I’ve been slowing down a lot lately, thinking of what I want my life to provide me with, reflecting on which direction I’d like it to go. A sick baby and lack of sleep have forced me to reserve my energy and prioritize my activities. It’s a good time to reflect.

When I turn to self-reflection, I like to think about why I chose – why I keep choosing – to move towards simplicity.  I say “move towards” because I see simple living as something fluid, a process rather than a destination. Life is not static, and neither is simple living.

Sometimes, when the baby needs to be carried once again, when the nights are long and foggy, it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other.

I remember back in the old days, spending money on things, even used things, for the thrill of shopping. I was never outrageous about shopping, but I did get sucked into it. I knew things don’t bring happiness, but I enjoyed the (short-lived) thrill of making a purchase and having something new in the house.

What makes me happy now?

  • My little family
  • The opportunity to live according to my own values
  • Having a warm, welcoming home
  • Interesting and challenging work
  • Having time to reflect

I coud add: cinnamon rolls, an inspiring book, good conversation.

Of course, each one of these nuggets is a condensed version of a bigger idea. Each one holds its own world of beauty, yes, but also its distinctive trials to navigate. (Except for cinnamon rolls. They’re pure joy.)

My list will change with the seasons. And I try to remember to be forgiving with myself if my actions don’t always perfectly coincide with my aspirations. We’re not here to be perfect.

Your list will surely be different from mine, and that’s a wonderful thing. Diversity rocks! But if you’re reading this, it’s because we share something in common. We are all looking for room to breathe and time to do what really matters.

If you come to a day where the weight of your child feels heavy on your hip, where you feel tired and overwhelmed, stop right there. Pull out your pen and paper or your computer, or your phone, and jot down your happy list.

See? You’re already putting one foot in front of the other. You may be moving slow, but you’re slowly moving forward.


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