Real Simple

January 4, 2010

If you’ve known me for any amount of time (well, over a year), or if you’re a loyal reader of JennaB4, you would know that instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I make up yearly mottos. A basic word or phrase that I can be easily reminded of to focus on or be challenged by. Well, my motto for 2010 is going to be “Keep it Simple.”

I initially thought of the idea while in Florida on vacation this year. Vacation — especially the kind of vacations I typically like to take, the relaxing, lay-by-the-pool-all-day types — is a very restorative time for me. The simple structure and lack of decisions is so refreshing. On vacation my routine usually goes as follows: I wake up when I want, open my shades, I eat breakfast, I go to the pool, I eat lunch, I go back to the pool, I work out if I want, I take a shower, get ready for dinner, go to dinner, possibly do something after dinner, close the shades, then go to bed. Obviously, everyday life isn’t always [or ever] that simple, but we can make it a lot less stressful and refreshing when we eliminate some of those unnecessary decisions. Basically a “less is more” mentality.

For example, I put things off a lot. I’ll admit it. I don’t like that I’m a procrastinator, but I’m not gonna lie, I am one. I used to think “I just work better under pressure,” but the truth is, and especially right now when I’m emotionally/mentally strained as it is, all the things that I put off just hang over my head and stress me out more. And I feel so great when I accomplish something, so why wouldn’t I want to feel better and just get it done right away? Even a mundane thing like taking out the trash right away instead of let it pile up by the door or folding my clothes and putting them away right after I do laundry, those things make me feel so much better. My place is clean and clutter free and I know myself well enough to know that a clean and clutter-free place makes me happy. It’s easy to put some of those things off, but in the long run, it’s a lot easier to just do them right away.

Also, I thought of the Sex and the City episode when Carrie writes, “Why are we should-ing all over ourselves?” The word should implies that something/someone thinks or expects that whatever-it-is needs to happen for me to be ok. It puts so much pressure to be a certain kind of person. I just want to be me, and I have to be ok with however I turn out. If I keep it simple and don’t put so many [mostly added by society anyway] expectations on myself, I can focus on who I am and who I want to become.

And as an added bonus, the medallion (an AA tradition) that I received after finishing the Family Program at Crossroads Centre (the treatment facility my brother attended last year) has the serenity prayer on one side and “Keep It Simple” inscribed on the other. I already carry that everywhere with me, but now it has even more significance to me, besides continuing to pray for Dan and his recovery.

I’m excited about it nonetheless, which is a feat unto itself, and it’s a great place to be at the start of a new year. A fresh start. Praise the Lord 2009 is O-V-E-R. Here’s to 2010!



  1. I just started reading today, but I really enjoyed this post. Expect me to keep up with future posts including reading some of your older ones.

    I am too a procrastinator. I’m such a procrastinator that when it seems I can’t put it off any longer, I somehow manage to put if off more. I think I’m going to take keeping it simple to heart and see how i feel at the end of 2010.

    Good luck with following through with this motto. And don’t put it off!


  2. Love the new motto! Good luck! :)

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