Once, long ago, before I had children, I did things like:
- Read The New Yorker. All of it. Even the parts I didn’t understand.
- Cooked elaborate meals with creamy sauces and green things and then:
- Ate those meals, on the couch, while watching equally saucy television shows AND NOT ONCE DID I GET UP.
I like to refer to this era in my life as:
The Time Before Children Came Along and Smacked Me Upside the Head with Their Nerf Swords. *
So now I have kids. Yep. You guessed it. This is another post about how kids came along and blew it my life to smithereens.
They blew up the quiet time and my cute house and all my sassy shoes (heels? HEELS? Too much of my life is block and tackle.) They blew up menu plans and vacation plans and they really really blew up my body. Totally did a number on it. Blammo.
And I accept it (granted, with a lot of snark and some occasional whining) because really? I love them like crazy. (The lawyer is again rolling his eyes all over the place. Appropriate descriptor, he says.)
At night I go in and look at their soft little faces and gorgeous eyelashes and listen to their sweet little snufflings and just wonder at it all. And then, I always ask the inevitable question that I think all parents have wondered at some point:
WHY can’t they stay asleep like, ALL THE TIME? Every major offense they did today is totally erased when I just look at them sleeping! They are so CUTE! This would make it all so much SIMPLER!!!
Corie Clark, author of The Simplicity Project, offers some better options for snagging some elusive Simplicity. I think she’s really hit on something that most moms long for: PEACE AND QUIET, FOR PETE’S SAKE. And maybe that peace and quiet should start in us. The fact that we are surrounded by whirling toddlers who leave chaos and Legos (and sometimes clothing) in their wake is not really the issue.
It starts with us.
This book is a simple (yes, intended) and practical look at how Corie’s own “Simplicity Project” helped her find that peace she longed for. I had the opportunity to interview her recently about this book and wanted to share with you some of her thoughts about finding our true purpose, while not letting “life get in the way of living.”
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Your family? Your hobbies? If you were a tree, what kind of tree.. (just kidding)?
I was born and raised in California. I have been married to my best friend, Ryan for 17 years. We have 3 kids ages 9, 12, and 14. We moved from Northern California to Southern California 3 years ago and love living here. When I’m not busy homeschooling my kids or writing, you can find me at the beach. Whether it’s 50 degrees or 100 degrees, the ocean is my favorite place to be.
What inspired you to write The Simplicity Project?
I’ve actually been working on a different book for quite some time and just always had an excuse to not work on it. I never had enough time and seemed to be constantly living in chaos. I decided in February to simplify my life. This was more than just organizing. It was simplifying my health, my home, my finances, and my time. I needed some room to breathe and some room to work on my dreams and live out my purpose.
Could you explain your writing practice? Do you write at a consistent time every day? How do you find the time?
I WISH I could say I have a certain time I write every day. I do try to write something every day but some days it just ends up being a journal entry. When I am disciplined with getting up early in the morning I’ll have my quiet time and then write. But other times, something just comes to me and I have to get it down on paper before I forget. I imagine that someday when the kids are grown, I’ll spend more time on it. Right now, it’s just a matter of setting aside a little time every day to keep at it.
Do you have a favorite chapter of your book?
I’ve never thought of a favorite chapter. I think if I had to pick it would be the section on time. It really is so important. If we don’t figure out who we are and what our roles are, we can end up wasting time and money on things that aren’t important.
Is there a least favorite? One that was hardest to write, for some reason?
I guess finances are my least favorite thing EVER. It is an area that I still struggle with. If I don’t have my budget made before my husband gets his paycheck, we’re doomed. It is so important though and when we are disciplined and have a budget, it gives me peace of mind.
What do you have to say to the overworked, overstuffed calendared Mom who doesn’t even feel she has time to read a book about finding time… Any last words of encouragement?
The most important point I try to make in the book is to give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up for making bad decisions or for forgetting that load of laundry that’s been sitting for two days. Just start where you are, one baby step at a time. And, if you feel like you don’t have time to read the book, I think you’ll be surprised at how simple of a read it is. I’ve read countless books on organizing, time management, and more. I always quit reading half way through because they’re too long and just complicate things. I kept things as simple as possible so that people can really accomplish something. It’s something that I lived and still practice in my everyday life. I couldn’t let life keep getting in the way of living. You shouldn’t either!
And I leave you with my favorite New Yorker cartoon of all time:
*Nerf swords can pack a serious punch, if you’re not prepared. So, keep it simple. Store them on top of the fridge and only bring ’em down when you have had an espresso or are in a really, really good mood. You’re welcome.