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My Laryngitis Epiphany

It's time to simplify life, in every nook and cranny. Up this month? Simplifying work routines.

A couple of weeks ago, I lost my voice for a few days.

You probably lost your hearing because my children were cheering so loudly.

At any rate, it’s been years since I lost my voice. It was like a crazy, out-of-body experience. I could see the words and speak them, but nothing came out. The ‘ol “we can’t hear you” joke got old. Fast. In addition to losing my voice, I felt like junk. In fact, in a 72-hour period, I stayed in the same pajamas and never showered. Sorry, TMI. I couldn’t sleep worth a darn, so I did what any self-respecting mom of six would do.

I binge drank hot tea and got lost in some seriously awesome podcasts. I know. The life. I’m living it.

During those wee hours at 2, 3 and 4am, I started doing some praying and reflecting and listening. Yes, Serial was really that good. But so was the peace and quiet. I started looking around my house, peeking in the nooks and crannies of my soul and taking a hard look at the cobwebs of my life and came to realize one simple conclusion.

There is too much stuff.

Too many clothes and too many toys. Too many trophies and too many knick knacks. Too much digital clutter and too much debt. Too many couch potatoes and not enough gratitude. Too much noise and not enough Jesus.

So the Mr. and I are doing something about it.

We were inspired by Courtney and her Simple Year project. And while the next sign up for her official class doesn’t occur until January, I knew I didn’t necessarily need a guide on how to simplify, I just needed the motivation. Enter: no voice.

It’s funny when you lose your main source of communication. You start finding other ways to connect with people and in doing so, I realized just how many parts of my life need decluttering, simplifying and downsizing. As Scott recently said, “I’m tired of keeping up with all this stuff when what I really want to do is spend time with people that I love.”

It’s true. I’m tired of picking up the gameroom, organizing the closets and cleaning the kitchen. I want more time to watch Harry Potter and take walks with the kids. The reality is? I already have the time, I’m just not using it to my advantage. Right now, I’m all SQUIRREL. And that has to stop. It’s not that I don’t love organizing our home and making it beautiful and functional – that part of me is staying intact, don’t you worry. It’s just that I want to be intentional about the time I have. And, I fully realize that I cannot organize my entire life 30 days so we’re taking one thing every month to make a priority.

I’m asking y’all to help keep me accountable.

June’s focus? WORK.

Eek. It’s appropriate because work is so tricky for me during the summer months. I have so much to complete, but the kids are home and I feel this constant struggle to be two places at once. At the end of June, I’ll let you know the progress we’ve made. Right now, it’s about putting systems in place. For me, that means setting aside time at night to work, a designated day to blog for the week and making sure there’s plenty of time for connecting with Scott and being with the kids.

Tall order, but I think we’re ready.

What is your biggest work struggle?

12 Comments

  1. Deme on June 19, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Oh Girl, I am right. there. with. you. It really hit me as I was stuck on the couch with a newborn baby – how much time we waste trying to manage all the STUFF. And how misplaced our desires have become. Work is such an appropriate place to start during the summer. James and I were just chatting about this very thing last night. Can’t wait to keep up on your progress!

  2. verdina on June 19, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I need your energy and motivation! My daughter was here in March from CA. She got me started on organizing, but I’ve hardly done a thing since she left and she’s coming back next month. I look at what has to be done and think, “someone should do something about this.” I wonder who that will be?

  3. Julie G on June 19, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Once again you have nailed it! My biggest struggle since resigning from working out of the home is trying not to get too focused on work inside the home. I try to schedule certain days and times for household work which only I can do, try to include the kids with helping on things that are appropriate for them to do and allow for time that is strictly devoted to members of our household. It’s always a challenge because that messy closet seduces me sometimes and the dirty floors lure me but I try hard to put those things In a time limited box and then move on. I can get back to that work when it is scheduled for the next time, it doesn’t all have to be done at once.

