Last century, the biggest problem most families faced was money. How were they going to get food on the table? People were struggling to get by.
Today our problem is abundance. I don't necessarily mean abundance of money; I know many of you are hurting. But we have an abundance of everything: an abundance of choices about how to spend our time; an abundance of ads clamouring for us to buy something; an abundance of media squabbling among themselves for our attention; an abundance of activities that we should be doing at church, at school, at work.
And it leaves us exhausted.
Our society is running ragged. And because of that, we have lost the joy of the little things that families, even if they were struggling to eat, often shared in the last century. Read Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer and you see the joy the boys made for themselves, without video games, without television, just with the great outdoors. Read Little House on the Prairie and you'll see a family of little girls making their own dolls and games, exploring nature, taking delight in reading new things, and loving to dance and sing.
When's the last time you sang as a family?
I don't mean to romanticize the nineteenth century, because it was not a uniformly good family time at all. Alcoholism was rampant, poverty was rampant, and all kinds of social ills often accompanied these things. But though we may have defeated some of their problems, we have replaced them with others of our own making. And many of us are sitting in the midst of a busy life, wondering how to climb out from under all the demands, all the laundry, all the chores, all the to-do lists.
I want to help. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, as I often do in the fall when my year stretches before me, and I know all my speaking engagements are coming. If it were just real life, I think I could handle it, but it's my work life that impedes on my family life, and trying to find that balance is hard.
I know you're all in the same boat, though maybe for different reasons. You're stressed about money. You're stressed about your children's homework. You're stressed about how to maintain a marriage when your husband is unemployed or maybe he's working shift work. And I want to talk about it.
So for the month of October, I'm going to do a Simplify Your Life challenge. Every day I'll post a new post with some new ideas to simplify something specific in your life, whether it's laundry and menu planning or finding romance time with your spouse. We'll have some periodic challenges that you can participate in to win a prize, and I'll be recording a radio show to talk about it, too!
I'm introducing the whole concept on my BlogTalkRadio show this Thursday, at 12:00 EST. More here, where you can also sign up for a reminder to know when it's starting! And if you can't listen live, you can always listen after the fact to the recording!
Here's what I'd like you to do now for me: tell me the biggest source of stress and "busy-ness" in your life. I want to make sure I focus on the right things in October! So leave a comment, and share this on Facebook to let others know it's coming! Thanks so much!
Labels: Blog Talk Radio, family fun, simple living