I am not the best at “simple.”
Which either makes me unqualified to write about it, or extremely qualified.
I’ve been craving simplicity lately, though. I want fewer things, less clutter. I want streamlined, I want clean. I want real and true. I want one gorgeous cashmere sweater that I paid full price for and makes me feel like a million bucks, instead of five mediocre tops that I grabbed because they were on sale and, hey, I had a coupon.
Life has never been more full. As my children grow, my ambitions grow. My time becomes more sacred. The ways in which I can divide myself become more finite.
And I’ve become the careful curator of all things in my orbit. I don’t have time, or mental space, or patience, for cheap, draining, complicated or fake.
Motherhood put everything I owned and everything I knew about myself, put it in a box and shook it up. Then it handed me back this box of things, disheveled and disorganized, that I had to take out and examine.
Turns out I didn’t want the job back. I tossed that away and created a new path, with meandering intention, but always with clear purpose. Other things I didn’t need: energy-zapping friendships, 22 shades of nail polish, maternity leggings even though they’re so comfortable, moments spent trying to be something I’m not and books I didn’t like and will never read again.
Writing was something I had put in the box even before motherhood. I felt so relieved to take it out again.
I embraced yoga as a foundational element of my life. A requirement for sanity. To me, yoga is simple. I could start doing some yoga right now, with no prior plan or preparation. I have a mat and I wear comfy clothes, but I could really do yoga without those things. I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s between me and me. I keep my eyes closed for most of class.
And in business, I’m streamlining. Developing systems. Giving myself permission to pay for programs and tools that make it all easier. Writing out processes even though no one else but me needs to know them, so that it becomes a simple outline to repeat for each new client, thoughtless in the best sense of the word.
Simple has also come in the form of clarity. Honing my understanding of what I want and what I don’t want: the work I want to do, the clients I want to take on. What works for my schedule, what doesn’t. What I’m interested in and what makes me feel stagnant.
I don’t do it on purpose. It’s just that I have a lot of ideas, and I want to do all of them and well, and am compelled to live up to my own high standards. At some point, though, it all starts to feel really complex and I start to burn out. I’ve never liked that, but over the past year or so I’ve started to really not like it, to feel itchy and unsettled in my creation of such unnecessary striving.
I want ease.
I want simple.
What I’ve found is that the more I take away, the more I get quiet and hone, the clearer I am. And I stop craving simplicity and start living in it.
MotherHustle panelist Stacy Firth is a writer and content strategist who helps moms who are small business owners and solopreneurs create online content that keeps it real. She also leads workshops that help mamas lead a lit-up life, and is mama to two. You can find her on her website or on Instagram at @stacyrfirth.
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