Living Simple Priorities For the New Year
No, this is not a series of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in resolutions, but I do believe in establishing goals based on my priorities.
What’s the difference? I guess my main problem with resolutions is the bad rap they have gotten over the years. You know, the promise that you will lose more weight and then giving up on that promise by January 31st? Resolutions carry with them a short-term, one-time-only connotation, and that’s not my intent with this article.
The priorities I am setting are guidelines which will serve as a beacon to steer by in 2013. Perhaps not surprisingly, these priorities are no different from the ones I set in January, 2012. Why? Simply because I believe this Living Simple lifestyle is mandatory for happiness and contentment in life. I have tried the alternative. I have tried working sixty hour weeks and not seeing my family. I have tried working harder to pay for possessions. I have tried meeting “wants” rather than “needs” and I don’t plan on returning to a lifestyle that did not work.
With that explanation out of the way, allow me to share my priorities for the upcoming year. Perhaps you’ll find one or two doable for you and if that is the case, then I will be pleased that my thoughts brought about a change in your lifestyle as well.
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY
There is nothing more important to me than the love of my family. I have no idea how much time I have on this planet, so I’d really like to spend as much of that time as possible with my loved ones. Duh!
I say duh, but it is amazing how many people spend more time with their jobs than they do with their family. Think about it! If you work full-time, you are spending eight hours minimum each day at work. Now add the time it takes to get ready for work, and the traveling time to and from work, and chances are you are spending ten hours each and every day in a work-related activity.
Now, how much time to do you spend with your wife, husband, and kids each day?
Do you see the problem?
When I was growing up, evenings were family time. I would do my homework right after dinner, and then the rest of the evening was spent with my mom and dad. I am not relating an occasional occurrence, but rather five nights per week, fifty-two weeks per year. It was called “family time” and my parents believed in the value of it.
Today I believe in the value of it.
FIND TIME TO EXERCISE AND IMPROVE MY HEALTH
I have quite a few pictures of my dad just before he died at the age of forty-nine. He looked older than I do today at sixty-four, and he acted older.
I don’t plan on growing up! Having a childlike wonder about life keeps us young, as does exercise. I like being active, and I am active because I have taken care of myself over the years, and still do, and I will continue to do so.
The longer I can keep my mind and body healthy, the longer I can enjoy this fantastic gift I have been given. That gift, by the way, is called life!
FIND BALANCE IN MY LIFE BETWEEN CREATING AND BEING
I struggle with being a workaholic. There, the ugly little truth is out of the closet. I get an idea in my head and then I chew on it like a dog with a bone, and I won’t give that bone up for anything.
I was like that as a teacher as well. Always the first to school and the last to leave. There was always something else I needed to do to make my lessons “perfect.” Now I am a writer, and I can easily become consumed with the writing game. I currently have fifteen articles waiting for me to write; the ideas flood my brain and I keep pushing myself to find more time to complete them.
Not healthy at all!
I need to find a balance in my life, and I will continue to work at that in 2013….and that leads us to the next point.
SPEND TIME DOING NOTHING
There is such beauty in doing nothing! Do you remember as a child, laying down on the grass and watching the clouds float by? Why don’t we do that any longer? Well, because we are too busy doing that which we mistakenly think is important.
We need moments where our brain and body can just shut down. It is crucial to our well-being that we learn this valuable lesson. We do not always have to be doing something!
I know people who cannot do this; even when they are sitting still their minds are going a mile a minute planning and worrying.
Put the brakes on and stop! Breathe! Allow the flow of life to pass through you! It is truly magical when it happens, and we hold the key.
IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Living Simple is all about getting back to basics, and few things are more basic than the environment in which we live. I am surrounded by beauty, but that beauty is threatened daily by people who do not live a simple life, but rather pollute and pillage our most precious resource.
The more I live simple, the more I become a steward of the environment. My goal is to lessen my footprint on this planet, and by doing so insuring that others who come after me will be able to enjoy it as much as I have.
H.O.W. Humanity One World
- Humanity One World: H.O.W. To Get Involved!
It is time for the second phase of H.O.W....what can you do? Other than write articles, what can you do, a specific step towards raising awareness?
We all have a responsibility
- Social Problems: A Voice of One
Who is the next great leader to point the way? Who is going to step up and show wisdom and greatness? As a country we continue to wait for that next great voice of reason!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD
Living Simple is not about isolating myself so that I am free of the rest of humanity. It is about recognizing that I am a member of a family of seven billion people, and being a member of that family carries with it a responsibility.
How can I enjoy my time on this planet when others are suffering? Today I see complacency replacing civic responsibility. I see apathy replacing commitment, and I see fear replacing love.
I am an instrument of change. I cannot turn my head and hope that social problems disappear.
I come from a time and place where people helped each other. It wasn’t that long ago when neighbors looked out for one another, and if there was an injustice being performed, people rose up to fight that injustice.
Now…..well, times have changed, and I find that sad, but instead of sitting around mourning the state of the world, I choose to return to simpler times where people smiled and lent helping hands to those in need.
H.O.W. do I make a difference? We’ll never know unless I’m willing to try!
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT
I often wonder if maybe I’m not hopelessly stuck in the past, but then I take a look at the state of civilization now and I realize maybe it’s okay to long for simpler times. Then I realize that I don’t need to long for simpler times; I can actually live them, and so that’s what I intend to do.
I wish for all of you a very Happy New Year! The cool thing about it is that the New Year can be one of your making. You can choose what that year will look like, and you can choose to shape it into whatever you want it to be.
We only get one shot at this thing called life. I plan on making my one shot a bullseye by enjoying every minute of it.
How about you?
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)