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I've had simplicity on my mind a lot this week. What does it mean to me and how do I achieve this elusive state of being, especially around the holidays?

In my experience, this desire to simplify comes in waves. Every few months I focus. I quiet the noise, I renew a mindfulness practice and I remember that I do not have to do all the things all the time. But then gradually my old habits creep back and I realize I've watched five true crime shows in a row, have too many projects going at once, and I've not cleaned my countertops for three days.

For me, it's always about paying attention. Want more gratitude? Pay attention. Want more joy? Pay attention. Want to slow the speeding train that is your life which is flying by at lightening speed right before your eyes because you are 50 years old and damn it you need to be living your life and you feel very sensitive and everything is very meaningful and you have a 23 year old daughter and HOW CAN THAT EVEN BE?? and you have parents who are changing and how can you make this holiday season the most meaningful that ever was?

Pay attention :)

And on the heels of the holidays, Bert and I both celebrate birthdays. So around this time every year we start planning our joint birthday day. This time we did the math (carry the 1....) and I noticed a hint of uneasiness in Bert's voice as he said, I'm going to be 57 this year. How did THAT happen?

Again, how to slow the speeding train that is your life? Be intentional. Pay Attention.

So this season I'm focusing my attention on a simple list that I keep on the fridge. There's no rocket science here but I don't think there needs to be. I've learned that if I want to slow down and enjoy my life (during the holidays or any time of the year), it doesn't take rocket science to get me there.

  • Set boundaries. It's OK to Say No! What am I doing strictly our of obligation? What can I cut to make room in our life for the important stuff?
  • Unplug - You may say duh but alas, I have a serious screen addiction! Running an online business and becoming engrossed in exciting projects means I spend hours in front of a screen and my worklife begins to take over my down time.
  • Go outside. Again, duh! This is the most effective thing I do to calm the noise and anxiety in my brain.
  • Focus on new experiences. I tend to get stuck in my comfortable routine (hermitude) and forget that new experiences stretch me and keep me engaged. This year, we're trying snowshoeing!
  • Focus on the traditions. Christmas morning cinnamon rolls! Birthdays at Powell's Books!

How do you slow down during the holidays? Do you have favorite traditions, foods, activities you enjoy every year? Are you trying anything new this year?

5 comments


  • Amen, and a happy early birthday. Also, what are those flowers? Business in the front, party in the back.
    ———
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Aren’t they great?? They’re Straw Flowers I believe. Easy to dry, they keep me going in the flowerless months. :)

    Kat on
  • Beautiful photos! I already live a simple life I believe. When my kids were little and we were trying to run everywhere and see everyone, I decided to get off that crazy train and since then we stay home all day on Christmas. We cook, play games, watch movies and rest. It’s great.
    ———
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    I love that! When we stay home for Christmas we call that “pajama Christmas” and it’s wonderful, just like you describe. :)

    Dana on
  • Thank you for this post. I really get running in circles and sometimes I can’t stop. But I have renewed hope so I can make things simple thanks to you.
    Our Christmas night dinner has been just hamburgers and the fixings. It’s been our simple meal for over 30 years.
    ———
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Aleta, I love that you have a Christmas tradition like that for 30 years! I have a friend and her family has spaghetti and meatballs for Christmas dinner and has done that as long as any of them can remember. I love it.

    Aleta on
  • Your thoughts on paying attention remind me to a favorite quote from a favorite book, The Artist’s Way. (It’s a very LORI book- I’m sure you’ve read it!) “The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” — Julia Cameron
    ———
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Hi friend! Oh yes, I love that book. And I love that that book is a favorite of yours too.

    Christy Spencer on
  • Thank you for these reminders, I needed that. Thank you for all you do, this Canadian gal sure appreciates everything you do.
    ———
    Little Truths Studio replied:
    Well thank you for these kind words. I’m glad you’re here, thank you for reading. :)

    Karen Papalia on

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