Time to Simplify

Simplify - EmilyMarko.com

The morning after I dropped my daughter off at college, I woke up and completely de-cluttered and organized my bedroom. I spent a good hour constructing a divider system out of an old shoe box so I could fit pens, nail files, chap sticks, etc. in a container. Then I tackled my jewelry for another 3+ hours, sorting into Fix, Keep or Sell piles. I searched for how to’s on creating a sliding knot so I could fix a necklace my son made me. I cleaned and organized my jewelry to keep or sell. I did not talk. I did not think. I just focused on the simple task of putting my room in order and finishing a few tasks I meant to do – one day.

I didn’t stop there though. I tackled the back yard and garage before the weekend was over. It wasn’t a planned thing, my body sort of went on this auto pilot cleaning spree. I definitely had a long to-do list with higher priorities. But some how I knew I HAD to simplify as many ways as possible and as quickly as possible. As much as that weekend was a physical space, it was also very much about my head space.

The week leading up to my daughter’s move-in day was chaotic, trying to balance my workload, her list of to-do’s and the elephant in the room – my little girl was now a young adult leaving to begin her own life. How was I going to deal with that?! Ha! Well I just ignored the elephant! I knew it was not a wise decision, but I was concerned I couldn’t just cry this out quickly and be done with it. It was too overwhelming and big – sort of like the mess piling up in my garage was.

So it all hit me after the big day. Somehow though, by reducing the “stuff” in my home I also reduced the uncomfortable feelings I had about my daughters departure to college and how this would transform our household. Not only was my physical space simplified, but my mind was quieted that weekend.

I mentioned my big purge weekend to Kelley of Fern&Edge and she confirmed the power of a clear and simplified space. And she got me thinking about what was next on my Simplify List. I have been struggling with sticking to my work schedule. I actually find myself using my laptop at my dining room table most days. Maybe because my office is looking more and more like a storage unit these days? With the transition from summer to school and missing his sister, my son’s behavior has been less than ideal. He has slept in my daughter’s vacant room most nights – because he misses her or maybe because it is quite possible a Lego bomb exploded in his room, seriously.

So it is time to simplify some more physical space and head space.

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What is on your Simplify List?

Have you found a connection between your physical and mental space?

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Change Won’t Leave Me Alone

Just when you were getting used to this place
You were getting used to these bones
You were getting used to the changes
Well the change won’t leave you alone
– Jack Johnson

I have been listening to Jack Johnson’s Change on repeat probably for the last month. Something about it is just sticking with me – I think it is the realization of how much Change is staring me in the face.

>> It was there as I sat in the parking lot this afternoon waiting for the very last day of preschool to end for my son.

>> It was hanging out in the coffee shop as I chatted with a financial planner about college plans for my (soon to be high
school senior) daughter.

>> It was there last week as my husband and I celebrated and reflected on our sixth wedding anniversary.

>> It is waving its hand at me as I reevaluate the purpose of my business.


Coincidentally the visual notes I created this week for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Innovation Office iTeam Assembly had a strong theme around Change – managing, leading and learning from it.

iTeam Change Surviving Journey - EmilyMarko.com

There are a few points from the event that are still resonating with me:

1 – It is not the end, but the journey that is important

2 – Change is inevitable, growth is optional

3 – Preparation and good communication are key to handling change

4 – We are never done learning


So yeah – Change won’t leave me alone because it is everywhere – whether it is personal, work or somewhere in between. Makes sense since the only consistent thing in life is Change.

It can be scary and super frustrating. Things can always be done differently or better. Life is for sure not perfect, but I guess without Change life wouldn’t even exist.

So I will take Change as the opportunities to learn, grow and try again.
How about you?

iTeam Map It - EmilyMarko.com iTeam Leading Change - EmilyMarko.com iTeam Assembly - EmilyMarko.com iTeam Action Learning - EmilyMarko.com