Revisiting Simplify

Credit: Global Political Awakening
Credit: Global Political Awakening

Near the first of the year I posted on the word “simplify.”  Rather than fall victim to the idea of resolutions, I had chosen the word “simplify” as the focus of my year.  We had just spent 18 months travelling extensively and life had somehow gotten out of control.  I felt at loose ends and unable to write.  I needed to take control of life once more, and I hoped by simplifying my life I could find a sense of purpose and control.

Now in April I have just completed two, not one but two, challenges:  the A to Z Blog Challenge and Sue Mitchell’s challenge issued at An Untold Story to write 10 minutes each day before engaging in the Internet, emails or social media.  WHAT????  How did this simplify my life some have asked.

Unbelievably, I accomplished both, and in so doing learned some things about myself.

Click on image to visit A to Z Challenge 2013
Click on image to visit A to Z Challenge 2013

First, I really can write every day.  Yes, every day.  In the A to Z challenge, participants must write and post 26 times in the month as well as read and comment on others’ posts.  I selected a theme to give focus, calendared the letters of the alphabet, and worked ahead so I could schedule posts.  This worked well for me.

Sue Mitchell, The Memoir Muse at An Untold Story
Sue Mitchell, The Memoir Muse at An Untold Story

The second thing I learned is that the Internet, emails and social media can wait.That’s right — I said they can wait.  And for 30 days they did.  I no longer sit down and immediately get caught up in the social networking that I used to do first thing each morning.  I am so grateful to this challenge for helping me break this habit.  The time I spent on social media and networking previously gains about two hours or more a day.  No wonder I wasn’t getting any writing (or housework) done!

Gaining these new habits and strengths have simplified both my writing life and my other life. I sense accomplishment and a greater feeling of confidence in managing my time.  I have developed new habits, which continue to need some effort and work on my part.

Looking around, there are more things I can do to simplify, and I will.  It just takes time and more thought.  As we travel in a week or so, I’ll have time sitting on the train to think and ponder the other ways to simplify.  I certainly feel I have gained momentum in the last 30 days toward becoming a more focused writer with a simpler approach in my writing and my life.

I’m glad I selected the word “simplify” for my 2013 reflection.

How about you?  Are there things you do to simplify the world around you and your life?  

10 thoughts on “Revisiting Simplify

  1. I like the “simplify” concept. I’ve been trying to do the same, but you sound like you’ve achieved a better sense of discipline than I.
    Thank you for being a part of the A to Z Challenge and for offering your reflective thoughts.
    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  2. Where did you travel to? 18 months!! I couldn’t do that – 15 days almost killed me. I do write something every day, if I don’t I get more grouchy than usual. Where are you going now? And by train! I’m just full of questions lol Since both of us are retired and busy any structure is long gone

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    1. Our extensive travel over 18 months was a 4.5 hr. trip to help care for my husband’s brother who was diagnosed with a rare dementia which devastated his cognitive abilities in a short period of time. Having no children, his wife needed our assistance. Near the end it was a weekly jaunt, ending in a 2.5 week stay at his death.
      Our trip this month is to TN to see our grandson graduate from high school. This is an amazing accomplishment for this boy who is ADHD/Asperger’s. This hasn’t been an easy journey for Kory but he has made it, and how could we not be there! We made the trip by train 3 years ago and loved it.

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  3. Your goals have inspired me. I’ve also practiced writing before internet. Unfortunately I failed today. But I’ll be journaling as soon as I finish this. Thank you.

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    1. Madeline, see my comment to Joan Hall below. I should have labeled it “True Confessions.” 🙂

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  4. Simplify is a wonderful word. Congratulations on meeting your goals. I know that, after participating in 30 days of Thanksgiving for two years, and writing a post every day the month of November, I was exhausted after I finished. However, it did prove that I can write every day.
    I certainly need to do the social media challenge. Write first, then socialize!

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    1. I’m far from perfect and some days my “every day writing” is just 30 minutes, and often the social media gorilla takes over the room. But we’re all human, right? Basically, what I feel I’ve done is to come face-to-face with the reality of if I’m going to finish this book, I now know what to do and how. 🙂

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