Each year as January rolls around, thousands upon thousands of people make long lists of the good deeds they are going to accomplish to make themselves healthy, wealthy and wise. I used to do the same. You know the resolutions: hitting the gym, eating fewer calories, spending extra time with the kids (the dog, the cat or the spouse), putting a few dollars each month into the savings account, and for some of us- getting five pages a day written.
There were many years I swore I’d double the number of sit-ups and push-ups I’d do each day. That worked fine until my back went into spasm. I carefully shopped for lots of vegetables only to have half of them rot in the fridge before I invented yet another creative mix. My words on the pages did grow, but often they needed far more editing than I wished were necessary. Spending extra time with my family always felt great, except for when I was simultaneously taking a mental inventory of what chores were waiting.
This year I have promised myself to approach it all differently. No resolutions. No promises I either am not able to keep or really don’t even want to keep. No lists of the character flaws I wish I could fix through the magic of a new year beginning after midnight. Rather, I have decided that 2013 will be The Year of Simplicity.
This means my closets are getting cleaned- extraneous stuff is getting tossed or making its way to the Good Will Store. I really don’t need black pumps from the early ‘90s that have worn heels. My kitchen cupboards are being sorted tomorrow. I noticed there are four boxes of the same cereal. I don’t even like cereal so either my poor husband is going to be eating it twice a day or I’ll be mixing it in with the dog food. Have you looked under your bathroom sink lately? I did today. It’s frightening. Two days ago I started organizing my dresser drawers. I had underwear in all colors and styles imaginable. Notice the past tense in that sentence. I now have basically one style in black and in a nude color.
When we travel to Europe we can go a few weeks with a carry-on satchel and one roller bag. No checked luggage. We always seem to have enough. Hah! Does that apply when traveling by car? No way. We took a family vacation over the Christmas holiday. Our kids met us at the rental house. So, my husband and I were the only ones in the car, along with four suitcases, a cooler, the Kitchen Aid mixer (all 25 pounds of it), the pasta attachments for the Kitchen Aid (not my doing), Christmas presents, skis and all that goes with it, about 50 DVDs, and much more. We were totally crammed in. And this is a good-sized SUV.
This leads me back to my New Year’s Resolution- Simplicity. I’m sure this is going to work. How could it not? The closets will be neat and tidy. They will only hold the basics we need, plus I’ll be able to find everything. I have even organized my shoes and clothes by season and by color. It will be perfect for easy dressing.
Now, my only challenge is to figure out what to do with the massive piles mounded on the floor in the kitchen, bathrooms, dressing room and hallway of all the things that I can’t bear to part with. This might require Simplicity Plan Part B.