I’m swinging. I’m up in the air with apathy and laziness then back down and over to hyper-activity. I’m vacillating between the two extremes. I believe we can have simple living without either of these. Porch-swing parenting is not just lazy parenting, it’s purposeful and productive. In order to feel productive, we need to have well defined goals, goals like; today I will do a puzzle with my son, today we will read a book or go on a walk. It is a new kind of productivity. Staying home and spending deliberate time with each of my kids often feels less productive than racing around town, shopping, returning, visiting, mailing and just being on the move. However, our quiet days are no less productive, they are actually MORE productive when we are meeting pre-determined goals and making quality long-term choices.
Besides two plasma TV’s, we have a desktop computer, two printers, three laptops, a portable DVD player, a video camera, two digital cameras, a flip, two ipads and two iphones. Ughh, is all this really necessary? How do I simplify in the age of technology? What do I do with old equipment? How much is too much? I have so many cords and cables I can’t sort them all. How do I control and simplify this? It is not a pressing need, but every time I open the desk drawer containing all this equipment, I feel overwhelmed. I close the drawer and think something needs to be done but I’ll deal with it later. In my quest to simplify, I know I can not ignore this area, but the solutions are not simple, especially because I keep on buying.
In a nutshell, the Porch-Swing Mom values down time. Our society values activity, achievement and a fast-paced lifestyle. When you say that you value down-time, rest, peace and quiet, it is really going against the grain. It’s not that I don’t believe in scheduled activities, sports and extra-curricular activities, I do. It is just that I also place worth on the empty spaces of the day. The blank squares in our calendar have value. They are not just spaces to be filled but they are essential to living. I schedule down-time like my friends schedule activities. I put space in each day for quiet and rest. I have unscheduled time available on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It’s a time for rest, reflection and creative thinking.
There are others out there who feel the same way. Here’s a like-minded quote from Simplicity Parenting www.simplicityparenting.com “Today’s busier, faster, supersized society is waging an undeclared war…on childhood. As the pace of life accelerates to hyperspeed-with too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time-children feel the pressure.”
It’s time to schedule a blank on the calendar and don’t fill it in with an activity.