I had no idea how to keep my life simple. If you had my responsibilities, problems, and family, you would have a jungle to sort through, too. I had to keep everything afloat in my marriage.
I seemed to be the one responsible for all the errands and projects in the family. I kept everything shipshape in the house with the bills paid and ironing done. I even cleaned the house every Saturday from the ceiling to the floors. If you visited me, you knew I was a good person because we had a clean house. I fed the family, dressed the children, took them to their music lessons, and other activities. I taught all week, worked off hours in our printing business, and did the yard work on Sundays.
I was familiar to crisis, chaos, and turmoil. There was always more to do in a day than I could complete. My jobs, my children, and husband took priority. There was no time to get my projects done or for myself. With my mind in a muddle and frantically searching for answers, my vision was distorted and preoccupied.
My focus was on everything around me to keep me out of the real focal point that needed to be addressed and resolved. Concerns of “what if” and magnifying the issues took away my clarity. There were so many distractions, that when I tried to move through them they kept me from actually reaching what was needed to be resolved.
As my family grew up and left home, I still had to teach daily and in every minute not teaching I was working in our business. Finally, with my divorce and recovery from my many medical issues, learning to reset my attention to myself and not allow those extraneous diversions get in the way of my progress, made sense.
Self-defeating barriers were stopping my progress. I needed serenity and good orderly direction to proceed. In patience, I can see more clearly the simple steps to achievements and resolutions. A plain straightforward approach is productive and uncomplicated.
Trying to control the outcome or anticipate everything that can go wrong complicates the issue. It only stresses me out. Reacting from past fearful habits rather than current necessity is not prudent. Feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed makes it more complicated in my mind. Taking more on than I can handle at this moment is unrealistic and overpowering. Needing to see things as they really are, at face value, removes all the fifty things that might or might not follow.
Approaching a project step by step keeps it simple. Putting the steps into manageable stages rather than all at once is a handy way to reduce the complexity. Learning the story of “How do you eat an elephant?” was helpful to me. “When I heard one bite at a time”, my frustration reduced and I could determine the next small step. My new understanding was just doing the next right thing. I could relax and be gentler with myself. Surprisingly, I could eventually get where I was going.
This week we are experiencing an extreme heat wave. I do not keep the house full of food because walking through the grocery story is painful with my arthritis. However, I sensed that I should stop and shop as I drove by the store early in the week. Now, I had milk and the other needed items for my cupboard.
Then, I was informed that my friend needed help because of the extensive heat wave. I phoned her and immediately knew I had to get her out of her overly hot house or she would not make it. She is elderly and not in good health. I picked her up and then needed to fix meals while she was here. Luckily, I had food.
Because my knees hurt from standing to cook meals, I eat what is easy. What could I feed company? I realized I had enough soup from earlier in the week. What could I put with it? I had picked up salad makings and I could handle standing to put that together if I did not have other cooking. I had thawed strawberries the day before. If I made biscuits to bake while I made the salad, we could have strawberry shortcake.
This could be a simple meal instead of a full meal of meat, potatoes, vegetables, salad, etc. without my being in too much pain. She loved the soup make from corned beef broth, meat, and beans. The green salad was refreshing in the hot weather. The desert was a nice touch. A simple meal did the trick.
The biggest project I ever tackled was writing, “Paradigm Busters, Reveal the Real You”. How do you write a volume that is 600 pages? I was told about half way through the project by a naysayer, I would never finish it.
Well, thank goodness, I had an editor that set me down and we proceeded to put the chapters in order along with the extra pages of prologue, introduction, etc. Sorting out where the pieces fit became a puzzle. Then, we had to do that within each chapter. Would the 600 pages ever be printed for people to have the information?
I started to put it together one chapter at a time within the framework, we had designed. That each sentence had to be in a sequence and make sense within the chapter was hair pulling. However, with her calm approach to rewrite sentences for clarity, gradually it came together, line by line. It had become a sentence-by-sentence project. For two years, I was not able to work on the book; I needed a break.
Then I got a second wind. After 25 years of this process, the book was completed. It did get to press and printed. What a process to keep simple. However, it did work. Now the book is available on Amazon.com. I am so proud that I did not give up in the middle of the process. It is the ultimate book for personal and spiritual growth. It has stories, tools, and my experiences that work.
Keeping it simple for small or big ventures work for me today. It makes life better without the overwhelming trying to do it all at once and determining the outcome. I am eating the elephant more often today, one bite at a time.
Web site is Angelicasgifts.com
Blog is marilynredmondbooks.blogspot.com
Lectures, interviews, and spiritual information on You Tube at