A Spoiled Slow Learner (WW # 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

A Spoiled Slow Learner  (WW # 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Yes my intention was to write weekly this year to document all the lessons from Whispered Wednesdays. Yes that is still my intention but I’m finding that working on the balance between “should”, “must” and “can” is one of the things I’m learning from this whole “project”. And so here are the lessons from the last 6 Wednesdays in a nutshell:
Attempting to intentionally live more simply and mindfully in the United States is possible. Succeeding at it is really difficult. (Tweet that)
I don’t mean to suggest that it’s impossible. I am quite certain there are people who are succeeding at it. Every day I have more humble respect for those people and more realization of just how much of a mindless, multitasking, media-driven, me-centered life I live. For example:
– on WW #6, I got up read by candlelight, drank my coffee from my WW coffee cup, fixed my lunch for the day to meet the food requirements and promptly put on my make up and ran out the door. Didn’t even think about it until that afternoon.
– on WW #7, I got an email notification that my Christianity Today magazine was expired. Hit the “renew now” link without even thinking about it. No thought to the money, the process- nope just “renew” now please. This was after watching a one hour video on mindfulness and how to incorporate it into your life. Epic fail on that one.
– on WW#8, I COMPLETELY over-reacted to something that was a complete misunderstanding based on my lack of self-control and inability to WAIT 5 minutes to think things through at times. See above re epic fail.
– on WW #9, I had the chance to share with someone I didn’t know well what this whole project was about, and although I haven’t been hiding it or hesitant to talk about it at all really, for some reason I sort of avoided it. It wasn’t obvious and no one will ever know but me, but I missed a chance to possibly hear someone else’s take on life in the US fast lane.
– on WW #10 (this past week), I was one second away from hitting “download” for a new album on iTunes when I caught myself and stopped. Not a big deal, right? I can download it the next day (and I did 🙂 ) but in that second you wouldn’t BELIEVE the talk I had with myself about how it was just a music, and it wasn’t technically “buying” anything b/c my iTunes account is connected to my credit card and probably wouldn’t go through until the next day anyway…seriously. I’m an adult, right? BUT I didn’t buy it so I am counting that as a non-epic fail.

For the last two weeks I’ve been sick with that viral respiratory thing that seems to have attacked about 94% of the US population (thanks cruise) and have been forced to live “simply” (read: too tired to do anything but work, sleep, read). During that time I finished one of the best books I’ve ever read called Margin. There’s also this book called “The Bible” that talks a lot about living simply and getting rid of all the stuff that “hinders” real life. I’m also participating in Leo Babauta’s Seachange program (which I highly recommend) and our module this month is on “meditation” and mindfulness and how to easily incorporate that into your life. Those 3 things together have helped to balance some of the issues I’m talking about here.

While lying around the last two weeks I didn’t have a lot of choice about living simply and what I realized was this: The world didn’t fall apart. Sure there was stuff that didn’t get done. There are tons of things on last week’s “to do” list that are getting pushed right over to this week’s list, but you what else I did? If you know me, this is gonna shock you but: I let some things fall off my list! Like, thought about them, watched them fall off and said “well, ok, so there that goes.” For instance, I’ve apparently decided I’m not going to grow a big garden. Ok, well there’s a thing I’ve had on my list for oh, a decade or so that I’m just gonna let go of. I love my CSA, I’m a vegetarian and will continue to eat my vegetables, I just won’t grow them and that’s ok. I’ve always heard/known/understood that whole self-improvement rule of “learning to say no” and honestly have been pretty intentional about clearing some things out of my life in the last year or so, but never really understood it in the sense that I think I do now. There are a lot of things I love to do, like to do, would like to do, would like to like to do and could do. Many of them are not inherently good or bad of themselves and there is no real way to even prioritize some of them. But I can’t do everything I would like to do, and I can’t even do a lot of the things I would love to do, but I can do some of the things I want to do and let the others go. Maybe for now, maybe for ever. By doing that, I clear out room to really do those things that do stay on the list. To have some margin to rest, and to unexpectedly meet a friend who needs to talk for coffee or a run- to actually look them in the eyes with my phone left in the car and LISTEN to what they are saying. Time to do less multi-tasking and more mindful awareness of what I AM doing. Time to think about how blessed I am to be able to hit a button on my phone that connects to my money and pays for an album that I can listen to 2 minutes later while driving.

So, although this was somewhat jumbled, my goal is just to get my thoughts down, so I’m avoiding the temptation to judge myself on my writing skills (as compared to all those amazing writers above- check out my “cups I love to read” link), flashy blog special effects or lack of ability to stick to my weekly writing commitment. I’m putting into practice the things I learned from the books above (Margin, The Bible), and working on my commitment to simply live more simply.

What about you? Is this concept of living more intentionally and simply one that you think about? How does that look in your life? What are your struggles? Have you read the book “Margin”? If not, would you like to? I have 4 copies left and if you tell me why you want one and who you’ll pass it on to after you read it, it’s yours! (If more than 4 people request one I’ll do some sort of fair drawing, but my blog isn’t quite at the level that I’m too worried about that)- Ha!

20 thoughts on “A Spoiled Slow Learner (WW # 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

  1. dowford March 17, 2013 / 4:37 am

    Your best post so far. Awesome. Flows so easily

  2. Dawn Muench March 17, 2013 / 4:45 am

    thanks (Dad)- careful or people will think I paid you to say that 🙂 Thanks for walking through this year with me!

