Monday, July 23, 2007

Simplify Your Life

book cover: Simplify Your Life

I just finished reading Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter, by Elaine St. James. It didn't do much for me - but I think that's mainly because I've read enough on this subject that there wasn't much here that was new to me. (There are also a few suggestions I totally disagree with - but the author encourages you to pick and choose, selecting the suggestions that work for you.)

But there were some parts where I really liked the author's way of making her point, and I'll share a few of those.

On deciding to simplify: Several years ago I was sitting at my desk, idly glancing at my daily schedule, which was laid out in a time-management system roughly the size of Nebraska. This binder was bursting with "to-do" lists, phone logs, time-organizers, meeting-maximizers, goal-stabilizers, high-tech efficiency charts, and five- and ten-year life planners. Suddenly, I realized I no longer wanted my life to be that complicated.

On de-cluttering: Remember, the idea is not to deny yourself the things you want, but to free yourself from the things you don't want.

On saving stuff: Every time you start to store something in the back of your closet or in a dark attic, ask yourself, "Do I really want to save this, or will it end up adding to the clutter?"


Leslie said...

Hi Jeri, what are some of the things you disagree with? It would be helpful to hear the 'voice of experience'.

Jeri Dansky said...

Hi Leslie,

I've Freecycled the book, so I no longer have it it front of me to refer to.

But the one I most remember said something like "fire your personal trainer and start walking."

I've never done anything resembling "working out" in all my 56 years - but I was getting tired of seeing "get fit / lose weight" on my list of goals with no progress being made - for years.

So in mid-February this year I did hire a wonderful personal trainer, who comes to my house once a week. (I have to do a lot of work in between his visits.) I've totally changed my diet, I'm able to do things I never thought I could, I feel better than I have in a long time, people tell me I'm looking great - and I've lost 17 pounds so far. And that's with almost no exercise for a couple months, when my mom was in her last days, and the months after that.

Walking is wonderful. Having a personal trainer is very different, and with the right trainer at the right time can be VERY worthwhile!

Yes, it adds some complexity to my life. It's well worth that.