My name is Tracy Derrell and I’m really excited to be the Simple Year 4 blogger. I want to thank Kerry for giving me this chance to spend the next year documenting my attempt to overhaul and simplify my life.
I live in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley with my husband, a professor at a local college, and my daughter Emma, age 7. In 2012 I left a sixteen-year career as a New York City teacher so I could be more present for Emma and pursue new career opportunities which didn’t require me to sit on a train for three hours a day. A long commute and a challenging job took a toll on nearly every aspect of my life, and I hoped that quitting would allow me to make some much-needed positive changes. Even though it’s been nearly three years, my anticipation and excitement are still fresh in my mind.
I’m going to be able to sleep past 4:30 am!
I’m going to have time to exercise!
My house is going to be so clean!
I’m going to finally finish all my organizing and decorating projects!
Well. Here’s my 2015 reality check.
I didn’t think getting up at 6:30 would be harder than getting up at 4:30. (I still don’t understand why.)
I have time to exercise, but my motivation took one whiff of my gym sneakers and died.
As for my house, it’s marginally cleaner, but it could and should be a lot better. I still have a lot of stuff I don’t need, which seems to be an ongoing theme. I donate items pretty regularly, but it’s only recently that I’ve started to see a dent in the house. This photo shows my first haul for 2015.
And I’m not more organized. I look organized but I’m really flying by the seat of my pants. So occasionally I get into a pickle, like the time I went to work wearing two different shoes.
If I could go back in time and visit with my 2012 self, first I would marvel at my ability to travel through time, but then I would pat 2012 Tracy on the head and laugh indulgently, because my grand expectations have not panned out. Within a couple months of quitting my job I was sucked into the vortex of PTA and Girl Scouts and dance and great new friends and challenging new work. It hasn’t been bad; I feel blessed to have a full and interesting life. But I do want to raise the bar on what I’ve been willing to accept from myself. I’m still a teacher at heart, so while I hope you enjoy reading about my experience, I hope you learn a little something too!