I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes simplicity seems impossible! Yet even though my life is far from simple, I have found a few secrets – small ways and little shifts in the way I’m thinking – that help me get just a little bit simpler, and happier in the process.
My name is Norelle.
I am 26 years-old, and manage the daily operations and content marketing department of a small start-up web marketing company that I co-own with my husband. We’ve been married a little more than five years. We don’t have any kids yet, but our 15 employees sometimes make me feel like I’m a mom to a huge family! There are lots of moving parts and we have our share of client craziness to manage, yet at the same time, there are also some great personal rewards. I work with my husband and best friend, I love helping small businesses succeed, and every day, I collaborate with a fun, creative team of passionate people.
I not only have 15 employees to manage, but both my large family and my in-laws live within 30 minutes of us. There is absolutely no shortage of activity, drama, and thankfully love – not only with our families, but our friends, too.
Sometimes I get exhausted just thinking about all of the roles I play every day! I’m a writer, strategist, wife, accountant, counselor, friend, daughter, leader, instructor, sister, organizer, cheerleader, administrator, and multi-tasker.
My life is not simple.
And I want it to be. I don’t want to feel like I’m a rat in a cage. I want to enjoy what I do and I don’t want to feel stressed all of the time. So I’m always on the lookout for little ways to simplify the way I work, communicate and live. If I look for them, I can always find opportunities to choose the simple life and reduce the craziness. One very small but amazingly powerful thing I do is take what I call little ‘bubble moments’ through the day to stop, take a breath, clear my mind and focus on what’s important to me.
For example, if the emails are flying in like crazy and an employee is asking a question they could easily answer themselves, sometimes I’ll just drop everything for 10 minutes and take a walk around the block. It’s not enough to just take a breather at my desk or go out to the hall – with 17 people in 1,800 square feet of open work space, the only way to be free of distraction is to get away completely. I have to get out of the room! Sometimes, in a pinch, I have gone to the stairwell to sit and take some deep breaths, but that’s only when I’m borderline panicking AND can’t take the 10 minutes.
While I’m out walking, I don’t allow myself to think about work or problem solving – only breathe the fresh air and enjoy nature and maybe wonder about the people I pass on the street. I almost always get back to the office feeling refreshed, focused, and more patient. It is difficult sometimes, because it can feel like I’m delaying to finish something important by stepping away, but it’s just 10 minutes.
This idea, quite honestly, developed after consistent moments of crisis that I was experiencing early in my first months at this job, managing a start up with my husband. Things would get incredibly stressful, and since we work in an open space with our employees, the only way I could get away to take some deep breaths and release the pent-up pressure (or cry it out) was to go for a walk. I realized they helped in more ways than simply allowing me to get some space to breathe.
Life isn’t always that stressful, but I still need those moments. So I purposefully take them – sometimes to release the stress, and sometimes when I’m hitting a brick wall with some problem or other and need a moment to clear my mind and focus on what’s important to me. Those moments really offer clarity to help me find ways to achieve a more simple life in other ways.
I’m looking forward to traveling this journey with you for a while, finding ways to acquire simplicity for my life and mind. Hopefully my findings and experiences will help you, too.
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com