A simpler, more joyful life. Wow. After the last weeks struggling that feels like a tall order… But I’m not expecting a miracle where one day, preferably tomorrow, I wake up and suddenly life is just perfect. Life doesn’t work that way. (Or sometimes it does, but those days are few and far between and tend to last for just that day or maybe a few before imperfect reality comes creeping back.)

Because the reality is that life is messy. It’s gloriously happy moments, and boring, and mishaps, laughter and sorrow. All of it, sometimes all in the same day. To pretend otherwise, to wish it wasn’t like that, is wasting your energy and at the same time making absolutely certain that you will be disappointed.

I think the best I can do is accept that life will always be uncontrollable and bad things will happen. But so will good things! What I’m focusing on is to try to minimize the bad things that I bring on myself. The stress that’s self-inflicted, because I want to do more than I can. The unhappiness that comes when I forget to appreciate the good things that are already in my life, and instead focus on the gaps.

One part is letting go of mindless consumerism. That wasn’t so hard since I’ve never really been seduced by it (I’ve always lived a fairly Frugal kind of Life). The idea sold to us that by buing this or that, or treating ourselves with a new /insert product here/ will make us be happier – no, I never really bought it. (And that’s why I can work part-time, and we can still save enought that Mr L will be abe to retire in a couple of years.Frugality is liberating.

Another part is letting go of the idea that I can do everything, or at least I should be able to if I only was better at prioritizing and planning. With all the opportunities today? It’s just impossible. I need to chose from The Smorgasbord of Life . And I need to be content with doing so. Sure, I may never do a lot of things that I might like. But if I did them, I would’t have time to do the things I am doing today, and I like doing them as well. I’ve been Prioritizing life, and for now I don’t want to add any more to it.

What I do want to do is keep tweeking my life, making small adjustments in the way I handle it. My habits, and my mindset. Right now my highest priority is sleeping better, and I’m keeping a sleep journal to see which – if any – of the common advice for sleeping better is actually working for me. (I haven’t been able to come to any conclusions yet, there are no patterns that I can see, but I’m keeping at it.)

What really brings more joy in my life are some of the people in it. I don’t show them nearly enough appreciation. That’s a tweek I’ll really enjoy, I think: to find ways to let the wonderful people in my life know how great they are. That will be my focus for February.

Right now my focus is on increasing that sleep, and recovering all of my other nice little new habits that I’ve lost during the last hectic weeks: Thieves of TimeAn Unscheduled Day , and 10 things fatigue syndrome has thought me .