Welcome to Simplify September.
Here's the question: when did we become convinced that more is always better? That being busy is a badge of honor? That getting eight hours of sleep is optional and four will do the trick? That more money equals more happiness?
When did we lose sight of simple pleasures?
I'm so pleased that you have decided to join me for Simplify September, one month during which we will be doing essentially two things: working to literally simplify our lives (by organizing the junk drawer, purging our closets, and planning our meals) but, and perhaps more importantly, taking an honest look at our lives with an eye toward reducing the intangible clutter to make room for more joy.
Here's the plan. Each day, you will turn the page of our free Simplify September e-book and find a thought for the day, a task for the day and one thing to read, watch, or search. Some will be books that I think are worth the time, videos that I think have value, or images of well-organized pantries.
I will be in this with you. I do not have this thing mastered. I am a self-confessed idea junkie. I habitually take on too much and say yes too often.
Though my house is tidy, my to-do list literally has 58 things on it. And that's just my work to-do list. I agreed to my daughter's request for a sleepover birthday party next week for eight 12-year-old girls and feel like I literally can't stop scheduling things. I have boxes of chargers, coins, and so much stuff stuffed into my bedside drawer that I can barely open it.
I'm in this with you.
A final, very important thought: I cannot do this for you. I cannot come to your house and purge your closet. I cannot say no to baking 48 cupcakes for homecoming. I cannot tear your phone from your hand at 10:30 and make you go to sleep. Only you can.
Only you can make the decision to do the work that it takes to make your life better. And by better, I simply mean happier.
Joyce Shulman is the founder and CEO of Macaroni Kid, which works to enrich communities and empower moms. There are more than 550 Macaroni Kid publishers across the United States and Canada.