I never know quite what the statute of limitations is on saying “Happy New Year!” but the feeling of new beginnings is definitely on my mind still 2 weeks into the year. I’m not crazy about the concept of New Year’s Resolutions only because they are the brunt of jokes just about as much as they are taken seriously. I am, however, a HUGE fan of setting goals, especially goals that speak to the core of your life’s desires. This year my goal is to be more present: more present with my kids, more present with my husband, more present with my friends and family, more present with my clients, and more present with myself. In a life that is generally filled to the brim with motherly and household duties, kids’ activities, volunteer commitments, running a small business, and an active social calendar, this is NO SMALL TASK. Instead of rushing from one task to the next dragging my family behind or leaving them in the dust, I am making a commitment to SLOWING DOWN. Life is only so long and I want to miss as little of the good stuff as I can. When my children speak to me, I want to look at them, listen to their words, and respond in a manner that lets them know that Mommy is listening and cares about them. When my husband speaks to me, I want him to know that I love him and that our relationship is a priority in my life. When my girlfriends, parents, and sisters call, I want them to know how important their relationship is to me. When my clients speak to me, I want them to believe that I am truly listening to their unique stories and focusing all of my energy on helping to make a difference in their homes and in their lives. And I want to be present for my own mind and body.
In order to become more present my goal is to clear the clutter of my life and simplify. While it’s true that as a professional organizer my home is not drowning in clutter (though with 2 kids in the house that is always a work in progress), I definitely have a weakness for acquiring other types of clutter. These types of clutter fill my calendar and my daily activities and probably make me look like a hamster running on a wheel. These types of clutter keep me from slowing down and being present with the people that need my attention the most.
Over the years that I have been a mother (and quite possibly long before then) I mastered the art of over-commitment. You know that chick at the PTA meeting that decides that she is the perfect person to take on pretty much every task? That’s me! I’m not sure if my ego’s drive is the need to feel useful, the need to overachieve, or a lack of trust in other’s efficiency, but whatever the reason, it can’t be healthy. I like to think that my motivation is my children and their educational experience, but I’m quite confident they would much prefer me sitting and listening to them than creating spreadsheets for the latest fundraiser. You will still find me volunteering because on some level it brings me a lot of joy, but I commit to letting others step in so that I can slow down and be present with those I love.
This clutter might be even harder for me. As a busy mom and business owner, I do pretty much everything related to everything via my smartphone. My name is Beth, and I am a smartphone addict. Too often I find myself checking my calendar, my email, responding to texts, or reading some completely random post on my newsfeed. The minutes get sucked away as I stare at that screen. In the meantime I could be chatting with my daughters, laughing with my husband, reading a good book, or maybe even nothing at all!
When I’m not neurotically tapping away at my phone, you can find me straightening and straightening the house (because disorganization makes me crazy). Ironic as it sounds considering my profession, there is something to be said (especially if your house is already essentially organized and clean enough) for just being in the moment, as it is. There will be time for clean up and organizing later (maybe during a scheduled focused time when you can even be present for that activity). Perhaps the habitual incessant motion of a job never done is its own sort of habit clutter that could be cleared to make time for more presence.
In a nutshell, I hope in the new year I can take my decluttering to a whole new level, decluttering my calendar, my to-do list, and my head space, so that I can be present in each moment as it comes. At the end of it all, I hope those I love will be able to say that I lived my life to its fullest and appreciated all of my blessings. As much as I LOVE TO ORGANIZE, an immaculate home brings peace of mind, but being present for life’s experiences is what it’s all about.
I’d love to hear about some of your goals for 2015 and how you are working to make them successful! And if one of your goals is to clear your physical clutter in order to have more time, space, and presence of mind this year, I’m your girl. I would love to be present with you and help you strategize the best way to make that a reality this year.