred percent.
Before breast cancer, I always dashed from one thing to the next. Gotta-go Gotta-go Gotta-go, and Get a Move on-and Sprint, so I can beat my record for completing various, everyday jobs . Now, I’ve learned to put my feet up and smell the roses (literally).
When I simplified my life, I became aware that I was more accessible to life experiences. I finally feel my life requires peace, breathing space…and more time-outs to just enjoy anything that comes my way.
My simple life now has meaning for me because my values are different. I believe a simple life has a special meaning and a unique worth of importance for every person. For me, it means to remove the emotional and physical clutter in my life and spending time doing what’s valuable.
Because I‘m a visual person, I’ve always created lists for all my errands, my job and chores. Here they are. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!
Learn to say NO. I have a really hard time saying the word, so I’ve had to practice it many times. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Do nothing. I learned how to do nothing while on chemo. While in the traditional sense of the word, it wasn’t productive, but, it was the most valuable thing I could do at the time. Now, I sit on my balcony and watch the sky and B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Ah, how relaxing.
Limit my Contacts. (YIKES!) Let’s admit it; we are all in ‘digital overdrive.’ I’ve designated certain times of the day that I allow myself to use social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), emails and phone calls. I can’t believe the amount of time it has freed up my schedule. Since I adhere to this rule and have simplified my life, I have more time to spend B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G, spending time alone, or spending time with the people I care about.
Journal Writing. Though I’ve written academically and have been published in professional journals and publications, I’ve never written for fun or for cathartic purposes until I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s a great outlet and fun. Not only do I blog, but I completed a manuscript called, Why Buy a Wig…When You Can Buy Diamonds, which is my humorous, informational and poignant story about breast cancer. I enjoy writing and can’t wait to see my manuscript turn into a book (top seller, of course).
Spend Time Alone. It’s stimulating and calming at the same time. Is that an oxymoron? If it is, it sure does work for me.
Spend time with people I care about. Is there really a need to explain this one?
Evaluate my obligations. This goes along with saying, “NO!” I often ask myself, “What do I now value in my life and what is important to me, not to others?” This makes for many challenging decisions, and sometimes may make for an argument or two. I’ve been over-committing myself for way too long. It’s time to simplify and go with my heart. I now know what is valuable.
For Heavens’ Sakes, I’ve been writing lists for years. Now, I make a mindful attempt to simplify and acquire more calm and peace in my life.
Simplify. Ah, to finally feel the serenity.