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spoonie

What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

I came across this post sometime early in 2017, and it made a lot of sense. I thought it’s worth reposting, not only for others but also to reference for myself at some stage. Just in case the post disappears I guess.


What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?

What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?

What if I never build an orphanage in Africa but send bags of groceries to people here and there and support a couple of kids through sponsorship. What if I just offer the small gifts I have to the world and let that be enough.

What if I don’t want to write a cookbook or build a six-figure business or speak before thousands. But I write because I have something to say and I invest in a small community of women I care about and encourage them to love and care for themselves well. Because bigger isn’t always better and the individual matters. She is enough.

What if I just accept this mediocre body of mine that is neither big nor small. Just in between. And I embrace that I have no desire to work for rock hard abs or 18% body fat. And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me. Take me or leave me.

What if I am a mediocre home manager who rarely dusts and mostly maintains order and makes real food but sometimes buys pizza and who is horrified at moments by the utter mess in some areas of her home. Who loves to menu plan and budget but then breaks her own rules and pushes back against rigidity. Who doesn’t care about decorating and fancy things. Whose home is humble but safe.

What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, Spirit, Soul healthy. Am I enough?

What if I am too religious for some and not spiritual enough for others. Non-evangelistic. Not bold enough. Yet willing to share in quiet ways, in genuine relationship, my deeply rooted faith. And my doubts and insecurities. This will have to be enough.

And if I have been married 21 years and love my husband more today than yesterday but have never had a fairy tale romance and break the “experts” marriage rules about doing a ton of activities together and having a bunch in common. And we don’t. And we like time apart and time together. Is our marriage good enough?

What if I am a mom who delights in her kids but needs time for herself and sometimes just wants to be first and doesn’t like to play but who hugs and affirms and supports her kids in their passions. A mediocre mom who can never live up to her own expectations of good enough, let alone yours.

What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same. Accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.


Source: https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/want-mediocre-life/

Stretched thin

My original plan or expectation was to write at least one article a month, and now I’ve hit a speed bump only a few months in. A lack of time and being ‘stretched thin”. So to keep up with the expectation of myself to do one post per month I thought I’d write about why I haven’t had the time and also reflect on it.

The end of financial year for work certainly increases the workload for myself, while most people would find themselves busy. They may not reflect on the consequences or a “snowball effect” of being too busy. While I’m busy keeping up with the demands and expectations of clients at work, of which can also be unrealistic and unthoughtful at times. It spills out into my personal life, the house becomes a mess, things don’t get done. The dishes and washing piles up or the clean ones sit around and don’t get put away. General cleaning doesn’t get done. Clutter starts to build up on things you haven’t dealt with, the physical health is already affected and then the mental one of all the things you need to do creeps in, and starts to stress you out. Then the stress, in turn, starts to affect you physically. The majority of my week nights and weekends have been spent finishing up small bits of work to meet others expectations or resting because I have nothing left in the tank to continue. It is also my responsibility to manage these things, and also speak out when I need to with other co-workers.

It’s upon this reflection I wonder if I should look at a career change to suit my own needs and wants for the future, something that I can achieve a manageable work and life balance, that’s not going to stress or exhaust me. There’s also continued reflection that looking after myself, on my own is becoming a struggle, and it’s not something someone in their mid 30’s wants to start to deal with or think about at an early age in the life span. When work gets so busy it affects everything around it, my health and the people around me. Of which I don’t want my illness to affect anyone.

So I guess this post is to meet that expectation of a post a month, even though there’s no real content behind it. Other than to reflect that I’ve stretched myself too thin.

Chronically Minimalist

“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labours of life reduce themselves.” – Edwin Way Teale

The quote above couldn’t ring true anymore as I write this post.

I’ve always had some fascination with minimalism, and with minimalism you’ll find different interpretations. Minimalist interior design, advertising and graphic design, architecture, and fashion design.

If you look at minimalist interior design, you’ll see a lot of white and not much else. But minimalism isn’t about having nothing, it may be for those “extremists” but for most people it’s about having enough, not less. Valuing the things you have, rather than things that are of value. Make sense? Good.

I don’t call myself a minimalist yet, maybe “practising minimalist”. I have a lot to learn and still a long way to go. In the movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays a character who says a line ‘it’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process”, and that to me is what minimalism is. It’s not something that will happen overnight. To me, minimalism is about valuing the things you have, and “reducing the needless wants of life”.

“Being” a minimalist became more of forethought during 2016 when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, called Fibromyalgia (call this a “coming out” party for a raging illness). While I’d already begun on my journey to having less, it fell into place more with a life changing diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness of widespread muscle and joint pain, accompanied with fatigue, cognitive disturbance and responses to emotions. This is the pain pathways in the brain saying “everything hurts”, it’s also a lengthy diagnosis and not found by a simple blood test, or X-ray.

During the time it took for a diagnosis (approx. 2 years), I continued that process of minimising. I culled my wardrobe, books, kitchen utensils, and in my cupboard. Seriously, why do I need 25 coffee cups?

As I’ve slowly got myself to a stage where I don’t have a lot of possessions (I’m not an extremist though). I find I make less mess, I spend less time cleaning. I spend less time doing those time-consuming chores when we all want to be reading a book and having a cup of coffee. Things are organised, I can find what I’m looking for, and I don’t lose things either.

Everything I now have, I value. I still have the same creature comforts as any house will have. But what do you do with all that excess stuff though? Recycle, donate, give it away, sell it. Use the money and take yourself on a holiday!

Dedicate some time now to it, and you’ll have more time do doing things you want to do rather than need or must do. For me, this expends an already limited energy supply. So, if I spend less time cleaning and doing all those chores, I won’t need to worry about them so much when I have a flare-up with my illness.

Have you ever noticed when your house is clean and tidy, your mind is at ease? You’re not distracted by anything you need to do. Like the vacuuming or the dishes, washing the clothes or seeing the light hit the dust on a shelf.

You’ll find your headspace is well improved and you’ll be more productive.

Minimalism, give it a try. You might just like it.