(Spiritual content alert!)
Lately I have been thinking about simplicity. I am going to a women's retreat with our church and the title is Abundant Simplicity. We are reading (at least) the first chapter of the book by the same name written by Jan Johnson.
So, in the beginning of the first chapter Jan states that simplicity is "not a discipline itself but a way of being." She talks about experiments with simplicity of speech, frugality, spaciousness of time, holy leisure, and simplicity of appearance and technology.
Before I get any more in to the awesome things of note I found in reading this chapter, a little background.
The History: Several years ago, DH and I basically sold our stuff, home, business and all. We traveled and lived in our RV with our one special needs baby at the time (now almost 10). We SIMPLIFIED. We eliminated television in our home years before that.
Now, we have moved to a home in the country and still live fairly low-budget. Grown ups watch carefully chosen movies in the evenings occasionally (or it used to be only occasionally). Kids infrequently watch movies when it is a family activity. Music is on at specific times and we are watchful for over-stimulation. We have pretty much eliminated all outside busyness activities such as sports teams, clubs, etc. Home school is it, so we don't transport a ton.
The Reality: That said, we have four children with a variety of special needs growing up here. Living, changing, working, playing, and learning
or not to love and trust.
So! not so peaceful after all! Way less hectic than it could be, but... simplicity?
Planning to go to this retreat got me contemplating simplifying. For some reason I was thinking in terms of eliminating technology.
The Epiphany: Then I realized that if I simply stopped multitasking it would be huge! Why do I feel the need to get 3-5 things done at any given moment? Am I really being more productive, or just making myself feel indispensable? Could it be that I might actually be more efficient if I did just ONE thing at a time?
- Why am I having a text conversation woven in and around saying goodnight to my son? Or while I'm rocking the baby to sleep and doing laundry?
- Why am I blogging while I'm helping with schoolwork? Or while supervising breakfast and cleaning the kitchen?
- Why am I reading a Nook Book while making dinner? Or while hanging out with my husband for a few precious minutes and texting?
- Etc, etc, etc... (Please don't judge, I'm judging enough for both of us!)
So, for now my experiment with simplicity is Tasking (one thing at a time), not Multitasking (get it?), as much as is actually possible while raising several kids.
And, of course, the bottom line with that seems to be... technology (for me).
Oops, I didn't get to the stuff I really liked in the book chapter. Hmm, oh well, there will be more on this... It's good stuff. Challenging.