I am excited to welcome another wonderful woman into this space today. I “met” Jenna through this blogging world quite some time ago, and our connection progressed to frequent email chats about all sorts of little and big things. I love Jenna because she never stops pushing her boundaries – wanting more from her life, asking hard and deep questions, and changing on the inside in little (but big) ways. She is also wickedly kind. When Billy was born, she sent a parcel all the way across a huge big ocean (she lives in California) practically overflowing with the cutest gifts you ever saw. There were so many of them. I cried when I opened up that box, mostly because I felt so blessed to have such beautiful people in my life, but also because I felt grateful that this tent has become a place that is real to me. These are real friends. Real connections. Real women navigating this world alongside me. And that makes me happy.
Friends, meet Jenna.
I began blogging when my daughter was a few months old in attempts to build community of support in the spirit of motherhood. Not everyone shares their journey with you, so when stumbling upon Rachel’s blog I saw that there was a whole lot of spirit behind that lens. I saw that she understands this wild and crazy journey each woman faces once they are mothers. To be able to relate to someone – ah, that’s a breath of fresh air.
What’s relative to me in this journey of motherhood so far is the notion of simplicity. While parenthood poses enough challenges in itself – the largest struggle I am trying to get past is the search for a more simplified life. Simplicity can be viewed in many ways. For some, that means living crunchy organically, and only using hand grown ingredients and carbon-based products and cloth diapers. For others it may look like a simplified calendar, a clutter-free home, or a planned menu. God knows there are certain these things I’ve tried in efforts to simplify my life. And after days of striving, when I laid my head down at night I felt exhausted and like it took crazy effort when all I desired was its very definition: “freedom from complexity, intricacy or division into parts.”
I’ve gone around and around over this concept of simplicity and what it means to me. Suddenly it seemed pointless to strive for. I realized that maybe this path was way too complicated to aspire toward. Maybe simplicity just isn’t for me.
Life certainly felt like there would be no freedom from complexity anytime soon. I had to get used to the roles I now played as a mother and as someone’s partner. There were many areas of intricacy in my life, and I was now more than ever divided into different parts. I realized that I had something wrong. I was missing it… maybe I was trying too hard?
I came to the realization that the simplicity that I actually craved didn’t take place in the organizing, de-cluttering and planning. What I realized was that the simplicity I SO longed for needed to take place in my mind, not my life. I realized that if I am aiming towards simplicity, I need to be aiming towards peace of mind.
So the journey begins…
I write, I snap pictures; I light good smelling candles and peruse travel magazines. I (try) to create with my daughter, savoring every moment of her. I try to learn more and grow more, and nourish my spirituality more because there is always so much more. I throw wine and cheese parties, sing, connect with friends. I force myself to experience nature because when I do I feel wonderful. A reconnection with God—a peace of mind, even?
The areas that make my soul happy and light, my mind truly rests. These little pockets, or as Rachel would call them, “small happies,” are what create a sort of calm in my life which generates a quietness inside of me no matter the complex happenings going on. Perhaps in that calm I am able to experience peace in humble forms; Raw, granulated, simplicity.
What does a life of simplicity look like to you?
You can read more of Jenna’s writing on her blog Life As I Know It. Click here to check it out.