How Low Can You Go?

Good morning, Dear Reader! Today is FRIDAY, and I am so ready for the weekend. Thanks to this pandemic (We are still in the middle of a pandemic, you know!), I am not inclined to accept every invitation. When all the shit hit the fan in 2020, I gave myself permission to relax and do a pretty good job setting boundaries on my time. It’s vital for everyone to recharge and I, the quintessential introvert, need more time than most. Almost everything works better if you unplug it sometimes, including yourself.

I embraced the ‘simple life’ back in 2011. I’ve lost my way a time or two, but I have learned to just walk out of chaos or clean out a closet when things get crazy. Reclaiming and embracing a simplified, minimalist lifestyle have allowed me to declare Saturdays a day of rest. Complete and utter rest. I try very hard to plan absolutely nothing but relaxation activities on Saturdays, which has been so wonderful.

I want to point out that my ‘simplicity’ is less about minimalism and more about boundaries. I didn’t always know how to set boundaries. In fact, I was pretty fucking bad at it. But I follow and learn from others in this simplicity-sphere, picking up some life hacks along the way. I hope to be a teacher of simplicity for you, too, Dear Reader. 

I’m a huge fan of Becoming MinimalistZen Habits, and Miss Minimalist. I encourage everyone to check these sites out because these people have been my teachers for almost a decade.

This morning, by accident – which is usually the case – I again stumbled across The Happiness Project, which I had forgotten all about. Author Gretchen Rubin reminds me often that ‘lowering your standards’ and ‘lowering the bar’ is not the same. This concept, coupled with a conversation with a good friend yesterday, helped me formulate my thoughts for the day.

First, if you want to understand the difference, please read Gretchen’s post, so I don’t have to repeat all she said. I agree with her 100%, so my post today is about the simple application of such thoughts. Here are a few areas to which I have decided to lower the bar in my own life…

So, go on. Grab a drink. Settle in. Let us kick off the weekend with wit and honesty, shall we?

1) Religion. Yup. I said it. It’s been a while since I was on a dating site, but there’s always this awkward pause when filling out the form. Christian? Agnostic? Spiritual but not Religious. Geesh. There really should be a box for “Who the fuck knows anymore” because honestly, living in the bible belt amidst a sea of Red Ridiculousness is enough to make me say “Fuck the whole damn thing.” So, I guess I just answered my own question: Spiritual but not Religious. I’m sure I’m inviting hostile comments here, but here’s my truth: I feel closer to God, more connected to Spirit, and more confident/better about myself since I stopped attending church. Don’t misunderstand me…I love Jesus. It’s his fan club that gets on my nerves. My 30-year-old Self would have struggled with this. I’m not saying everyone should abandon church… I’m just saying that lowering the bar in this area means fellowship with others I consider spiritual with totally commitment-free Sunday mornings. Bonus.

2) Dinner (or any meal for that matter). Speaking of dating sites, do you know how hard it is to get a date at my age when you admit you don’t like to cook? *Rolls Eyes* It’s true. I mean, I can cook. I just don’t like to. As Gretchen states, “An imperfect meal that I serve is better than a perfect meal I never serve.” I don’t even judge my ‘dinner’ of an apple with peanut butter or a bowl of Cheerios imperfect. Not making dinner frees up time to read. So, have you really ‘lowered the standards’ when you swapped out trading your time to engage in something you enjoy? Yeah…um…no.

3) Relationships. Instead of being all things to all people, I’m going to just be myself – the messy, outspoken, kind, and generous conglomeration I am. It seems nuts that anyone would think they just couldn’t be themselves…but I had been conditioned to believe that being honest about my true Self was somehow unattractive. So, I hid. BUT… to lower the bar, I will just be myself and those who can’t handle it, well, you know…they can find someone else to bother. It’s not calloused… it’s just simple math. I don’t have the fuck budget to please anyone who isn’t in my inner circle.

4) Entertaining. Tomorrow I move into a house that boasts less than 1000 square feet. So, yeah. You may have to bring your lawn chair when you come to my house. You may have to eat your dinner while sitting on the sofa. The silverware doesn’t match…and I only have 6 plates, so you may have to eat off throwaway plates. There are nights I drink wine from a mason jar and eat my Chinese food directly from the cute little red and white box-thingy. Get over it. I have.

So, that’s been a review of life applicable, lowering the bar situations in my life. I’ll leave you with a song (can’t let you down, now can I?). Go on. Click it. It’s catchy. I’m so tired of living for other people and so tired of living in fear. Turn off the news, tune out the people who aren’t on your team, and (in my best Webster County voice) ‘Git on out dare…”. Be fearless. Lean on others. Wear your heart on your sleeve. And…tell anyone who tries to tear you down to politely go fuck themselves.

If you liked this post and didn’t think anyone in your circle would mind that I sprinkle the F-word around like glitter, then share with others on all the socials. Please and thank you.

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