My connecting flight (which I make by only 10 minutes) takes me over the Grand Canyon at sunset. I’m relieved to be on the plane, blown away by the beauty, and suddenly sad for the city where I spent only a few minutes—I could see the Mandalay Bay hotel out the airport window. (Cheap flights mean flying from Seattle to Chicago by way of Las Vegas.)
There is much that makes me sad and overwhelmed these days. At a college football game with my son, I teared up at the National Anthem—not because I think standing should be required (in fact I support those who take a knee), but because our country is in such a hot mess, so torn and divided. Misunderstanding seems normal, arguing seems normal, calls for reform get labeled fake news or “politicizing” or whatever. I’m grieving violence, anger, what we have become.
The past month has been a whirlwind: my daughter got married, my first book in five years released, two of my clients also released their books (with my help), and I’ve been away from home 20 out of the last 33 days.
It has been a time of connection with my children, my friends, and my husband. I love travel, adventure, challenging projects, and this month has afforded me all of that in spades.
However. I am ready to be home for a while, to settle in to a routine that has simply not been possible for the last several months. I’m a little weary.
I am ready to hunker down, to engage in my routine for long enough to even call it such, to prepare for the holidays by first clearing space—physically, mentally, spiritually.
I’m ready to engage in morning runs followed by coffee with friends, long hours of writing, evenings with my neighbors, Saturday end-of-season farmers market visits—and being home long enough to actually eat what I buy. I’m ready to be fully present in the space I call home.
I am sensing, in other words, a need to lean into simplicity as a practice. Not organizing, not minimalism. Simplicity that narrows the choices, shortens the list, allows me to dive deep into a precious few things instead of spreading my energy, time, and attention among too many things.
I am sensing another book welling up in me, and I need to create some holy space for that to grow. I need to be like bread dough, gently punched down and left to rest and rise. I need to embrace a bit of boredom, engage in my daily round in a way that becomes routine so that I can listen, hear, and be faithful to the story that is mine to tell.
This season, of busy connection, planted seeds. And now, those seeds need to rest in soil that lies still.
It is autumn, a time of death cloaked in flaming colors, a time of eventual quieting that ushers in the rest of winter and ultimately, the renewal of spring.
How about you? What if, in this season after “back to school” and before “holiday hectic” starts, you took some time to just drop into a lower gear? To intentionally embrace a quiet and steady routine for a while, create a little extra margin, a bit of GodSpace?
Leave a comment below and tell me about how you want to embrace simplicity in this season.