2011- The Year of Simplicity

From my last post, you all can tell that I am a little behind on the whole New Year’s Resolution idea.  However, the good news is that since I started so late, I’m still able to stay true to this idea of personal change and transformation.  However, unlike many who are adding things to their list, I have decided to make this year the year to subtract.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am always working on some sort of project (more likely probably juggling between 10 at once).  It is the nature of my character.  I always have to be active and busy, which is great for the mind, but not so great for the spirit.  I, like many of you, run from one job to the next, one project to the next, one volunteer opportunity to another (well, you get the point).  I spend so much of my time running that my own life becomes hard to catch.

On a recent visit to NYC, my parents and I visited a large Italian Mecca called “Eataly” on 5th Ave in the 20’s.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a NY block filled with everything that you could ever want that  is Italian.  Now the food is amazing and impressive, but for me it is the motto that really captured my eye- “It’s difficult to be so simple.”

Eataly has it right, it really is difficult to be simple.  When you require a more simplified existence, it causes you to have to make choices.  You can’t have everything.  You can’t do everything.  You can’t be everyone’s friend.  You can’t solve everyone’s problems.  Just the thought of these statements causes me to want to counter my own point.  The pre-resolution Maria is trying to say, “Anything is possible.”

Although she may have a point, anything might be possible.  However, it is possible at some cost.  Normally the way that I cost it out is through being unfair to myself, my husband and my own health.  Reflecting back on the previous year, there were many times that I felt very sick but just wouldn’t go to the doctor because I was too busy at work.  There were also many times that I lost sleep helping people who I thought valued me in the same way I did them only to find out the hard way- this wasn’t the case.  There were many times where I took on way too much but wouldn’t own up to it so as to not hurt others feelings.

Now I am not regretful of the way that I was.  That part of me served its purpose and many benefited from it.  However, I know that change is imminent.  Now don’t worry, new Maria isn’t going to transform into a curmudgeony hermit or anything.  I will still be a good person, friend and coworker.  However, I am now just changing by being a little bit more guarded in my approach.  My simplification model is just that- very simple.

I plan to focus on the body, mind and spirit.  For my body, I have joined a gym and have made water my beverage of choice.  I am continuing to make healthy eating decisions and am being more in tune to taking care of myself.  For the mind, I am purposely scheduling a couple minutes a day of nothingness, which may sound very appealing to some, but for me, it is very hard.  However, during this time, I just am.  I am learning to sit and be with myself and breathe.  For my spirit, I have decided to engage only with people and relationships that are enriching and make me feel good.  I have learned that last year I spent too much of my energy on superficial relationships and pushed some of my true friends and family (who are always there no matter what, which is what I love must about you) to the side.  No more.  I know now that everyone deserves an opportunity to feel enriched by the lives of others around them and by everyone, I am finally including me in this picture.

In essence, I truly believe that less is going to be so much more.  It is a process in the making, but I am enjoying it so far.  Why don’t you join?

Speaking of enriching the soul, there are two people who I would like to acknowledge today.  First, many congratulations to my dear friend and former colleague Gigi Breland.  Today is her two year anniversary out of prison.  She also has just secured her first fulltime job with benefits at an organization called All of Us or None.  Gigi- I continued to be amazed by who you are and all the potential you continue to unravel.  Congrats, my love.  Finally to a person who I can honestly say has made probably the most impact on my life- my Grandma!  Grandma, I just want to wish you a very Happy 89th Birthday!  You are such a light in my life and many others.  Thank you for being exactly who you are.  I am so blessed that you are my Gram!!  Love you!!! 🙂

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