Simplify.

In the spirit of simplifying and giving more time and energy to things I find most nourishing, I’m taking a season away from my two social media playmates, Facebook and Goodreads.

And since I do love the idea of this blog but realistically know that now is not a great time to add thoughtful blog writing to the list of activities I want to shorten, I think I’ll instead use this place to quickly post things I find beautiful and worthy of sharing.

So, because I’m loving Mary Oliver lately and am a bit infatuated with trees:

When I Am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

 

 

Intentions

In the last week or so, I’ve reflected a bit on what intentions I’d like to take with me, somewhat firmly, through the next few months and hopefully the next year.

I imagine that plenty of people would find my language here too squishy, but for me, right now, the more fluid nature of intentions seems more fitting than a concrete “resolution” I will most likely break. And for the most part, the things I want to welcome in 2016 are more complicated than changing an eating or exercise habit (although I want that, too).

As I started listing the things I wanted, I noticed that aside from a few clear goals like cutting back on sugar, adding in the slightest amount of exercise, and making large batches of soup (!), almost everything pointed to a desire to build more silence, prayer, reflection, writing, and connection into my days. So I pretty much need about two hours more of daily naptime! But as that is unlikely, I suppose I need to find ways to make some of this happen, at least in a small way, with the windows of free time I do have, time most often spent reading, watching TV, scrolling/scanning/reading online, or talking with Zach or another loved one. Something’s got to go, and it’s clearly not the reading and connection time. And unless I’m on a serious Netflix or Hulu bender, I don’t have a problem with my watching some TV–I love story in multiple forms, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood to do much work for it. So that leaves time spent online.

Clicking through the trail of ideas found in my email subscriptions and Facebook feed can feel enriching, in a way. I discover so many interesting things: musings on motherhood! current events! political commentary! book reviews! recipes! truly meaningful articles like the one I just read about a celebrity I’ve never heard of who started dating a fan he met on Twitter! But silly or serious, it never feels as nourishing as reading offline, thinking, or writing. I can live without a lot of it.

And I think I need to if I want to give my soft-focus intentions their best chance. I should probably make a concrete plan to pull myself away from the lure of so much non-essential information, maybe just give myself a time limit of, say, ten minutes for checking email, Facebook, and everything else, and then, unless I’m writing, the laptop gets closed. I’ll have to ponder on it a bit more.

Do you have any resolutions/intentions for the new year? Any great ideas on weaning yourself from Internet distraction and prioritizing what feeds your spirit?