Living Simpler in Complicated Times

The Desire for a Slower Pace

I have thought often that I would like to live in some period of the past, a simpler time. TV and Movies do such a great job of romanticizing those periods to make them look lovely.

I know the reality is that life has had it’s challenges at every stage of our world’s history, but I do know that life seems to be busier and more is expected of us then ever before. So it’s time to hop into our DeLorean Time Machine and jump back in time when life was simpler.

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I was fortunate to be raised in a great home, with a great family, in a small rural town in Illinois. My dad worked hard at his day job to provide for my mom, me and my six siblings. My mom stayed at home and took care of us kids and all that it takes to keep a household of nine running smooth. We spent important times together at every meal, doing chores and having fun. I remember meal times where me, my Dad, Mom and sister Angie would start giggling about something and could not stop for quite some time. I have great memories of times with my family. Life was about people, life was about working hard, life was full of joy and it all came down to a great gift we gave each other, time.

As I grew older, I bought into the notion of “that was then, this is now”. Life simply is not that way any more. But somehow, I still long for it. Why couldn’t I have that peace and joy now? I started to read about others who were longing for the same thing and starting to emerge victorious. They were describing the life I remembered with a slower pace, with more focus on friends and family and less focus on the stuff that makes us really busy.

My husband and I started to question everything we did and why we did it. We started to cut back in many different areas of our life. We started to challenge the notion that we are supposed to be running around with our heads cut off. Today, we ARE living a slower paced life that is filled with people, work, love, peace, passion, joy and a lot of fun.

I can’t help but think that there are many of you out there that long for the same thing. Here are some of the resources I have come across and things I have learned that I hope will benefit you as well.

  • Go through the process of creating a Life Plan. We only have 24 hours each day and we want to fill it with the BEST things. Many times our day is filled with decent, even a bunch of good things, but why settle for that? Let’s fill our days and lives with the BEST things. The Life Planning process helps us identify what the BEST things are in life so we can not only start to add those to our lives, but start to remove other less necessary things.
  • Identify anchors and start to remove them. We all have anchors, things that hold us down and hold us back. In the book Minimalism, the authors have an exercise that helped me evaluate my anchors and determine how to start removing them. I identified some unhealthy relationships and unhealthy habits that were taking up a lot of my time and energy and holding me back.
  • Make the necessary changes to live the life YOU want. This will be different for everyone. My husband and I have found that life works much better for us and simpler if I work from home Part Time with Lead Thru Example, and prioritize running and taking care of our household. When both of us worked full-time outside of the home we ate horribly, restaurants most of the time. I would go grocery shopping grabbing unhealthy convenient foods because I had no time to cook. I would grab the token fruit or vegetable to calm my guilt, but it would go bad before I ever had the chance to eat it. I would go shopping at one place, not caring about the price because I did not have the time to even think about going to more than one place. Our time at home was filled with catching up on yard work, laundry, mail, bills, and collapsing in front of the TV to try to have a little bit of down time. Does that sound familiar? Well…it does not need to be that way, but only you can choose to change it.

Are you willing to take time to plan your life, remove unnecessary things, stop settling for less, and make the changes necessary to live your BEST life?

-Coach Jen

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