Monday, January 25, 2010

Simplify, simplify

We are finally finishing up this round of purge, clean and organize around here.  I had to press really hard but finally the job is getting done.  Now that our home is in order, I can move on to simplifying other areas of my life.

Often we think of living simply is doing without.  Totally the opposite.  When you live simply, you have so much more!  More time.  You spend less time accumulating "stuff", so you have less stuff to maintain.  Instead of shopping, purging, cleaning and organizing all the time, you will have more time to do things that really matter.  Reading or journalling, for example.  Sipping a cup of tea and watching the wind dance in the curtains.  Cuddling with your spouse while watching the sunrise.

By living simply you also have more money.  Yes, absolutely.  You will not be accumulating stuff, so your money can be saved and invested to make more money.  Or you can take that trip you've been dreaming of, or treat yourself to a day at a spa.  For my money, I prefer to splurge on experiences, memories I can cling to for a lifetime, rather than a new outfit or pair of boots or table linens.  Stuff goes out of style or becomes too worn; experiences are timeless.

Often people ask why we moved to Corpus Christi when clearly our business is in the Dallas area.  They look confused when I tell them we live at the beach and work in Dallas.  When you simplify your life, including your work, you have the freedom to consider creative solutions.  For example, 2006 was an explosive year for  Until then, we offered complete landscape services, from consultation and design, to installation and maintenance.  An historic drought wiped out many of the "traditional" landscapes in the Dallas-Ft. Worth-Denton area.  People looked to us for solutions; they wanted a landscape that would survive whatever Mother Nature threw our way.  Suddenly we found ourselves transitioning from a niche business with a very specific clientele to one with more mainstream appeal.  We had so many new clients we were scheduling meetings well into the next year.  Pandemonium. 

By Thanksgiving, we were spent.  Completely.  Our business was doing fabulous but our relationship was beginning to suffer.  We weren't taking care of ourselves, our marriage, our home, or any of our relationships with family or friends.  That winter we decided to phase out installations and maintenance -- the labor-intensive services -- and focus on our intellectual property.  Our unique education and experience set us apart from all others in our target markets.  Further, our goal in starting this business was not to be the biggest landscape company in Texas -- no.  From the beginning we knew that what motivates us is the ability to change the world for good, starting in our own front and back yards.  One slice at a time we wanted to restore Texas' natural beauty by teaching homeowners about native plants and responsible resource management.

Our plan to simplify our work life so that we may reignite our personal life worked.  Simplifying, but not necessarily reducing, our workload has been the key to adapting to life with a newborn then infant and now toddler.  We have survived the economic crisis.  Barely, LOL.  On every level and in every sphere of our life, we are paring away clutter to allow simplicity to guide us.  We are happy, truly happy.  And being happy makes us better business owners, much better spouses and parents to our little beach girl.  2010 has begun with promise.  Living simply has given me more than I could ever imagine.

1 comment:

  1. So enjoying your blog posts. I feel like we are trying to simplify this year, too -- the city version (vs. your beach version!) Spend less, save more, LIVE more, write more (that would be for me) and FOCUS on what's most important...