2020 has been a year of learning. With the norm having disappeared overnight, we have all spent our recent months adapting and rethinking and dealing, with a lot.
There has been a great deal of loss, for many of us.
There has also been much to learn, and gain: fresh eyes, and a fresh start. And the benefits of simplicity. Always simplicity.
For some of us perhaps we gained:
- Time, when the pace slowed.
- The grace of a pause, where we could have a good look at our lives (reference to fresh eyes).
- The opportunity, from necessity for some of us, to start fresh, in our relationships, our family connections, and our work (a fresh start).
- We learned the value of human connection.
- We learned that simple can be better, when so much of our usual busyness got cancelled.
Has 2020 Shown Us The Benefits of Living A Simple Life?
When so much of our usual busyness got cancelled, I am certain there was a collective sigh of relief, even amidst the chaos and uncertainty.
So many of us were stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel. A neverending for reasons we had forgotten.
And ahead of us is the “silly season,” traditionally a time of maximising our spending, our socialising and our organising.
But we can choose a different way this year. We have the most handy excuse ever to change stale, outdated and ill-fitting traditions, and replace them with fresh, fitting ones.
With Black Friday and then Christmas around the corner – and a family birthday here – we have upcoming opportunities to choose simple and sane.
Start a New Pre-Christmas Purge Tradition
We always do a pre-Christmas clear out.
Every year my girls have grown, and grown up since the previous December. So we spend a day together going through their clothes and toys. We donate any that no longer fit or suit them.
It is a good structure for us. It fits into the end of a year and has a few lessons in it.
- We clear out the excess,
- We learn about sharing and giving to others,
- We experience the lightness that comes from letting go,
- We learn about not holding onto material stuff for it’s own sake.
Do a Decluttering Boost
Our family has been travelling this simple living road for a while. It is a lifestyle choice requiring ongoing commitment, but which becomes easier the longer one is committed to it.
Things come into our home every day and the process of keeping surfaces clear and piles of stuff from accumulating is to do a little decluttering most days. Reality steps in, children get sick, backs get sore and the stuff builds up.
So a boost of clearing the clutter is a great habit to get into with some regularity – to kickstart things again.
Courtney Carver continues to inspire me with her reminders and practical ideas. Here is her “Decluttering Burst: Let go of one hundred things in less than an hour” which I will tailor to my home and possessions:
- 10 things from your bathroom
- 10 things from your junk drawer
- 10 things from your kitchen
- 10 things from your car
- 10 things from your computer
- 10 things from your linen closet or laundry room
- 20 things from your arts/crafts/hobby room
- 10 things from your bedroom
- 20 things from your closet
- 20 things from your kid’s room
- 20 things from storage
Start a Simple Birthday Celebration Tradition
My younger daughter has a birthday in late November – coming up this weekend. 2020 has taught us many things. For us one of them has been the fact that simple really is enough. That less really, practically can be more.
We will be having a small gathering involving a few friends in the fresh air. We will be outdoors. We will move – a bicycle ride and a swim. And we will eat pavlova with strawberries and cream. Because my girls don’t really like cake!?
Enough friends, enough food, enough party activities. Simple, childhood fun. Enough.
And because of this, I am looking forward to the party with more enthusiasm than I have in some previous years. This is important too. More joy and less stress for everyone.
I am not convinced that lavish children’s parties are any more special or memorable than simple ones. Possibly more impressive, but in my experience (my) children enjoy connection more than opulence.
Try A Less is More Life
We could treat this year as a start, rather than lament an end.
- We could release old habits that no longer serve us in creating the life ahead of us.
- We could try a new way – of working, of celebrating, of living!
- When did birthdays and Christmas get to be so over the top?
- When did we start over-filling our homes with trinkets?
- By connecting stuff to our feelings of well-being, do we really feel better? The usual advice is to connect with people for mental well-being, not things.
- Could we use this 2020 opportunity to change the norms that no longer suit us?
- Could we plan less fuss and more meaning this Christmas?
- Could we buy less stuff and get more creative and find more meaning in gift-giving?
- Could we spend less and still keep the magic alive?
- Looking back in 5 years, could we see 2020 as the year when we started fresh ways?
I think so.
Spread the Joy of Simplicity
I intend to spread the joy of the simplicity message this season, and beyond.
I am so pleased that I came across minimalism all those years ago. The thinking behind it has inspired the way I choose to live my life.
If you are interested in reading more about minimalism and simple living from some of the gurus in this field – have a read of these:
If you enjoy images of simple sunsets and notes about living a simple life – please consider following me on Instagram.
Spread the Joy Of Learning New Skills
Like many others, 2020 booted me uncomfortably out of my comfort zone. As it turns out it was just what I needed. Looking back 2020 is already turning out to be a gift:
- I have started learning again – about online business – and kicked off in a new work direction, which I love.
- I have also experienced transformational levels of personal growth and evolution. “Life-changing” is a phrase I use these days.
- This personal growth has affected my relationships (in good ways). Because my levels of self-knowledge and self-acceptance have grown, I am able to be more accepting of others.
- I spread the joy of my growth by being an affiliate for the company who set me on my way with their high-level education and support.
For me – the gift of 2020 has been that simple is good, learning is life-changing, and that we can all start fresh, no matter our age or skills, or current knowledge.
For you – I wish that it has gifted you with fresh eyes with which to look at your life, and the courage to pursue a fresh start. I hope 2020 has been as much an opportunity for growth, and learning, and hope for you, as it has for me.