Summer time is suppose to be a time of simplicity, ease and frivolity…a break. So why do I feel like I am treading water in Life’s ocean, trying to keep my head afloat while my kids and life’s chaos do cannonballs around me? Because we, (I), take on too much and try to swim hard and fast for a distance without help instead of swimming smaller, simpler stints, allowing help and riding the current or wave sometimes. Summertime goals are often lofty as we try to cram as much activity as we can into 8 weeks of summer vacation while doing the regular daily work of everyday life. What we need is to simplify and to ease up on our self.
I truly believe God/ the Universe gives moments of reality checks and “bitch slaps” whenever we seem to be stuck in “have to’s” and “should be’s” instead of enjoying the here and now. I have been training for the Pan Mass Challenge, a 2 day, 190 Mile bike ride from Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown, MA on Cape Cod. It is a fundraising event for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund. I ride in honor of my third son, an ALL survivor. This will be my third time riding, but, this year my husband will ride with me. In my training, I put so much pressure on myself to “perform” and ride faster and more consistently up hills that I stop enjoying the actual ride. The training becomes a “should be” and a chore vs a time of joy. On a ride with my husband, I set out grumbling about “having to ride” and getting a distance ride in amidst our crazy schedules. My husband’s comment to me- “You just need to simplify and take it ride by ride”. Oh, OK?! As we rode and I fumed about the comment, (spot on as it was), a bunny darted out in front of me and stopped to face me. After a moment, it plodded off to be followed by a deer who did the same. Wow- Thank you God for the reminder to pick my head up, look around and enjoy the moment. Stop thinking ahead and BE in the MOMENT- enjoy the Moment. In addition, my bike computer was not working- in spite of a new battery, so… I did what I tell my clients and went with how I felt in my ride, forgetting the numbers. My husband noticed my speed and hill climbing improved as well as my consistency and I noticed I was enjoying my rides more. Taking the pressure off by ignoring any numbers was the key.
A far as simplicity goes- that is sometimes easier said than done. It is so important as we get bogged down and swamped by life’s chaos or “cannonballs”. Healthy Living How to defines simplicity as “Getting rid of the many things you do so you can spend time with people you love and do things you love. It means getting rid of clutter so you are left with only that which gives you value”. I love this idea. It involves 2 basic steps:
- Identify what is most important to you (List 4-5 things).
- Eliminate everything else
Another website I love, Mindbodygreen.com, breaks this down into 5 steps:
- Declutter your home
- Declutter your mind
- Give up energy drain
- Slow down
- Take time out with people you love and doing things you love
Life is how YOU create it. It is truly all about balance.
1) SIMPLIFY, 2) PRIORITIZE, 3) BECOME A POSITIVE REALIST by accepting things for what they are and be OK with it. Bottom line is we need to simplify our day and life and learn to let some things go… we are not perfect and no one that matters expects us to be! For more help with this and letting go of perfection and the “should’s” check out Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. We are enough just being who we are and we need to simplify, let go some control, delegate things we do not need or enjoy doing, ask for help and do the best we can using the tools we have. Happy rest of the summer!