Friday, May 17, 2019

Finding Simplicity; An Update

Update On My Word Of The Year

Simplicity At The Lake
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (2 Corinthians 1:12)

Hello Everyone! Believe it or not, we are only a few weeks away from being six months into 2019, so I thought I would do an update on my "Word of the Year." I don't recall doing an update on my one perfect word before so this may be a first. I also apologize for not having lots of pictures for you to look at in this post. This will mostly be words. But, we're talking about simplicity, right? So, less pics and more words kind of goes with it! 

As you know, if you were reading my blog back in January, my word for this year is "Simplicity."  It is a word that called to me as I entered into my third year of retirement and my fourth year of blogging. I think choosing this word to focus on was quite timely. I have found that going into retirement from teaching kind of threw me into a bit of shock. Not that I didn't want to retire, because I did. But, after identifying with the teaching world for so many years, I was left trying to figure out how I would "identify" now. I would be interested in hearing if any other readers felt the same with their initial retirement. For me, I chose to focus, in those first months and first year, on my blogging, on resting, on homemaking and on churchwork. I really invested myself in outfits for the blog, reading books and finding new authors, cleaning out closets and redoing home decor and helping out where I was needed at church. Each day was filled with a kind of wonder that I wasn't at school anymore and now-how-can-I-best-fill-my time sort of thinking. Of course, during those months there were some trips to see family, as well. 

The second year of retirement found me a bit more settled with more of a routine of some school volunteering, taking over responsibilities with the handbell choir at my church and doing some teaching online. I cleaned and re-cleaned closets and sorted through clothing and books to see what items might be taken to Goodwill and/or traded in at our local bookstore that sells used books. I went through a bit of a debacle with changing my blog name, but now have settled in to "styling life" each day both in real life and on the blog! For some reason, I was all over the place with "perfect words" trying to figure out how "thankful, committment, music and risk" would fit into my year and was amazed at how they did! There were also several family health concerns that year and, thankfully, all concerned are doing much better at this point. 

Which brings me to my word of "Simplicity" for 2019. It's kind of necessary to have done that little recap of the last three years, because it helps me to see why, in this third year of retirement, I feel much more settled in this "new" retirement way of life. And, frankly, I'm looking to keep life simple right now. I have just done a Major closet clean out and I want to keep my closet as it is right now. In other words, I'm not looking for any new items of clothing! I have also cleaned out many books and am trying to make use of my library card much more often instead of purchasing books. And as far as home decor goes, I kind of like the decor in the house as it is right now. I don't really feel like redoing the foyer table or the living room side table over and over again. My next goals are to clean out kitchen cabinets and see what items we may not need or be using and donate those items. 

So.....I hope you will stick with me if I simply choose to blog about what is currently happening in my life or if you see  outfits and/or home decor items more than once. I'll try to make it interesting for you, but I'm adding "Simplicity" to the blog, as well. 

Moving toward simplicity is certainly a process. At least it is for me. I'm glad to note, however, that simplicity is finding its way into many areas of my life. Things like how I exercise, what I eat, how I make plans to do things. You have probably heard of the acronym "KISS" for "Keep It Simple Stupid!"  I don't like being called stupid, however, so I prefer "Keep It Simply Simple" much better! 

If I keep my daily life, including blogging, simply simple I think there is less stress and more joy. 

How about you? How do you keep your life "simply simple?"  Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know. 

Until Next Time,


Karen said...

This is encouraging to me. Having just retired in December, I'm in shock currently. Utterly. You are so right about identifying with how you spent your time for all those years. Now what? I've been back to have lunch with and visit with coworkers monthly, and that has been like a weird kind of a bridge. That said, the bridge on the work side is clearly defined, but where it's going is not! I had plans Debbie. Volunteer work, Bible studies, travel. So far, I'm basically stunned. People say it takes time, and you indicate that here. It seems to require discipline, taking on or doing a new thing. I wanted to retire also, no regrets. Nicer weather has helped because I love being out in nature. The thing is, time, unlike say money, is not a renewable resource. And I want to get the most from my time. Your three years, in retrospect, were moving along a sort of path. That's encouraging. Three years in and you are feeling good about where you are. I realize that life may take you in different directions as time goes by, but you seem grounded. I completely forgot what I chose for my word this year, no kidding!! Thank you for the encouragement. I truly needed this!

Amy Johnson said...

What a great word for word of the year. I love it. It fits well with what's trending in society today...the whole Marie Kondo, minimalist approaches. I would say I've been trying to simplify my life as well. Spending less time on the computer, trying to find ways to renovate my garden to make it less maintenance, and getting rid of clutter.

Debbie Styles Life said...

I'm so glad you found this post encouraging, Karen. It really does take awhile to find your way in retirement. You're right that the last three years have moved on a type of path, but I didn't really see that path until I began writing about it in this post. Sometimes, it is too hard to see where life is taking us when we are living it every day. I know that you will find your path in retirement, also. Be kind to yourself and give yourself the necessary time to adjust.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks for reading, Amy. I am glad that I am simplifying in many ways. I'm goint to keep at it!

Clearissa said...

Simplicity is a great word to live by. I chose consistency for word for this year. Thank you for reminding me to give it some thought again and to rededicate. I love the way you are simplifying your life. Once I retire I hope to simplify my life even more as well. But for now, I've decided to cut back on a few things to simplify. It's not easy to say "no". TFS

Joy said...

It's been a very similar journey for me in some ways. My first year of retuirement was spent douing rather a lot of supply/staff cover with a contract for one day a week until the spring half term and a block of three weeks covering the same class. A blessing really, because it eased me out gently. In my second year I started a bit of tuition and did a bit of supply, but not all that much. Like you, I reorganised my home and I now have a sort of 'list' of improvements I'd like to make, of which the bathroom is one. I enjoy not being so tied down, being able to sit in the garden in the warmth of the day, knitting, etc, and generally taking life easily and enjoyably while I can. This gives me joy.
I think I've been lucky to be in a profession that carries (carried, anyway) a reasonably decent pension. I worked for it, yes, but nevertheless, it's enough to ensure no real financial difficulties.

I don't have a 'word' for the year but, if I did, I think it would be 'space'.

Diana Stevan said...

Debbie, I enjoyed your post. Simplicity is such a good word. It allows you to step back from the hustle and bustle of what once was and take stock as you've done.

I took an early retirement from clinical social work and ended up pursuing my writing goals. I'd always loved writing but never had the time to do it. Helping to raise a family, I also didn't see it as an occupation that would bring me any guaranteed income.

So, now in retirement, I'm in bliss. I probably work harder than I did when I was fully employed. The difference is that I can call my own hours and do it or not. Since retirement, I've written three novels, all different, and a novelette. I have no plans on stopping as I love what I do.

I also garden and have joined Grandmothers to Grandmothers, an organization to help those African grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren because their daughters died of Aids. It's not a huge commitment of time but it's a small way of giving back.

I'm also paring down and just wrote a blog post on saying Goodbye to an Encyclopedia. It was hard to give the Brittanica volumes away but it needed to be done. And I found a unique home. :)

Enjoy your retirement. Seems you're on a very good track.