So much of our life is spent running around in ever decreasing circles, trying to make deadlines, meet up with everyone, clean the house, nurture our kids, keep our relationship flowing smoothly with our partner, spend time with our mother/parents, take care of ourselves……… put simply, we try to do it all!
The question is – are you doing too much? And if you think not, have you everything in place, so that it is all easy to do? How convoluted is your life?
Are you the type of person who goes to lunch with someone you actually do not like? Smile sweetly at, and walk away afterwards wondering why you let them have an hour of your time?
When someone asks you how you are – do you answer;
“ I am so stressed, I have so much to do, I am so exhausted………..”
Do you wear clothes which are not as beautiful as you are because you think you must wear them because they are fashionable, or you cannot bring yourself to give them away as they cost you a bomb?
Do you have cupboards full of clothes you do not really truly need, but you just could not help yourself but waste your money and buy that new dress?
How much of your makeup do you actually use? Do you have draws full of products which you have only used a few times – even worse – never used at all?
A shower full of the latest shampoos and hair smoothing/thickening/ volumizing products?
A drawer full of jewelry all tangled up and useless?
Do you use all of the things in your cupboards in the kitchen? Or do they just sit there waiting for ‘that special day?’
If you have children, do they have so many toys they never play with, are not attached to, yet they seem to always be all over the ground!?
Do you always feel as if your life is in a flap – so much to do and so little time? Do you have conversations with your girlfriends that sound like the following;
- I am so stressed, I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start!
- The kids/ dog/ boss/ husband/boyfriend are driving me mad!
- I am so tired
- I have to catch up with my friends for dinner but I would rather go to bed/eat pizza/ watch TV
- My mum is doing my head in
- I wish I could go on holiday and just escape all of this.
Any of the above sound familiar?
It may be time to simplify your life.
My life was always like the above.
My husband was never happy unless he could answer me when I asked him to do something with the answer “I am too busy” even when he wasn’t. Because when he wasn’t busy, he wanted to look as if he was.
Our lives were always a hub of goings on, normally working, day after day, week after week. We never thought twice about working 7 days per week, 365 days of the year.
Our house was full of belongings, stuff which we did not even know we had. Our house was in an unfinished state of renovations for 14 years!
Then my husband went away overseas filming for 2 weeks.
He came back with an infected foot, the infection went all through his body. He ended up out of action for 8 weeks, it was a miracle he did not die. I had to hold the house together, took on any work I could and pushed on to keep finances and house afloat.
When he was back up and running, my world collapsed all around me, I was exhausted, could not function, could not cope. It had not been the work load that killed me but the chaos of our daily lives.
Added to that, In those 8 weeks I had taken on 9 days of free work to help friends out with film projects which would never give me anything back. I knew they were a waste of my time, but I could not but say yes as I felt that they needed me.
Problem was, I was so resentful being on set doing all of this work which I actually did not care for, for free, that I in actual fact was not the nicest person to be around. I was tired, and out of sorts all of the time. The days were up to 16 hours long, short on food, and in challenging surroundings in which to do makeup.
I finished feeling as if I had given away 9 days of my life, which I would never get back. Add to that, I then spent 3 weeks trying to catch up on paid work and house work – never again!
Our lives are in actual fact so short. Years pass by so fast, and before you know it, you have not spent enough quality time with family, those friends you love, and doing things which make you feel whole, happy and fulfilled.
It is important to ask yourself, just because everyone else is busy and in a hurry, does that mean you need to be? Does it make you more important? Does it make you feel fulfilled?
In Denmark, if you work over time, you are seen as a bad time manager. Family time is important, discussing life over the dinner table paramount. Most families I know barely eat at a table let alone sit down, and chat as a day to day thing.
If someone gave you a million dollars, so you did not have to work, what would you do?
This is of course after you had been on a holiday, eaten every flavour of ice cream and bought that Armani/ Verace/ Chanel outfit you have wanted for ages.
But – the question is, would you wear this outfit? Or would it end up added to the clutter which is your wardrobe and your life?
With a million dollars, would you hang out with the people you hang out with today? The ones who you say yes to, keep in contact with, the ones you say no, let them go.
