A little more than a year ago I started my Simple Year project. When I took over this blog, almost three years had passed since I’d left a long-time teaching career, which included very early mornings, a long commute, and lots of stress. Quitting helped me find more balance, make new friends, and be a different kind of mom. I’d also hoped to address the numerous home and personal organization issues which had been bugging me.
But early last year I was stalled, and stuck, and overwhelmed. I needed to somehow find a way to focus, and organize my plan to organize, which sounds pretty redundant and just a bit pathetic. There is a saying I’ve always liked, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” and though I tried to approach my project the way I taught my students, my true role was that of a student.
I think this blog, and all of you who were kind enough to read and comment and share your own ideas and experiences, were my teachers over the past year. Even if I didn’t get to respond, I read and appreciated every single comment, especially during the many moments when I felt behind, or frustrated, or just tired of sorting through another box or pile of stuff. And knowing that people were reading and relating provided additional motivation. Writing a blog is a great way to keep yourself accountable, I learned. Even though I often fell short of my expectations, I was okay with admitting that I’d made an effort, and when I was faltering. I was okay with admitting when I failed. But I never wanted to come here and admit that I just gave up.
Overall, I made a lot more progress than I would have if I had not been blessed with this opportunity and outlet. I wouldn’t have thought of taking photos of all the boxes and bags I donated, but those photos make me feel proud when I look at them and I hope they provided some inspiration. And I wouldn’t have known that others struggled with similar challenges in running their homes and their lives.
Even though a little more than a year has passed since I started, I’m not finished. I might even say I still have a ways to go, which is a fact I can live with. I’m not sure when it happened, but I realized it’s never done. It’s always a process. I’m going to keep donating things we don’t need. I’m keeping my dream of parking the car in the garage one day. I’ll continue to write my monthly menu plans and not really like cooking. I’ll try every day to do a little something because that’s the least I can do, reminding myself that little steps add up to big improvements.
And so I say good-bye, and thank you. My successor will introduce herself on Friday, and I’m excited to begin hearing her story. I loved all the submissions and thank everyone who took the time to send them. There was so much creativity and heart in all of them. It was a tough decision and I hope you all decide to start your own blogs because there is no such thing as too many great ideas. It has been an honor and a privilege to have shared this past year with you.