Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Bitter cold out there. As always, Sunday morning finds me sitting in my half sauna in the living room reflecting on life. I love mornings like this, where I have the time to journal, read, meditate and write. So I’m feeling good today. Content. Contentment is a great thing. My wife Laurie & I have been watching Longmire lately on Netflix. We just started season 5. In season 4, there’s a lot going on. Seems like everything is going to Hell in a hand basket for everyone on the show, and just when you start thinking “My God, there’s a lot of story lines to keep track of”, they’ll drop in a new thing. I was getting really anxiety ridden, I could feel it. One way to tell if you’re watching a great show is to have an emotional reaction to what’s going on. Laurie likes the show as well, but wasn’t getting as caught up in all the stress related things going on like I was. I kept thinking “how can Longmire keep it together with all this crap going on”?… I just wanted some resolution, to feel like at least one thing got settled. I don’t remember ever watching a show that created this feeling within me. And then I kind of realized why. Because right now, I have all kinds of things going on everywhere in my life, all expecting my time, my energy, and my input. My job takes up most of my time, there are huge demands there. The release of my first book, working on the second book, planning to write the third book, and trying to figure out how to market it all… demands. The Twistin’ Egyptians (band I was in in the 1980’s) are looking at releasing a double CD, and it’s release has been seriously compromised because of demands on my time elsewhere. I feel it’s important to try to stay in shape, so time for working out, walking, doing yoga, and sleep has to be factored in. And I tend to work six day weeks, something I really would like to back off of, but man – that rut I’ve dug for myself runs deeper than I thought… so in many ways, I am Longmire. Therefore, when I see it on the screen it resonates within me, big time. I’m not sure I have a concrete answer here today, but as I’ve written in the past – I’m being drawn more & more to books, articles and magazines that talk about simplification and the effect it can have on our health and happiness. Because, it’s not just the stuff I have going on in my life – it’s also the stuff I have! Like, old clothes & electronics & paperwork & junk in boxes I don’t even know what it is. The book I’m reading right now really hammers this home. It’s called “Essentialism” (by Greg McKeown). Talks about how we tend to say “yes” to everything, then our lives become so scattered as we do as good a job as possible in so many different areas, but can’t really excel at anything because of it. His idea is that we learn what’s really important, learn to say “no” to everything that isn’t essential, and focus only on the things that really matter. He references my friend and author Derek Sivers, from his book “Anything You Want” (a fantastic little book), where Derek describes his decision making process as basically saying “no” to anything that doesn’t elicit an emotional response within him of “Hell, yeah!”. “Hell, yeah! – or no”. Laurie and I have used this many times over the years. Maybe it’s time to examine everything in my life through that lens, and start paring things down – maybe even discovering a few new “Hell yeah’s!” that have been overlooked. Simplify – a recurring theme for me these days. Less is more. Knowing what’s important and what isn’t is the basis for simplification. “Hell yeah!… or no” – a process to get me started. And perhaps something for you to consider as well?

2 Comments

  1. Heard something this week that rang true with me – if it sparks joy in your heart keep it, if not let it go. That really simplifies life and I’ve been doing it for years without thinking of it in that way. It works for physical things, ideas, hobbies, and even the people that come into our lives. With clothes and kitchen stuff it’s easy; it gets more complicated with people, but at some point it just makes sense to let a relationship die out when it doesn’t; work anymore. Do what brings you joy, keep what brings you joy!

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