As I get older and time seems to speed up, I start to see the value in the every day more and more. I am becoming more mindful about how I spend my time, with whom I spend it, and how I wish to spend it going forwards.
The fact that we have only one life becomes clearer with age. And as my friend Van put it the other day – these really ARE the Golden Years. I have 2 gorgeous life-filled young children. We have a certain amount of freedom, clear skies, enough food, and a roof over our heads. So how do I plan to make the most of these golden years? Making numerous, small, mindful shifts which together will add up to create a more tailored life. A life well-lived. So then I just need to know what my version of a life well-lived is.
At times when I’m faced with tough goings-on, I try to imagine that I am 90 and looking back. I look down at myself and then imagine what I would need to choose now to be proud of myself and the way I have lived. Its a tool I use to check in on myself that I am trying to live a good life. An honest life, if not a star-studded wild life.
We all have the shadow – as a friend comfortingly told me once when she had witnessed mine. We all do. But I believe we should strive to live as much in the light as possible. We should strive for good. And by good I mean kindness, generosity of spirit, non-judgement, openness, constant learning, respect (for self, others and the world).
More than that we should cherish our brief time spent with those we love. I need to put the phone down and look into my children’s eyes. I need to agree to disagree with my dear husband and have some fun. I need to make plans with friends. Go on holiday. Take a break from routine. See more of our beautiful world.
Perhaps that is why I was initially drawn to the simpler life on offer through the ideas of Minimalism. Clearing the clutter clears the vision for the life that one wants.
Clearing the clutter leaves less to be tidied around, and moved, and more time to be spent reading, or relaxing, or learning. The exercise of clearing and discarding has also made me more mindful of how we are living and how we can best live. I haver structured our days a little differently.
We have introduced at-home-Mondays where we don’t do any activities after school. I have limited the girls to 2 extramural activities for now – both physical. We get outdoors every day. We read together every day. I cook meals every day and go to restaurants less and less frequently. Life is fairly simple, intentionally so. It will be something that I will constantly monitor, adapt and adjust, as we grow and our life phases change.
It’s a work in progress. But a worthwhile endeavour I feel.