New Directions

When I started my blog, I had no idea what direction it would take.  I was clueless when it came to what I wanted to share, or if I had anything to share at all.  However, just shy of the year mark, I’ve realized, not only do I want to share my experiences with you, but I want to relate my experiences to you – I want to collaborate, exchange.  My stories may seem quite distant from the life you lead, and this is my promise to make a change — connect to you, dear friends and family.  I want you to travel with me, learn with me, and experience with me.  I want to bring my adventures to your home, and I want to hear from you.

So for all those people who don’t have the time, or money, or just don’t want to leave the comforts of home – this is your chance to peek inside the workings of an exotic, welcoming culture.  To learn from a girl who left one home, only to find another.  After all, it’s free — no lost luggage, no mosquito bites, no upset tummies, and no homesickness.  At the end of the day, no matter what we do or where we stand, we all have things to contribute.  Here’s my contribution.  I hope you will converse, and learn with me — agree, disagree, question and respond.

How, do you ask?

Beginning today, and every Wednesday, I will offer up some of my own suggestions for simplifying.  A midweek pick-me-up because last weekend is long gone and the upcoming weekend is not quite here yet.  A moment to catch your breath in the midst of this chaotic, so-called life.  And, of course, I hope you will add some of your own ideas as well!  Let the dialogue begin.

Why simplicity?

I’m always talking about simplicity.  It’s because I’ve recently discovered it and I can’t get enough.  Simplicity brings happiness; it’s really that simple.  Getting back to the basics — abandoning the complicated and unwinding the tangle.

For me, it took a change of scenery, as well as a forced change in behavior and routine (because they just don’t have things here) to understand the value of simplicity.  Yet, I think it’s possible to surround yourself with simplicity in America.  Yes, it’s more difficult and takes committed effort, but it can be done.  And that’s why I’m writing to you.  We can all benefit from simplifying – whether we live in Africa, America, or Antarctica.

Let me clarify – simple is not plain, dull, or boring.  It’s the exact opposite.  Through simplicity, we enhance our view of the world – we are able to see and experience with all of our senses, devoid of clutter.

I was happy before I joined Peace Corps, but now, a whole new world of happiness has been unveiled.  It’s a tranquility that is derived from appreciation and relaxation.  My stress level has decreased immensely, which allows my senses to come up for air.

I can’t say enough good things about simplifying.  And so, without further ado, I challenge you to simplify.  Change one aspect of your daily routine and you will notice a difference in how you feel, your interactions with others, and your perspective on life.  Start the journey with me…

Let’s start simplifying:

Wake up slow.

As soon as we get up, we’re on our phones and computers — we feel a need to immediately connect to the world.  How about waiting to check your email until you get to work?  Those emails can wait.  I am sure of it.  Instead of instantly logging into facebook, enjoy an hour free from the day’s troubles.  Free yourself from obligations, all those looming commitments, and actually enjoy your breakfast.  Pick up that book that is starting to gather dust from your neglect, indulge yourself in some stretches and breathing exercises, or enjoy a few minutes with your family before the chaos ensues.  You’ll be sure to have a good day — feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready.

To put you in the mood, some tunes by Jack Johnson.

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6 Responses to New Directions

  1. Jon E. Berg says:

    Your title is also the name of our favorite Glee Club! Coincidence… I think not! The only thing I want to complicate my life with is you and my friends and family! 🙂

  2. Valerie says:

    Just love how you write. I loved your sharing of paying attention to your morning before the chaos ensues!! My contribution for simplicity is to get up open your blinds/curtains/window and welcome the morning sunshine no matter where you live and just be still for 5 min. That too can give one a great start to their day!
    xoxo Valerie
    The musical touch was cute. My daughter loves Jack Johnson too!

  3. Donna Shook says:

    “Simple Gifts” was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine. These are the lyrics to his one-verse song:

    ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
    ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
    And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

    ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

    When true simplicity is gain’d,

    To bow and bend we shan’t be asham’d,

    To turn, turn will be our delight,

    Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.[2]

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