Simple is the New Luxury

festive lighting

Daylight savings time is a human invented stupidity in which we pretend the sun is rising and setting an hour later or earlier than it really is.  The truth is that it rises and sets on the same schedule it has been rising and setting on for millions of years.  You are not more tired this morning because you lost an hour.  You just fell victim to your own hoax.  It’s the weakest mind-fuck ever.

I would love it if my state were to stop playing this ridiculous game with clock hands.

I spent 8 hours yesterday re-doing both my blogs.  The plan was to simplify them and I was amazed at how complicated and tedious the process of simplifying can be.  I chose the default wordpress theme 2012 because it has almost no bells and whistles and is really clean looking.  Though I didn’t settle on choosing it until I farted around with Atahualpa for quite some time first.  For so long the trend in blogging has been to customize and make your theme look your own with a million little details.  I couldn’t even get this theme to do drop-down menus and in the end I’m happy it doesn’t.  My blog may look like a thousand other blogs now – and that’s fine because what should really be important isn’t the bells and whistles of my theme but the content and my photographs.  I am a writer, not a programmer or website designer.  I don’t want to spend my time trying to manage the details of my blog from the technical side.  I don’t want to mess with that or think about it.  Except for periodically changing my header.  I do enjoy doing that.  But it’s not like I do anything really impressive or fancy.  So that’s how I spent my Saturday.  I wanted to sew but I’m glad I got this done.  The places I come to write should not bother me visually.  I feel like this theme is so simple and clean that I can breathe again.

That’s how I want my whole life to be.  Life is not generally cooperative in this way.  I guess that’s what’s nice about online spaces – we can make them as simple or complicated as we want and it complies because we’re the hand behind the machine.  Life is not getting more simple for me yet but I suppose that if it takes 8 hours of grueling computer work to simplify such a shallow thing as my blog – to simplify life takes an effort amplified by the things that are always out of our control, the diverse elements that make up our life, and time constraints.  When you need to fix your blog up you stop writing on it and do the maintenance work.  Life just never stops.  So you have to work on it while it’s moving and while meeting obligations and living.

I’m working hard to get things set up for Max with regard to school and his medical and psychiatric support so that he has the best chance at succeeding.  While that will never stop being work – it should ease up if I ever get a 504 in place.  I’m working to get him into some healthier habits like walking the dog with his dad and eating better food.  I find this exhausting which is why I periodically just give up.  But when I give up I let him eat whatever and it’s worse than when I only let him eat mostly whatever.  Those who understand, understand, those who don’t, don’t.

The thing is: parenting is already a full time job.  Being a mom or a dad is a 24 hour a day job for a minimum of 16-18 years with worry and involvement lasting an entire lifetime.  Just feeding, coaching, and making my kid meet the minimum obligations for a healthy life is a full time job in itself.  Forget about “having fun” or helping with homework or spending quality time playing board games or taking family outings – that stuff takes energy and if your energy is sapped just making your son eat one lousy item of produce a day and keeping all possible bits of produce he might eat in the fridge and encouraging him to try new foods – well – all that other shit just falls by the wayside.  Max is in a real food trying phase which is great but exhausting for me.

Meanwhile I have my regular job.  And on top of that there’s the animals and the household and having to sew my own wardrobe or look scary-shabby and cooking and I’m supposed to be fitting exercise in there every day and eating healthily and and and and and…

My life feels way over-full.  Too many things in the picture.  I know I need to make choices but I refuse to let go of the writing, I can’t let go of the paying job, obviously I can’t give up on my kid ever, I can’t afford to go buy a whole wardrobe of clothes that fit my body, and I need to be gardening for the sake of my mental health.  I am feeling overwhelmed.  I would like my life to be as simple and clean as this blog theme.  I keep telling myself that it will smooth out.  In another couple of weeks and many hours later I’ll be done with sewing my clothes.  I can start quilting – the fun stuff I can do while watching tv shows while winding down for bed.  Once I get Max his 504 I won’t have to have quite so many meetings with doctors and the school and writing letters and maybe there will come a time when he eats enough healthy things that I don’t have to constantly worry about and deal with HOW TO FEED MY CHILD SOME REGULAR FOOD.  Maybe he’ll thin out with the added exercise and slightly better food and I won’t have to worry about him being overweight.

What hard choices have you had to make to live the life you want?  What have you cut out of your life to simplify it?  Have you let ambitions fall to the ditch?  Have you figured out a magical way to meet your obligations with a minimum of fuss?

At least I simplified my writing space.  That only took 8 hours.  And at least while I’m sitting here writing in it I feel less oppressed by cumbersome details.

SIMPLIFY is my new anthem of intention.

2 comments

  1. Skye says:

    “When you need to fix your blog up you stop writing on it and do the maintenance work.” Or you’re me and you stop blogging publicly for 8 months, haha.

    Simplifying is always a struggle for me, because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be stopping in order for things to be simpler. Working? Time with my kid? Cleaning and making sure we have food? Like you said, after all that’s done, there’s just not that much time or energy left to win back by simplifying.

  2. angelina says:

    Exactly. That’s the struggle I’m talking about – nothing I do feels expendable. I could choose to give up writing novels except that writing novels is my only real dream left and to give up feels wrong and faithless but that would definitely simplify my life a lot. Or I could suck it up and buy the cheap hideous fat lady clothes rejects that are in my price range and not sew a whole wardrobe. That would free up a hell of a lot of time. Or I could not fuss with the garden and just do the minimum since I don’t own it anyway. That would certainly make things simpler. But gardening is a soothing activity when I have time to do it. Technically those are all electives in my life. I don’t HAVE to do them, I CHOOSE to do them.

    But how can I cut any of those things out? So I struggle over it a lot. Because I do not have time to parent and work and also have personal ambitions.

    If you ever figure this out you must share your wisdom with me!

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