Simple Living – From Chaos To Zen

If our time here ended tomorrow, would you be satisfied with the way your life story played out?

I think for many of us, it’s so easy to fall into the same, and often times, rushed daily routine.

By the time you wake up, get ready for the day and rush out the door to work, the morning hours have come and gone. We spend a majority of our days at work – away from home and away from our families. No sooner than we finish putting in a full day’s worth of work at a job that we may or may not even like, it’s time to sit in rush hour traffic just to hurry home.

From there we have just a few, short hours before the evening must come to an end. This time is often spent taking care of the necessities in life like paying bills, preparing dinner and completing household chores. If you have children, we must also balance after school sports, activities, meetings and homework.

It’s not long before it is time to call it a night and get some sleep only to wake up and start the same day all… over…. again. If there is not enough time at the end of the day to fit all of this in, at least we have the weekends to catch up before Monday brings us to the fresh start of the new week, right?

Some of us like to think we have it all and this is just part of living a busy, successful life. I, on the other hand, feel like I am juggling more balls than a paid clown at the traveling Barnum and Bailey Circus.

There’s No Time To Smell The Roses

If our days are filled with noise and chaos from the moment we wake up and doesn’t end until the moment we go to bed, when do we have time to enjoy the things in life that we want to enjoy?

I decided to make a list of everything I wanted to do with my life as well as the things I wish I had more time for.

My Perfect Simple Living Wish List

  • Slow down and spend more quality time with my family
  • Appreciate my health and body by eating healthier and regaining a more active lifestyle
  • Reach my goal weight
  • Learn how to cook from scratch
  • Get lost in a good book
  • Have more time to blog
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Give back to the community – help those in need
  • Life life on my terms
  • Be in the moment and embrace it, rather than trying to always multi-task
  • Live a good, simple life

Life’s Hardships Start To Weigh In

For the past several months, I have had a series of humbling experiences that have really brought awareness to the fact that our time here is not only limited, but valuable. I found myself pondering two, powerful thoughts.

I fear that my children will grow up before my very eyes, and I was too busy to enjoy them. That fear came became a reality when I realized that my oldest son, whom I remember as a little one like it was yesterday, would be able to start driving in just 12 short months. My second child, who is only 7 at the time, is too big to sit on my lap. My ‘baby’, who is currently 4, is not such a baby anymore. And my youngest child, who I vividly recount celebrating her first birthday at a restaurant with her very first cupcake just last week, wasn’t last week. It was almost a year ago.

The other thought I have been thinking about is that at this rate, time will only continue to fly by and I will be at a place in my life where I look back with regret that I didn’t utilize my time more wisely. Will I look back and regret that I didn’t spend more quality time with my children after they are grown? Will I wish I worked out more and ate healthier before my health starts to fail me? Will I wish that I took a little bit of time out of each day to relax and embrace the constant activity of my house being in full swing before all four of my children grow up and move out?

You see, we get so caught up in everyday life that we forget just how quickly time really does pass us by. Each day, we set out to accomplish our goals for the day – go to work, take care of the kids, pay the bills, clean the house, run errands, etc. Yet, that is what most of our lives are filled with doing.

And you can’t get that time back. You can not bring yesterday back.

These thoughts, my friends, are really hard for me to swallow.

You Are Not Alone

What I am going through happens to most of us. We didn’t do anything wrong either! We work hard and do our best to survive the noise and craziness of life.

But do we have to live this way? I found myself asking aloud, “What if I could just simplify my life so I could focus on what really matters to me?”

I am not speaking of an extremist living in an isolated part of the world with no civilization around to interrupt my quest, but what if I could eliminate most of the drama, stressors and chaos in my life so I could focus on what I find valuable and makes me genuinely happy? To live a full, gratifying and content life so at the end of my journey, I can reflect back on it with beautiful memories of love, laughter and pure enjoyment, and that life didn’t pass by, and I was too busy and distracted to realize and appreciate it.

What Does It All Mean?

It means that we have a choice. We have a choice to continue living the way that we are or we have the choice to change the way that we live.

I am about to change my life. I am going to start focusing on what really matters to me and focus on decluttering and eliminating the rest so I can live, God willing, a long, happy and fulfilling life.

What about you? Do you have a lot of stress, junk and noise in your life, too? Do you want to live a more simple, fulfilling life?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image- Flickr/Creative Commons/Mostague