I hear this question frequently. Do you want the truth?
I wish I could run faster than a 7-minute mile, that my abs were built like a 6-pack, and that my brain would retain the names of our politicians. I wish I could ride in an airplane without having my heart drop to the floor. I wish I could drink one glass of wine without wanting a second, or third. I sometimes wish I had the ability or patience to sit and do nothing, without having to keep my fingers busy. I wish I didn't constantly fret my brow, and that I would've sprouted past 5'1". I wish I'd win the Lottery. I suppose I need to purchase a ticket to do that though.
A friend of Cymone's once said to me, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." She's more right than she realized.
This morning I woke up early to tend to the animals, make Cymone's lunch and get her off to school, take Sa'be out for a walk, harvest sage, harvest and dehydrate more oregano, and finish a river rock necklace I'd started last night, all before biking to work. Why on earth?
- I don't watch TV anymore, so the time that I used to spend in front of the tube is now absorbed by hours of productivity.
- I don't drink wine anymore, so I don't have an excuse to sit, watch television, and sip.
- I dislike using the phone outside of work. I prefer talking and laughing in person, so I do everything I can to avoid phones.
- Even though I like to keep my fingers busy, I don't text.
- Keeping my fingers busy is my relaxation. My mind tunes out as I create. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the more stressed I am, the more I create.
- I depend on my family to help me stay balanced. If I'm in danger of being Monster Mom, I take time to exercise or create art. I am exceptionally fortunate to have a husband (Derek) who participates in enormous ways, so no burden is completely mine.
- I cry...pretty much once each month.
- I laugh out loud...a lot.
- Fresh air is an essential part of every day. I grow lazy without it.
- Although not very often, and something I am working to improve, I ask for help.
These are just tips, not at all a statement of self-perfection. Our perceptions of one another are based on what we experience. I am admittedly good at showing others what I do well. It's easy to leave out the mistakes. Believe me, there have been many!
Perhaps the most helpful simple living tip I have received is to consider life "full" rather than "busy". There is no shortage of things to do, and days seem to pass by more quickly as we age. No matter how much I tackle, my bucket list doesn't seem to be shrinking. If I consider myself busy, my life might cause unduly stress. Instead, I approach each day appreciating the time I am given, and fill precious minutes with meaning.
So, that's me in a nutshell. Me, myself, and I. And you? How do you do it all?