Simplifying

We are purposely working on cutting things out and down. Refining. There are many aspects of this process that are so good for us as a family. Without cable, Netflix, Internet, etc., it pushes us to do things we may have let fall by the wayside. Reading books (finished 3 this week), catching up on magazines (sorted, read and tossed 15 this week!), and getting organized seems to be doable and possible. It is hard to explain to Alex that we can’t just have Dora or Backyardigans at our every whim. If PBS Kids shows Curious George at 9am, and it’s 9:15, then, Curious George is the option and we’ll be joining it midway through. Seems simple. A reality that was true for many of US growing up, yet frightening how quickly that can seem archaic.

We will have internet again in a week, but for now it’s pretty spotty. I was trying to use my cell phone to complete a 7 page, 10 question substitute application. Haha. That endeavor was quickly abandoned. But, the funny thing is, not having something that was a “given” and frankly one of MANY luxuries in our society has been an embarrassing reality. A reminder of my entitlement.

Sometimes simplifying is freeing, though. Rather than shopping and debating the options of which fun, new pen to buy or which new necklace to choose, neither are an option, so it releases me from those inner dialogues and frustrations. And frankly, with the immense speed and curiosity with which Drew is now exploring the world, there’s no time for these internal debates.

Simplifying, in some small ways, while hard, is also proving to be life giving. And even though I often lack the words to explain these changes to Alex, I know that the discussions and questions are healthy and good for him to engage in. Tantrums ensue, but I get it. Sometimes I want to throw myself on the ground and kick and scream a bit too. I don’t like “no”. But…..the emotions simmer and pass and life marches on, with a few lessons learned. An ongoing classroom of sorts.

So, less posts these days, just through sheer necessity. And the weird thing is, I keep having a physical pull, a tactile response to this challenge. Writing more regularly has become a welcome habit, one I actually crave. While reading Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird” last night I read that “Writing motivates you to look closely at life as it lurches by and tramps around….it teaches us to pay attention.”.

Life IS lurching by and tramping about, and through that, what are you observing, learning, adjusting to, avoiding? What are the lessons to be had? Hard, but positive changes to be stepped into? Drew is reminding me that sometimes, diving headfirst into change and growth is painful, producing lots of bruises and tears, but the adventure and learning that lies ahead is worth it.

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2 thoughts on “Simplifying

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