"Simplicity is never a matter of circumstances. Simplicity is always a matter of focus." That's what Ann Voskamp says, and it's been swimming in my brain today. Because sometimes life just runs so swiftly and it feels so chaotic and I'm struggling just to put two thoughts together and keep my head above water. And we're all there. In today's insta-culture, we're all feeling the crushing weight of a rushed life. We talk about saying no and simplifying but it seems so impossible, so we keep on keeping on and we're running ragged and tired and hope and joy and Life? They're all just hanging by a thread. Or maybe it's just me....
But my circumstances aren't going to change. As much as I'd like to, I can't run away to the mountains in the middle of the week and shut life out. I can't run away from responsibilities and the demands of life. And, honestly, I don't want to. I just want things to slow down a little bit. I just want life to be a little simpler, fewer moving parts, a few less spinning plates. But that's not really the answer. Really, I need to train my focus.
We live in a world of 20 million windows open on our 30 million screens. We live a life of division and fragmentation, and call it "multi-tasking," when really, the only task we're accomplishing is driving ourselves insane or at least into the ground. What if I trained myself to focus on one thing at a time? What if I trained myself to focus only on what is in front of me in that moment? What if I prioritized my to-do lists and only tackled one item at a time, but gave that one item my full attention and energy? What if I trusted grace enough to lay it down at the end of the day, or (and this is crazy, I know) for a few minutes in the middle of the day, and just took a breath and rested? And it takes trust because I'm so afraid that if I don't tackle everything at once I'm going to miss something, but the truth is, it will be there tomorrow, and even if I miss something, it's not the end of the world.
So that's what I'm doing. I'm headed back to the Sanity Manifesto and I'm taking one thing at a time. Training myself to focus, rather than fall prey to distraction (she typed as she came back from 5 minutes of Facebook distraction). Simplicity is a matter of focus and focus always takes practice.