Keeping it Simple
Three months into my “Year in Acadia”, and I am finding that so far my greatest joy (and sometimes greatest challenge), has been to “keep it simple”. This is in part due to the weather. I arrived here just after Thanksgiving (seemingly appropriate), and its been cold, windy, icy, dark, and windy (did I mention wind?). Another reason is finances. In order to be here, I have to make this as frugal an adventure as possible. That’s likely to become more of challenge as the island “comes back to life” in late spring. All those wonderful restaurants with their tempting menus! Now delightfully, my landlords tell me that they set up a grill, table and chairs, and umbrella for use in the warmer months. They even invited me to plant whatever I want in their “greenhouse”. I may be the luckiest renter in the history of renters!! This will certainly encourage me to continue my “frugalness” and provide a delightful outdoor atmosphere right outside my door!
I also think that “keeping it simple” fits in with my reasons for coming here. When I limit my distractions, I am able to devote time to reflection and contemplation. In these first few months here, I am beginning to realize that some questions do not have answers. Of course, the next step is accepting this reality. I am also discovering that in order for me to ever have hope of achieving contentment and/or happiness again, I must accept the hand that life has dealt me (in the death of my husband). Hmmmm, are we seeing a theme here? Hint: the word “accept” seems to keep popping up. As a recovering control freak, this idea of acceptance has always been a challenge to me. I come from the school of: “we create our own reality”, with phrases such as: “Make it happen”, “Just do it”, and “I will get what I want” being my mantras throughout my adult life. Facing (and accepting) that sometimes there are times when you just don’t get your way has been a huge obstacle for me in moving on with my life over the last four + years. Basically, I have learned that in many ways I am a spoiled brat and that I HATE not getting my own way!!
So keeping it simple helps (and sometimes forces) me to better understand these aspects of myself. Without the distractions of work, family and friends, social activities, television, eating out, maintaining a house, and other “things” these truths become evident. In addition, the reconnection with nature through hiking, and dedicating time to the practices of yoga and meditation have helped my mind to become more calm and open.
Yes, I still make time to listen to the news, watch movies, go on-line, read novels, play with photography, and volunteer. But this time to understand myself better will, hopefully, result in my becoming a more “authentic” person (and I have such a long way to go). But we’ll save that discussion of “authentic” for another blog post.
In closing, I would challenge you to look for ways to “keep it simple” in your own life. You might be surprised at what you learn!