As a wife, mother, full-time communications professional, and part-time writer, I barely have time to think, let alone have any time to myself. On more than one occasion, I’ve wondered how I’ve managed to get through the last few years – days, weeks, months – full of business travel, meetings, projects, family events, social gatherings, not to mention the day-to-day family interactions and housekeeping.
Unlike Europeans, Americans – me included – seem to go, go, go, 24/7, without really stopping to enjoy life. The French, Italians, Spaniards, etc, they all seem to know this lovely secret about how to live a simple yet charmed life — less is more. What that means is the less you pack into your life, the more joy you can find with the things you do.
A few months ago, I decided I was going to give up one thing that took up my time. Obviously, I didn’t want to give up running/exercising, travel, or other things that I loved. I wanted to give up something that I didn’t particularly care for or wasn’t finding enjoyment in – yet still seemed to take up my time.
What did I decide to give up? Housekeeping! Well, not exactly. I didn’t decide to give up having a clean house, but rather decided that I was not going to be the one cleaning it. Aside from taking up my time, house chores have frequently been a source for quarrels in the family. I, being the tidy, everything-in-its place, kind of a girl, would get slightly (ok, more than slightly) perturbed when I noticed the house was messy. So, to solve the time and temper issues, we hired a twice-a-month housekeeper. Every other week may not seem like much, but when you don’t have to worry about cleaning the floors, bathrooms, sinks, wood furniture, every two weeks seems like heaven!
Now, instead of fretting over a semi-dirty counter, I spend my time playing with the kids, reading a magazine, or writing more articles. A charmed life indeed!