Simplify with Better Habits: The Discipline of Minding One’s Own Business

It’s taken me a while to get this one published; honestly, this is my fourth iteration of this post. Every time I wrote one, it either seemed too sanctimonious, too petty, or too self-deprecating to be useful. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several experiences that left me confronted with both other people’s hurtfulness and my own shortcomings (more the latter than the former, unfortunately), and I thought I’d write about it since it’s becoming one of my “projects” in this journey to simplify life.

Don’t you love being “in the know?” I sure do. If I overhear some gossip, I’m curious as to what’s going on. If someone’s upset, I want to know why. If there’s heaviness and tension in the air, I want to know the cause. And along the same lines, I struggle with wanting to insert myself into conversations. If I overhear two people discussing something I’m interested in, or something in which I have helpful knowledge, my compulsion is to hop (uninvited) into the conversation and offer my insight, or experience, or the answer to the question they’re looking for. If someone needs help, I want to help them, sometimes even if it’s something that’s not my place to help with.

Do you ever find yourself wondering what people may be saying about you when you’re not around? I absolutely do. But here’s the problem with that: people don’t pay nearly as much attention to you as you think they do, which means that, if they ARE talking about you when you’re not around, it’s not usually a discussion of how sweet you are or how good you are at something. It’s often negative. A few weeks ago, I found out that someone I’m relatively close to snarked about one of my physical aspects behind my back. After I got over being pissed and feeling a little betrayed, it got me thinking. Why on earth would someone feel the need to criticize my appearance to someone they didn’t know well enough to realize they’d share that with me? Why does my appearance matter to someone else anyway (unless it’s impeding their life somehow)? But even more importantly: do I do that too? And, the unfortunate answer is yes, yes I have. Just as this other person should’ve been paying less attention to my business, thereby not ultimately tainting my feelings toward her, I should be minding my own business enough to keep from making that same mistake with others.

This article from Tiny Buddha offers insight; this preoccupation with others’ business makes us depressed, and removes our focus from learning to find contentment and thrive in our own circumstances.

The Bible tells us, literally, to mind our own business (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

The desire to know is natural; it’s part of being human. But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

Minding my own business is a habit I’m seeking to instill in my simple-living journey. Ditching Facebook has been a wonderful start, and I’m hopeful that, as I continue to pare down things that create needless stress, I’ll have less of an urge to focus on the things that do.

Is this an area of your life that you need to work on, too? Will you join me?

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Conquering the “Stuff”

junk pile

I know.  I’m ashamed of it.  But it’s mostly gone now.  This was on my dresser.  Then it became “on my bed,” which was fortuitous because it forced me to go through it, lest I relegate myself (and the husband.  and the cat) onto the couch for the night.  This huge pile birthed two trash bags full of Goodwill donations, one of actual trash, and one of clothes to keep.  I may have also located three grocery bags worth of yarn (with many half-completed projects).  I wish I could show you a clean dresser, but we’re not quite there yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see.

I had two things that I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and I managed both of them.  The first, pictured above, and the second was to make soup.  Joey ended up taking my instruction and making the soup himself while I sat on my bed and alternated between crying and tearing my hair out by the roots.  The soup, alas, was a fail; it’s a passable broccoli cheese soup, but desperately needs some meat and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.  It also looks a little like baby vomit, so I’ll spare you a photo.

Tonight, however, was an incredible dinner win!  I found this recipe for Carne Asada on Pinterest a few days ago, and skirt steak was on sale at Aldi Sunday, so we went ahead and grabbed the rest of the ingredients and set up the crock pot this morning.

flank steak

It’s beautiful, right?  The paste on top is a mix of garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro.  In retrospect, I would’ve added the juice and zest of one lime; it needed a little tang.  Either way, it will definitely be joining the Weaver dinner rotation.  The finished product:

cooked asada

We added some steamed broccoli and ate it off my super-fancy Corelle dishes which made me feel a tiny bit like I may be succeeding at being a functional adult.

I get overwhelmed easily these days, so I’m trying to break this de-cluttering process into very small, manageable chunks. And to be entirely honest, I thought the dresser would only take one night, so I was disappointed in myself when I came to the realization after three hours that, even though the big items were handled, I’ve got tons of “little things” to still go through: cds, ear buds, lip gloss, jewelry, a thousand hair clips, pens, buttons; you know, the usual little things that most people eventually throw away.  Except I didn’t.  For, like, three years.  I used to see a therapist, and I told her many times that I just wanted to conquer the dresser.

I’m not done yet, but yesterday, I conquered the dresser.