Keep It Simple, Sistah

Wednesday, March 9th.
Day One
I admit I’ve been very unfocused in my writing. I write about this, about that, and nothing ever really gels. But recently, I’ve been inspired.

I have a new goal.

I want to make my life as simple as possible in the next 40 days. Why 40? For those of you who are Catholic, you know that this is the Lenten season. I’m not Catholic, but I always admire those that set goals for themselves and follow them through.

Keep it simple.

It sounds “simple” enough.

Where do I start to make life less dramatic and complicated? I think I start with looking at myself. What is complicating my life?

One thing for me is taking care of everybody but myself. Granted, I have gotten better. The word “no” flows from my lips a lot more than it used to. But, I still need to work on it.

So the first goal is to focus on myself. Selfish? I don’t think so. In order to take care of others, I need to take care of ME first. I want to do one simple little thing for me everyday. It make be taking a little walk. Or cooking a quick and simple dinner (Lean Cuisines are getting old). It could be taking more time to read.

Now, on the goal number two. I need to streamline my finances and clear the “fat” out. Working two jobs does not contribute to “simplicity”. I’m challenging myself to cut enough from my budget in the next forty days to justify not having to work extra. I do love my second job, so I probably won’t quit completely. BUT, my extra pay could contribute to goal number one. Taking care of ME! I would have extra money for travel, books, concert tickets…..Sounds good to me.

A good friend of mine once told me I should always pick three goals to work on. In order to continue to simplify, I’m going to clear some clutter. I’m going to pretend like I’m moving and a clear out absolutely everything I wouldn’t want to take with me. Clothes that don’t fit or I haven’t worn in years? Gone. Books lying around that I’ve read and are taking up space? Going to Book Rack. I may even have a yard sale. I can get rid of crap AND have extra money in my pocket. (Again, this helps out with goal number one. ME!)

That’s it. Three goals for making my life a little simpler. Hopefully, in forty days, I will emerge a less-stressed, rejuvenated, happier ME!

Here’s to keeping it simple!

I’m out!

I Give Up! Or Not.

Being a transplant to South Louisiana, I’ve always had a difficult time with Lent. Where I grew up, there weren’t many Catholics. In fact, I can’t think of one person I knew that was Catholic until I moved here. I never understood Lent. I simply thought it was a time to repent after the debauchery of Mardi Gras.

In the years I’ve lived here, I’ve come to more fully understand the Catholic faith. I even started taking Catholic classes. I think “classes” is a bit of an exaggeration, I think I attended ONE class, until I found out that whole process ended in a public baptism and that did not appeal to me at all. So, that was that.

I have embraced parts of the Catholic faith. I love the quiet reflection, being alone with your thoughts to offer up prayers or meditations. It’s how I’ve started my days for the last few years. It’s a little bit of peace and quiet before the chaos of work, home, and life in general.

But, back to Lent, I’ve tried to give up something every year for Lent. I’ve tried beer, carbs, red meat, you name it. I’ve never made it until the end. This is probably because I’ve never really took it as seriously as I should. I think I’ve done it because I thought it was a good idea.

I’m going to try something new this year. I’m going to give back something rather than give up something. I’ve never been good at self-deprival anyway. As soon as I tell myself that I can’t have something, my mind instantly fixates on that one thing until I become borderline OCD.

I’ve already been trying to give back in small ways by doing “small things”. I’m just going to be like Emeril and “kick it up a notch”. I’m going to keep doing the small things I’m doing, throwing a few cans into the local Food Bank basket every week, and trying to encourage my students to do small things. But, I’m going to brainstorm new things to do.

I read an article yesterday (see below) that confirmed what I’ve already been thinking. In these times of recession and unemployment, it is really a time to give back rather than give up. So many have had to give up that those of us that do have should give back.

So, my goal for the next 39 days is to give back, not give up.

After all, doesn’t a benevolent Queen keep in mind the needs of others? (Oh yeah, I rolled my eyes at myself on that one.)

For now, I’m off to figure out what to do with the rest of my day. I love vacations!

Peace!

Queen Out

For those of you interested in learning more about Lent, or haven’t figured out what you want to give up or give back. Here are some resources I’ve found….

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.encouraged.to.give.rather.than.give.up.this.lent/25313.htm

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1BtbnM/learnthis.ca/2010/02/100-ways-to-serve-others/

A Lenten Reflection
Give up complaining——focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism——become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments——think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry——trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement——be full of hope.
Give up bitterness——turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred——return good for evil.
Give up negativism——be positive.
Give up anger——be more patient.
Give up pettiness——become mature.
Give up gloom——enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy——pray for trust.
Give up gossiping——control your tongue.
Give up sin——turn to virtue.
Give up giving up——hang in there!
http://www.lca.org.au/resources/webmanager/quoteslent1.pdf

<img style=”border:0;margin:0;padding:0;” src=”http://getsocialserver.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/gs1001.png&#8221; alt=”” />Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine