Sunday, January 31, 2021

Word for the year, 2021

     I wanted to start a new blog in 2021.  

     Without getting into the disaster that was 2020, I'll just sit back, smile and say that all of us were very ready for a new year when the ball landed on New Years Eve.  We all looked forward with hope and joy, knowing that 2020 didn't set the bar too high for this to be a better year.  I had struggled so much with everything in 2020, and blogging was not left out of my struggles.  So with a new year, I waited and waited for inspiration to decide exactly what I was going to write about.  I wanted to start in January.  I wanted it to be a lifestyle blog.  I wanted it to be a journey that I was committed too.  I knew all of those things, but I wasn't even sure where to start.  I even began a few different blogs, and nothing really took root for whatever reason.  I had a few ideas, I had a lot of goals, and I wanted my blog as my creative outlet.  I just wasn't sure where to begin.  Yet, God has been working overtime on my heart all month long, and a few days ago, I had my "Ah-ha!" Moment.  The moment restocked my bookshelf (or my kindle, so to speak) it took root in my heart, and it encompassed all of my goals and decisions for the year.  It gave me a new inspiration to write, it made me excited, and it filled my heart.  It took until the very last week of the month, but here we are!  My word, my encouragement, and my goal for the year can be summed up in my word for the year.

My word for the year is...


     Less.  Simple.  It's only four letters.  But ya'll, that's my new favorite word.  
   In SO many ways.  
   As I mentioned, this word actually covers ALL of my goals that I have for this year.  I didn't realize it at first, until I started praying, reading and watching more than a few documentaries...  but everything comes down to just... less.
  So, how does "Less" incorporate all of my goals?  Well, let me just fill you in a bit :) 

  My health goals
  At this point in my life, my health and lifestyle goals are VERY different than they were even five years ago.  I'm now 37.  I have four kids and my oldest is three years younger than I was when I got married.  I'm a Pastors wife.  I'm very modest.  The idea of looking 'hot' is kind of out of the way.  Don't get me wrong, I want to look attractive for my husband and I don't want to let myself go, but my heatlh goals are far different from the mostly visually focused goals of my past.
   Once again, I'm 37, and have an array of health problems that are directly coorelated to my weight.  No way around it, if I would lose weight, my health issues would either lessen considerably or go away completely.  That's just factual information.  So, my goal is still to lose weight.  But not so I can 'look' a certain way.  I just need to feel better.  I want to be around to see my kids grow up.  I want to feel good when I go and do things with my children.  I don't want to take medicine my whole life, and if I'm starting at 37 that's a pretty early start to be on medications that I simply shouldn't be on because, as I mentioned again, they are directly related to my weight and lifestyle choices.  So I need to make better decisions.
   How does "less" play into that?  Well besides being cliche and saying I need "Less of me".  I've watched countless documentaries, read tons and tons of books, and tried just about every diet plan that you can bank on.  What I've come down too is that all the 'diet' plans are flawed.  Even the ones that have worked for me in the past, like weight watchers, ties me down in another area of my life that is out of sorts and needs work (my digital consumption).  So what works?  First of all, keeping it simple.  Less complicated is best.  Foods are best for you when they are close to their original, organic form and the way God made it.  Period.  So for me, my health goals are just, "less".  Less processed food.  Less processing of food.  Less complicated food goals.  Less junkfood.  Less soda.  Less sugar.  Less of the bad = a healthier lifestyle and healthy relationship with food!

My media consumption
   All of ya'll knew this was going to be on this list when you clicked on my blog :)  I have always been very conscious of my media consumption.  There is no mistaking that!  Anyone who knows me knows that about me.  But lately- its gotten a little a lot out of hand.  Ever since my family had Covid19 in December and I sepnt a week in bed and two weeks quarantine- I allowed the bad media habits I had seemed to control steep back into my life.  My screentime is ridiculous.  My kids are struggling with overstimulation and massive amounts of screentime.  I HAVE to cut back, and cut them back as well.  This is a huge goal for me, and something I want to share more in depth in a different post.  It's a deep seeded goal of mine.  LESS.  Less screen time.  Less media consumption.  Less.

   Guys, I've never been very transparent about this issue.  I don't think it was until I started even beginning to look at the lifestyles of minimalists to understand just how bad this problem was.  No- I have realized it.  I realized it at Chrsitmas, when I just shopped and shopped and consumed and consumed.  I rejoined ipsy in January.  Ipsy?  I have so many makeup brushes just taking them out and cleaning them takes me about thirty minutes!  Not to mention I have (even after giving away several) around seven eyeshadow palettes!  And the oldest palette was purchased in July.  Really?  I don't need makeup.  I just feel the need to consume.  By the time I finally make my grocery list on Fridays we have already eaten out the first four days of the week.  
   I have realized that spending has a twofold problem.  Not only does spending more mean that we are stretched for money and we can't do the things we enjoy, it also means that we can't follow our dreams.  Also, from watching youtube videos I've learned that everything that we buy has to be tended too once we bring it home.  That was so eye opening to me.  Part of decluttering is not bringing in new things that we don't need.   So, I need to work on spending less....

   And finally, the big one..  STRESS!
    Stress in my life has to become less.  I always feel stressed, from the moment I wake up until I lay down, I feel like I exist in a constant state of stress.  Do you ever feel that way?  Before I decided "less" was going to be my word, my first thought was "peace."  I told Stephen that I didn't understand why I could never seem to be at peace.  Why I always felt really anxious.  We went on vacation and I felt less stressed for the first time in a long time.  What is it about vacation?  I thought a lot about that, and realized that a lot of it has to do with just being in a hotel.  Why is a hotel always so non-stressful for me?  It has the opposite on a lot of people (ahem- my sisters :)  Love yall.  )  But for me, its always been so non-stressful.  After our trip, I told Stephen one night that vacation was less stressful for me because I wasn't at home.  That didn't make sense even to me when I said it, because I LOVE my home guys.  I really love my home.  BUT- when I'm on vacation I'm not always cleaning.  Cleaning and cleaning creates a sense of anxiety for me that I can't explain.  It really stresses me.  So I honestly believe that's what it is about being on vacation for me.  I am not constantly stressed because I'm not always picking up.  
   After lots and lots of books, articles, youtube videos and prayers, I've come to the conclusion that all of our stuff creates a really really unhealthy sense of stress in my life.  I'm always picking up.  There's always "stuff" all over my house.  I didn't even realize it until the The Minimal Mom said that you have to mind every object that you bring in the house.  And I spend so much time 'tending' to the stuff that we have!  I spend more time dealing with 'stuff' than I do caring for my family.  I spend all day, everyday, tending to things.  I think that was my "AHA!" moment, when I realized what was really causing me stress in my home, was that I just couldn't relax at all!
   So my friends, in 2021, I'm on a journey of "less".  There's hopefully going to be a lot of 'less' in my life, and I pray that the Less tends to more.  More time with my family.  More time to cook and prepare meals.  More time to read Gods word and work on my spirutual relationship with him.  Less cleaning and more playing with board games and spending time outdoors.  So I'm using this blog, this year to chronicle my personal journey through less, and trying to find out the age old question...
  Is "Less" actually more?
   Love ya'll!


1 comment:

  1. Love love this!!! I am praying for you my friend that 2021 brings less! Love you and praying always!