  3. Pamela March 17, 2013 / 5:19 am

    So appropriate for where I am on my journey now . . . Thank you, Dawn.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  4. Dawn Muench March 17, 2013 / 5:26 am

    Pam! Of course it is b/c you are helping me learn these things! SO thankful to be learning and trying them out with you 🙂 (oh and I really have 5 copies of the book, but one is already reserved for you!)

  5. ourstoriesgodsglory March 17, 2013 / 8:03 pm

    I love this post…You truly are learning and growing and living more intentionally. Little bit by little bit. I am inspired by the way you are letting go of stuff. That’s a leap toward living more simply. I’m challenged. So you’ve succeeded, just not the way you envisioned. And, me? I too am not a gardener…though I have gardened! I particularly like the idea of living more simply to focus on less things well. Yes, I’m interested in the book. If I got it, I would pass it on to my niece, because she too is on this journey. And we could share our thoughts! Well done!!!

    • Dawn Muench March 19, 2013 / 4:10 am

      Thanks so much for the encouragement Elise! It really is interesting the things I’m learning and how I’m learning them. I’d love to send you a book to read and share! Message me your address on fb and ill get it right to you! Thanks again for reading/replying!

      • ourstoriesgodsglory March 19, 2013 / 4:17 am

        Sounds awesome! Looking forward to it. I’ll let you know what I think. Blessings!

  6. Sara March 17, 2013 / 11:24 pm

    I’ve been working on this a little myself. Even mindful breathing seems to be helping me not get so wrapped up in little details. Hopefully it’s making me a better wife, friend, parent, doctor. Currently reading a book on mindful parenting because I think learning this early could save a lot of pain in a child’s life.

    • Dawn Muench March 19, 2013 / 4:11 am

      I’ve never heard/read much about mindful parenting- what an interesting concept! I’d love to hear more about that- we are due for a call! :). Thanks for reading/sharing!

  7. Emily March 18, 2013 / 6:51 am

    Love how you expressed all this, Dawn. I struggle with the should, must, and can lists constantly spinning around in my head. And half the time just end up feeling guilty for not accomplishing what I intended…even when they’re not necessary items.

    “Margin” sounds great and definitely sounds like one I should read! I often feel like I’m the only one who seems to need extra margin in my life to maintain a certain level of sanity. I hate it when life feels overbooked and I end up in survival mode. Maybe I’m not as far off base with that as it sometimes seems. Not exactly sure who I’d pass it along to, though I know of several people that may be interested in it.

    PS: You changed the look here, and I like it! 🙂

    • Dawn Muench March 19, 2013 / 4:13 am

      Emily! I miss you:). I owe you an email ! I love that when we talk about this stuff it turns out we are never alone in how we feel- thanks for sharing/encouraging. I’ll send you a copy and trust you’ll know just the right person who needs it after you read it! I’m realizing I don’t have your address so send it my way via message or email!

      • Dawn Muench March 19, 2013 / 4:18 am

        Oh and thanks for noticing the changes Em- I did work on it a little during the ridiculous “sick week”!

  8. Ashley March 18, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    Great post! So great to follow your WW efforts — am sure you have many epic successes to match each of your epic fail examples. Will have to put Margin on my reading list for my upcoming recovery time…am determined to put some “me” things into that time to avoid focusing on everything that will be piling up back at work. Wish I felt ready to let things drop off my “list” yet (maybe after next month?), but I am proud of you for taking that step!

    • Dawn Muench March 19, 2013 / 4:16 am

      Ashley- thanks for always being such an attentive, supportive friend. You are a great example of a person who concentrates on whomever you are with, pays attention to the details and remembers them- I love that about you:). How about I bring you a copy if you join me on our trip next month! 🙂

  9. Robyn March 20, 2013 / 5:08 pm

    I’m almost done with Margin and it’s really helping me so much! I need you to come live with me for a month and help me figure out how to do it in my little world… Love you! Love this blog!

    • Dawn Muench March 20, 2013 / 5:56 pm

      Robyn- I actually think of you as an example of someone who does this pretty well, but I can def come for an extended visit and we can learn from each other! I think that would require daily cheesecake fuel! (oh wait, does that actually have cheese in it?) 🙂 Love you thanks for your encouragement in all things!

  10. Dayna Bickham March 23, 2013 / 9:13 am

    It’s like we talk to the same God….wait, we do! This is exactly where the Father has me! You are so right! Thanks for the confirmation.

    • Dawn Muench March 23, 2013 / 9:50 am

      I know, right Dayna!?! That’s what I thought when I read your post today! So glad for the encouragement of having friends who are hearing the same thing!

  11. Susan Stilwell March 28, 2013 / 3:51 am

    Not sure how I missed this, but it’s timely for me now! I haven’t read “Margin” but I read “The 100 Thing Challenge” a couple of summers ago and it rocked my world as far as material possessions were concerned. Now to weed out the trivial things that suck my time. I’d love a copy if you still have one!

    • Dawn Muench March 28, 2013 / 5:38 am

      Sounds like I need to read that one too! I’ll have Emily send you her copy- can’t wait to hear if others “get” it as much as I did. It’s possible I just needed it more?! but I can’t imagine living in the US and NOT needing it!

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