Live, Laugh, Love

For Christmas, I made my Admin Assistant and my pastor’s wife a framed picture of a flowering tree, with my best attempt at fancy lettering of the following mantra:

“live simply, laugh often, love deeply”

This will be my adopted theme for the year of 2016. A good friend of mine always picks a word for her year, and then reflects on it and how her life encompassed it at the end of the year. This is my twist on her practice. Looking’ at you, Kris.

Live simply:

This year, I will simplify my life in all areas. I will buy only what I need. By the end of the year, I’d like to have completely eliminated the practice of impulse buys. My first step is to simplify at home, in nutrition, in exercise, and in entertainment.

Simplify at home:

  • wardrobe redo – I don’t wear half the clothes in my closet. I literally found a sweater I didn’t know I had, last month. I’m going to invest in well-made and tailored timeless basics and accessorize according to the seasons. I lived for a while on a 7 outfit wardrobe. I think I could do it again.
  • books – I love, love LOVE paper. I don’t read on a kindle very much because I love to turn the pages of a book. To smell the ink mingling with the paper, to see the words come alive, to feel the weight of classic literature in one hand and the gloriousness of a delicious cup of tea in the other. But, no more buying books on clearance or at yard sales just because it looks like I’d like it. (NOTE: Will not apply to Amy Tan books. I’m collecting all of her works because she’s my favorite).
  • books part 2: read all the books I currently have, donate what I won’t read again and keep the ones I love.
  • Kitchen: I don’t have a lot of space, so I don’t need a lot of tools – as much as I love to cook. Again, the concept of well-made basics applies here. I won’t get rid of my  piecemeal collection of vintage china, because it’s unique and fun to serve on, but I don’t really need 4 cake pans. I don’t NEED an emulsifier, or a zester. I don’t NEED a pizza stone.

By simplifying at home, I’ll have more time to spend with my niece, my piggies, and with God.

Simplifying in nutrition

  • As a borderline diabetic, I’m used to doing this anyway. In 2016, I will cook my meals at home, with simple ingredients. I will use the farmer’s market more and buy seasonally. I will also resurrect the year of no eating out. It’s going to be hard, but it will allow me to spend what I would spend on coffee or a meal out on giving generously to my church and other organizations that I’d like to support.
    • Exceptions: when a church family, the chair of deacons, or the pastor asks me to lunch for a meeting or for fellowship, I won’t say no.
  • Simplifying in exercise: The church I grew up in has a gym, which they generously allow community people and church members to use for free. I love the classes and the spin bikes at my gym, but I can put that membership fee toward living a more generous life, and trying to meet some financial goals of mine.
  • Simplifying in entertainment: While the occasional movie or round of putt putt (yes, putt putt. I love it so much) will be fine, and the occasional movie night will be a good way to relax at home or at the home of friends, I’d like to be more intentional with how I spend my free time
    • read more: so I can finish all the books I have
    • write more: so I can at least get started on my own book that is swirling around in my head
    • use my memberships more: GA Aquarium, High Museum of Art
    • use my city more: people watching on MARTA, hiking in local parks, walking around downtown.

Laugh often: I love to laugh. I love jokes, which I have no intention of ceasing the telling or acquisition of. I also think it’s going to be important to find things that foster a less stressed/anxious mentality within myself as work becomes more intense (read: productive, takes on new direction) and as (as aged people do), we start to lose church members we love to illness and old age.

Love deeply: The reason I want to live more simply, and laugh more and take care of myself well so I can take care of others is because I want to be the best I can be at loving my family better, loving my friends and my church better, loving my community and my world better, loving God better.

Happy 2016 to you! How will you make the most of your new year?



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