As I mentioned earlier this year, I am working on creating a holistic life I love. Last year was about staying silent and observing. This year is about building the life I long to live. I read something last week about finding balance in life over at (in)Courage: "Do we just let life happen to us? Or do we make deliberate choices for our home and life based on our priorities and purpose?" The author's premise was that starting the day by seeking God is the key to balance. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out what that even looks like!
There are a lot of things - good things, even - that keep getting throw onto the Must Do list. If we let in too much information, it can be overwhelming. But the good life is not about maintaining a Martha Stewart house, or cooking like Gwyneth Paltrow, or working out like Jillian Michaels. You and only you create your good life. I and only I create mine. There's a balance between creating a life and letting life just happen to us. We get to choose, within reason and circumstances, what our good life will be. And let me just put this out there: We can't do it ALL! But we can do SOME. Grace, not perfection.
My good life looks like peace and simplicity. It's about being in touch with the earth and with heaven, about living a "slow" life in a fast world. Am I living that life? Not so much right now. But I'm working on it. And part of working on that is not doing some things that many people might think to be important. And that's ok.
Robin Long, from The Balanced Life, wrote a great post last week about things she doesn't do. There are things on her list that are good, things that some people aspire to do or actually do. But she's ok with not doing them because she knows that they don't necessarily fit with her good life. I love how making a Don't List frees us to be be ok with our personal good life. So I thought I would make my own.
- I don't make juice or smoothies. They look amazing when I see other people post about them, but I don't have the equipment, time or inclination for making them myself.
- I don't bake. Never mind the fact that measuring is almost foreign to me. I simply don't have time to roll out dough and watch to make sure things don't burn. And I honestly don't have the "touch," or much of a sweet tooth. The most I bake anymore is chocolate chip cookies.
- I don't search for the best deals when grocery shopping. I know what I need and I go get it. I'm usually in and out of the grocery store within 20 minutes. I will buy store brand over name brand, so couponing is not something I do.
- I don't go to fitness classes. I used to, but I like to exercise whenever I feel like it and for free, so I zip across the way to our community gym, go for a run, or do yoga or pilates in my living room.
- I don't own a smart phone. This is sometimes a pain, to be honest, and will most likely change soon, but it's good for me to unplug when I'm out and to engage with the real world, even if it looks like a lot of tops of heads looking at their smart phones!
- I don't shop a new wardrobe each season. I would love to have a great wardrobe, sure, but it's not realistic. I buy what I need and re-wear things, sometimes several days in a row. Classic pieces go a long way, and layers are key in the winter! It saves money since I can wear all my summer clothing with another layer thrown over them.
- I don't accessorize. I wear the same few pieces of jewelry every day.
- I don't do my hair. I chopped it all off because 1. it suits me, and 2. I have no idea what to do with long hair. Never did.
- I don't mess with make-up. It takes too much time and usually looks a mess when I'm done. I still wear it, but much more pared down. We're talking concealer, mascara, brow pencil, and lipstick (sometimes) and that's usually it.
- I don't sleep in. (Unless I really, really need to.) I go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. It's an indulgent day indeed if sleeping in is allowed.
So there's my Don't List. Not doing these things frees me to do all the rest of the things I do, and even those tumble out of control sometimes! Acknowledging the Don't's allows me to focus on the Do's, and to evaluate how they fit into my good life. What is on your Don't List?