    • Karen on June 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Julie, thank you for articulating what I trying to figure out to say! Yes, this is exactly it for me too. Now that I’m not working at a job somewhere, for the first time since college, I find myself channeling my energy into work at home whether it be keeping the house somewhat neat and organized, or volunteer work. And yelling at my kids too much instead of getting in their space. I have four, FOUR, different volunteer things I do, actually it’s more like five or six but a couple are on hold or part of a broader role) and I am homeschooling my oldest (until I can plot a move to Catholic school). It’s completely ridiculous.

      • Julie G on June 20, 2015 at 8:00 am

        Well, I am normal after all!

  4. Lauren on June 19, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I work outside the home only one day a week. As such, I don’t have the organizational systems in place like many full-time working moms I know have. I am not organized by nature. I stay up way too late, all the time, but it is particularly relevant on Sunday night because I go to work on Mondays. I am so exhausted at work (and additionally, have an on my feet all day lifting patients, etc kind of job) and dead to the world by the time I get home. I’m pretty useless on Monday evenings, which I feel so guilty about because it isn’t fair to my family. I need to get myself organized with a Monday routine (and a Sunday bedtime!) so things run more smoothly and I’m not too spent for my family on Monday evening.

    Also, I’ve been feeling similarly that we have too much stuff. But so far for me, the only thing worse than the thought of drowning in all the stuff, is the work required to do something about it. It’s a gargantuan task and every time I think about starting it, I get so overwhelmed and decide instead to sit down to read some blogs. Oops. Any advice for someone who isn’t organized by nature, doesn’t love organizing, and therefore can’t seem to find the motivation to even BEGIN? Ugh. Maybe we can hold each other accountable?

    • Kathryn on June 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      I think you always have to start in the place that brings you the most stress. Make a small list of how you want to improve it, with a deadline, and get after it. And, find an accountability buddy. Maybe it’s a good friend who keeps you motivated, or maybe it’s planning an event at your house that you know will light your fire! I think we all go through seasons where we struggle and even those of us that are organized by nature have those same challenges. You can do it, Lauren!

  5. Lisa Schmidt on June 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

    HOLY LEISURE! 🙂 Awesome! Sounds like we’re leading similar journeys! Joel and I are working toward intentionally setting aside time weekly to systemically go through our belongings, to “touch and handle” each item. Does it speak to our heart? Spark true joy? Truly function as a need/asset for daily living? If yes, we keep it. If no, we dispose/donate. My biggest struggle is finding a time each week when my energy levels aren’t so depleted that this just becomes one big source of stress rather than a therapeutic release. (The clothes closets are another beast, and I still haven’t figured out how to tackle those! We’ve tried a few systems and they aren’t working. So inspire me, girl!)

    Short term, our goal is to get our home ready to place on the market. It may sound crazy, and I have no idea where and when we are being called, but I intuitively know God is preparing us for a move. Like you guys, our life goal is to live more simply, with fewer things and distractions so that holy leisure simply becomes woven into the very fabric of our daily lives.

    • Kathryn on June 23, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Can I just say – again – how much I wish we lived closer?!

  6. Nicole on June 22, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Oh my goodness. Do I need to jump on this train?! WAY too much stuff for me, the hubby, and the kids. Heck – even the dogs! We have something coming up early next year that will require a huge adjustment to our household, and all I can think about right now is that we need to clear out – STAT! – before that actually happens. My husband actually bought me “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” as a starting point. Extreme in its method from what I hear (just started reading), but maybe that’s what I need. Extreme.

    At work, my arch nemesis is my email. Everything comes in to me via email and it get SO overwhelming. If I could remember to just hit delete, unsubscribe, and file at first click, life would be easier. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. I look for reminders and signs (like your post) as yet another opportunity to redirect/reprioritize/refuel. Thanks for the kick!

  7. Steph on June 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Check out the becoming a minimalist board on bsbycenter website. Good ideas , inspiration etc. For too much stuff

  8. Steph on June 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Oops babycenter

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