Photo by UrbanKudos
She wakes early before the family and takes some quiet time. Centered she helps the family get ready for school – they have checklists and do most of it on their own. Things were set out the night before so the family leaves on time. Dinner is thrown into the crockpot.
Now she heads to work. Perhaps her job is taking care of young kids. Perhaps she is at a job she adores and feels she makes a difference. Perhaps she works just 4 days a week or job shares so she can leave in time to pick the kids up at school.
Her work day is planned the night before and she knows what is most important to work on. She only checks her email 3 times and stays focused on her work.
At lunch she and a co-worker chat as they take a walk outside. They stop at a park bench to eat their yogurt, vegetables and sandwhich before heading back to work.
Throughout the day she checks in with herself to see whether she needs anything or needs to deal with some feelings.
The last few minutes of work she clears her desk and makes a list for the next day as is her habit. She knows, because she has tracked times, what is a reasonable schedule.
She picks up her kids and they have a quick snack & talk before going on to after school activities. They have made sure that no one is overwhelmed by the amount of activities. Tomorrow she is looking forward to mentoring a young child after school.
When they get home one of the kids sets the table and the other will do the dishes later. It was a fight when she first instituted family chores, but she kept at it and now the kids are used to it. Dinner is at a leisurely pace where the family connects with one another. After dinner and family chores, homework is done with the parents doing paperwork, bills or reading so it’s quiet. Perhaps then they put on some music and dance around, or go for a bike ride, or play a game, or have friends over for ice cream. As a family they have decided no more than 2 evenings a week will be spent away from the home.
Before bed the family does a quick 10 minute pickup of the house, lays out their clothes and things they’ll need for the next day after looking at the calendar. She takes out the meat to thaw in the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner.
When the kids go to bed the parents share about their day and maybe read or journal a little before bed.
She has made conscious choices about what is important to her. She knows people are first for her. Some things like checking her email at night, watching lots of TV, excess meetings and having a picture perfect home she has let go of. And she has created habits that help her create a simpler life.
Your simpler life may be different. You may have different priorities. Things won’t always go smoothly (though having time margins make things easier). But, perhaps this picture can help you think of how your simpler life could look like.