I used to be a fanatic for fiction. I used to LOVE getting lost in the story, characters, and setting. But, in this phase of my life (much like my hair, car, free-time), I’m always looking for something inspirational or practical. I recently had a birthday and my sweet sister-in-law, Michelle, knew exactly what I needed as I prepared to wrap up my second maternity leave and come back to work on Sept. 18…the book, Grace Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy, by Emily Ley.
I began reading the book immediately. I knew that as I entered into this new season of life I was going to have to show myself grace. I loved that the word simple was in the title. I’m always trying to simplify with no success. To tell you the truth I have always been a bit jealous of people who seem to lead a simple and happy life. The people who get to work, live, and “play” all in the same city.
Emily (yep, we’re on a first name basis now), wrote this book perfectly for the subject matter. It’s conversational, light-hearted, and full of real-life easy to do hacks to make life easier! It helps the reader take the idea of perfection and put it into perspective. Not only that, but Emily helps the reader accept the notion of grace, which can be hard to do depending on your personality. I think everyone is looking for that no matter what your family situation may be.
Emily humbles herself in the book and opens up about life struggles such as infertility, the balance of work/family, and the constant comparison game generated from the endless online chatter. By opening up, she makes herself relatable, which makes it easier to take her advice.
She helps the reader explore what they want their life to look like. She asks the hard questions about priorities and helps the reader put them in order. This is a book you’re going to want to read with a pen as there’s space to doodle, write, and brainstorm.
Overall, I have to say that I really LOVED this book. I would recommend it to any busy woman out there. But, I know that not everyone likes to read or even has time to read, so I did want to share some of the simple life hacks that I’m already implementing. These small changes have really helped with my transition back to work. I hope these help you too!
Five ways to simplify your life:
- Write down 10-20 recipes that you know how to make and know the ingredients to. Now, take a monthly calendar and fill in all of your dinner meals. Each week, you can go to the grocery store knowing exactly what you’re going to need without feeling overwhelmed in the grocery aisles.
- At the end of the day, walk through your home with a basket and pick up all items that aren’t in their “right” place. Gather them in the basket and put them away. One of my favorite quotes from the book was “Physical clutter is mental clutter.” I’m such a visual person that this rings so true for me!
- Sit down with your partner and have a “date” once a week to review the upcoming week. What appointments do you have? Who’s picking up the kids which day? Who’s cooking dinner? Who’s taking the fur baby to the vet?
- What are your highest points of anxiety for the day? Write out a specific routine to follow! This will help ease some of the anxiety if you know exactly what needs to be done and when.
- Digital clutter is still clutter. Take a bit of time to clean up that clutter and your inbox by going to https://unroll.me/. This is a FREE service that helps you unsubscribe from all the junk mail that is constantly getting thrown into your inbox.
I could honestly keep going, but these are the first tips that I have started to implement. I hope that this has inspired you today, or sparked a new idea in you, or at the very least got you thinking about showing yourself a little grace! Happy reading!
Three items I’m thankful for:
- Our day care provider. She is amazing! I always know my children are happy and safe when they are with her.
- My newest little niece: Larkin Esther. She is beautiful!
- Women stepping out of their comfort zone and talking about real-life issues.