Confession: I started playing Candy Crush last night. As I drifted off to sleep after not being able to “clear all the jelly”, I realized I’m making progress on my word for 2014.
For the first time in who-knows-how-long, I had nothing better to do at 11pm than play a silly game on my phone. I wasn’t crawling into bed at 1am with my mind racing about my to-do list. I was asleep by 11:15 and had a dream about Downton Abbey.
At the most basic level, I want to create space for choice. I’m tired of running from one must-do to the next and want to have a small moment each day where the most complicated decision I have to make is Candy Crush vs. a good book.
While one is certainly more enriching than the other, more space allows for moments of joy and playfulness. And I may choose to use some of those for Candy Crush, Pinterest, or an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives.
As I’ve thought about space, I’ve made an important realization about my relationship with simple. For me, simplicity is not about deprivation but about creating space for living.
With this context in mind, I’ve started to outline the domains or areas of focus in my search for more space. Three particular desires stood out: connectedness, peacefulness, and playfulness.
Space for connectedness.
This is ultimately about time and creating space in my day. I consistently overbook myself and end up burning the candle at both ends to meet deadlines. My family and friends suffer as much as my health does.
I cannot sustain the go, go, go nor do I want to anymore. These are a few of the actions I’ll be embracing towards this end:
- Choose fewer projects and do them better.
- Be intentional when adding new tasks to the list.
- Allow generous time for every task or project.
- Delegate and say no more than feels comfortable.
In the search for space, I’ve already had to make difficult decisions about what else I will take on this year. Since January 1, I’ve launched a new free monthly planner, a new free downloads area, a new members magazine, a new video series for members, and a new workshop. These have been intentional decisions.
But late last year I had an awesome idea and I was going to add one more thing to the mix. As I’ve spent time with the idea of space this month, I realized I would be doing me and you a disservice by adding more. Less is more and I will be constantly reminding myself of this fact all year.
Space for peacefulness.
This is ultimately about stuff and creating space in my home. My scrapbook area is quite tidy after two rounds of Stash Bash, but the rest of my home has been somewhat neglected.
I have been doing pretty good about keeping the everyday messes picked up and even getting some boxes to Goodwill. But I often feel like I’m just scratching the surface. There’s a under-layer of clutter that needs to be controlled, much of it literally under me in the full-size basement.
To be honest, this is the area where I feel the most overwhelmed and intimidated. It’s the journey the feels the longest, but I know these are the actions I’ll need to embrace towards this end:
- 15 minutes daily decluttering plus 1 hour each weekend.
- Consider style and simplicity when making purchases.
- Reaching out for encouragement and support.
Along with my nervousness in this domain, I also feel the most hope. I can best envision what space looks and feels like in connection with the physical spaces in my home.
Space for playfulness.
This is ultimately about distraction and creating space in my mind. My efforts towards the first two areas should significantly impact this one, but there is one issue I want to specifically tackle: spontaneity.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten how to have fun. I’ve always been serious, but perhaps never more-so than recent years. Part of this is my own personality and where I’m at in life, but I don’t think having an iPhone in my hand 24-7 is helping.
By living with less distraction, I will create space for more spontaneity and more playfulness. I’m feeling a little uncertain how best to move forward in this domain, but these are the actions I initially intend to embrace towards this end:
- No phone/computer between 5:30 and 8:30pm on weeknights.
- No phone/computer between 8:30 and bed two nights a week.
- Consider letting go of one social media space: Twitter.
I miss jokes, funny faces, heartfelt stories, and just so much when I am checking, checking, checking whatever on my phone. I love IMDB, but I don’t really need to know the full biography of every actor. And it’s OK if emails are answered within a few hours instead of a few minutes, it really is.
Space, let’s do this.