In Search of a Simpler Life

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The other night I found myself in that place again. Lying in bed, lights off, eyes wide open, staring at the wall. I was going over the days events over and over and over again, trying to remember what had happened, and maybe pinpoint what I maybe had missed.

I felt empty.

I had woken up that morning with no particular goals in mind. I had flown through our morning routine, somehow blending it into our afternoon routine, and then... there I was- lying in bed, not knowing where my day had gone.

This is the exact place that I had been in, when I decided to cancel comment on my blog. The I'm-missing-out-on-my-life, part.

So I tossed and I turned. I listened to the baby breathe, in her bassinet beside the bed. I listened to my husband chomp his mouth open and closed, as he must have been dreaming he was a horse eating grass. I listened to the cat crunch her food in the closet, the dishwasher run its rinse cycle, and the clock in Eleanore's room down the hall, tick tock itself into another hour of the night.

After my thoughts chased each other through the loopy maze behind my eyes, I came to a difficult yet sensible conclusion. Very similar to the one that I had made months ago, only this time I knew it would involve more than just myself.

I want a simple kind of life.

I don't know if anybody else does this or not, maybe its just me and I'm totally crazy (which I am), but- I often compare myself to women from history. Not a specific date in history, just history in general.

When I'm having a really hard day, where everything seems to be going wrong, I imagine that theres a woman going through the exact same thing, but 100 years ago. Can you imagine, all 3 of your kids catching the flu at the same time, one hundred yeras ago? Theres no urgent care to take them to. Theres no DVD to distract them. No Twitter friends to distract you. No pedialite, no popsicles, no anything. You just had to deal with it.

Constantly, I remind myself of this. When I'm bitching about my husband being away working late again- well what about the woman with 3 kids whos husband went to war and never came home? When I'm throwing a tantrum about having not left the house in two weeks- well at least I have a home, and I should learn to love it the way that it is.

See that picture up there, of the hearts on the teacups? My friend Carrie was over, and noticed it as we were in the kitchen making hot chocolate. ...Seriously? The way that the light comes in as the sun is setting, projects love through my window? ...I was in awe. Its something that I would have never noticed, had she not pointed it out. Those teacups had been sitting there for a month, and never once did I see that. The sun rises and sets every day, and- I'm just blind sometimes, to the most beautiful things.

Sometimes I'm so busy, doing the stupid things that I think are important, that I end up missing out on my own life.

When Charlie filled his mini dump truck with chex. I didn't see it as it happened. I didn't get to watch his face as he figured out how cool it would be to transfer the cereal from one of the window to the other. It wasn't until later that night, after the kids were in bed and I was picking up, that I stumped upon it. My face softened, my heart skipped a beat. ...where had I been when he was doing that? Whatever it was, it couldn't have been that important.

The changes that I've made just aren't enough.

I'm done with wasting my time. I'm done keeping up with everyone else- and by that I mean the world. I'm done wanting the things that I don't have and wishing there was something better. I'm done comparing myself to others. I'm done lying in bed at night wondering what the hell I missed out on, because I was too busy doing things that don't matter.

I want a simple kind of life.
And I've never wanted anything so badly, before.

Sometimes I wish that the internet had never become. I think back to the days of when Eleanore was a newborn. We didn't have a computer, then. It was just me, my baby, my husband, and our home. I had all of the time in the world, to do what I wanted. If I wanted to start a project, I could. Not only could I start it, but I could finish it. Those days maybe seemed "boring" at the time, and I'm quoting myself there, but- now that I'm able to look back at it with a straight head on my shoulders, I see that it wasn't boring at all. It was just simple.

So I took a step in the right direction. I logged into my facebook page, and I started cleaning house. I thought that maybe if I unclogged the drain that had become of my wall, maybe it wouldn't be quite so overwhelming. I dismissed anybody that I didn't communicate with on there. Or anybody that wasn't a close friend, but more of an acquaintance. Or anyone that I went to high school with that I wasn't friends with then, and still aren't friends with, and why did I ever accept their friend requests in the first place anyways? ...I dwindled it down to the bare minimum. Close friends, and family. By the time I was finished, I had gotten rid of something like 70 people- and I turned my facebook into a private place again. There was nothing personal about it, it was just something that I had to do in order to breathe.

But as you can imagine, in this day and age, apparently unfriending someone on facebook, is like slamming a door in their face and giving them the finger. Who knew? So with that, came drama. Which is the opposite of what I had been trying to do. People took it personally, and if I put myself into their shoes, I can see why, but- since when did not wanting to share your every single personal status updates with everyone mean that you're not friends with them? See things are just getting ridiculous now.

A few people unfollowed my blog because of it. And thats okay. They clearly don't know the real me if they think that a simple click means that I dislike them, to the point of retaliation. I guess if somebody feels that strongly about it, its probably better for them to spend their time reading somebody elses blog, right? ...I don't usually talk about much more than sweat, tears, and dirty diapers here anyways. Okay and food allergies, and lost Lovey's, and so on and so forth.

So then I decided that I'm just done with social networking altogether. Its sucking the life from me and my family. Checking my facebook, checking my twitter, reading blogs, blah blah blaaaahhh. My daughter, she doesn't do any of those things, and she has more time on her hands than she knows what to do with.

The other day I was explaining to her "we do chores before we play". I was telling her how we pick up toys before we can watch a movie. We put clothes away before we play dress up. We do the dishes before we can blog. ...wait- that last one doesn't sound quite right, does it? In more ways than one.

Do y'all know how many times I've skipped eating at the table with my family, because I was too deeply involved in an online conversation with someone. Or because I just had to edit this picture for that blog post? Its embarrassing.

So we started eating at the table together, for every meal, of every day. And the benefits have been beautiful.

The other day, you know what Charlie did? He spilt his milk in the living room, it dripped from his leak proof sippy straw, and then he came into the kitchen, opened up a drawer, pulled out a white towel, ran back into the living room, and he cleaned his mess up himself. Jaw, wide, open, on this Mama. And had I been too busy focused in on something stupid and computer related, I would have missed it. I would have missed the moment that my baby boy, just barely two, cleaned up his first mess all by himself.

I want to be Amish. Not really Amish, but- my kind of Amish. I want to cut out all of the crap in my life that slows me down. Cable- gone. Facebook- gone. Twitter- gone.

...Okay, I'm still going to tweet out random text message rants into the twitter sea, because sometimes everyone really does need to know that I'm parked at a stoplight next to Stevie Nick's tour bus, but other than that, I won't be engaging myself, or others. I'm taking a step away from the computer. The only thing that I'm going to make an effort in keeping up with, is my blog.

I love this blog. I blog for my family, I blog for my babies, I blog for myself.

Sometimes the only thing saving my sanity, is letting my words find their way out of my mouth through my fingers. They throw themselves onto the screen in a way that suddenly makes sense. My feelings come together through sentances on the monitor, like a painting on a wall.

This is my art. This is my therapy. This is my love letter.

I'm 26 years old. I'm done thinking about living life, and ready to start actually living it.

Black and white or full of color- my pictures are what they are.

Looking back at everything that I've just written, I'm not even sure what was said, or if I said enough, or if it came out right. I'm never sure if it came out right. I guess the fact that it came out at all, is enough to let the weight rise off of my shoulders.

I'm living my simpler life.

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