The ones who you say yes to, keep in contact with, the ones you say no, let them go.
Would you live where you live now? If you are renting – would it be in the same suburb? I am sure it would not be the same house. If you own the house, what would you keep and what would you change? Would you renovate it, or are you happy with it? Does the house you live in work for you? Is it easy to live in, warm in winter, cool in summer? Does it tick all the boxes?
In both cases, would you keep all of the furniture you own now? No? Maybe it is time to look at what you actually would like and to remove anything you have which is not completely needed or wante. If you do not make space for something new, it will not come into your life as you will not know where to put it.
Would you keep that pile of magazines you have in the corner of your living room, the draws full of DVDS, the 12 dead looking candles sitting around the house. What about your desk? Have you seen the top of it lately?
In the kitchen, do you have damaged saucepans, broken plates chipped cups? Besides being unhealthy – they look horrible.
Are you always busy, time poor, feel as if you do not have a life?
Would you still do the work you do, run your business, work for the person you work for? The perfect job is the job you would do even if you did not get paid. Are you so passionate about what you do, that you would do it anyway if there were no money involved?
If your answer is no – what would you really like to do?
This answer may not come straight away, but try to work out if it is the job you do not love, or the environment.
If you love what you do, but it is the environment, do not change jobs until you have worked out what you love about your job, and what makes you feel drained. Sometimes it is not the environment, but the job specifications which irk you.
A perfect example is a girlfriend of mine. She is the most amazingly talented hairdresser. She started working from home as she had a faithful clientele and wanted to be around for her two boys. Although the salon was only open from 9.30 am – 2.30 pm every day, she was always answering phone calls and text messages. Every weekend was filled with weddings, and she was always exhausted.
One day she decided she had had enough. She dropped the weddings and kept on cutting and colouring. When she did this, her husband a pilot, was able to take on more flights, so their joint income doubled! He was happy and she was happy. But she was still stressed all of the time as she was still answering texts from clients at 10 pm at night. She wanted to give hairdressing up altogether (much to my and her other client’s horror!)
She had the opportunity to work in hairdressing salon attached to a beauty salon – the rest is history.
She took a cut in income as she pays a percentage to the salon owner, but the bookings all come through the reception – no more late night texts. She now works set hours and set days of the week.
She loves being part of a team, her house is her own now, and so much simpler. Thanks to her loving her work so much, she has doubled her clientele and also doubled her income! She has 3 hairdresser’s working for her, and she is loving life.
If you had a million dollars, would you still wear the clothes you own now? Keep those you say yes to, give the others away, or even better, sell them! Have a garage sale with a few friends, and get rid of anything you just do not love anymore – make someone else happy. Or do a clothes swap – but avoid taking anything from someone else which you will not see yourself getting a lot of wear out of.
It is incredibly cleansing removing anything which you do not love from your life and fixing those things you do.
I took a whole pile of broken jewelry which I loved to be fixed – when it came back – I felt so overcome with joy! I found myself with this massive supply of jewelry which looked great and changed the look of my outfits.
Some people find when they are simplifying that they need to replace everything they remove with something else. RESIST. It is like when you leave a relationship, the worst thing you can do is walk straight into another without working out why the last one did not work.
Write a list of those things you love to do, even if it is as simple as doing your nails every week. Or having your hair blow dried, or walking the dog, or having coffee with your best friend.
If you want to go on holiday, work out where and all of the details, so you are clear as to what you want. Don’t go on a holiday because it is ‘affordable’ or where your friends want to go, but you do not – go one which follows your bliss.
Remove everything which is not uniquely you, get rid of the rubbish (this includes people) and the excess in your life. Giving things away which are beautiful but not you any more to someone who loves them is so fulfilling!
Tidy and clean that which you own – store your belongings with love. Don’t just shove them into draws, cupboards etc, you will not enjoy them that way – or know you have them.
Listen to your ‘gut’ feelings, you will be able to hear what you intuitively know when your life is simplified, act on those feelings – and you will be amazed how fantastic the results are!
Take a deep breath – and start simplifying!
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