North Valley mom Kristin Caliendo goes in search of some peace and simplicity

Slow Down Kristin final edits

Photo by Scott E. Whitney Photography

If you’re like most North Valley parents, you’re probably already feeling overwhelmed and overburdened with commitments. If your to-do list has no end in sight, then it is time to slow down.

At about the time I was in over my head juggling the demands of motherhood, managing my business, and volunteering for every great cause that came my way, I decided I needed to find a better way to cope with my hurried, worried life. The solution came to me quickly: clone myself.

Not because I’m a got-it-all-together kind of mom, but in order to deliver on all my commitments, I’d in fact need two of me. Overbooking, overextending, and overpromising became my M.O. Since science has yet to offer a viable method for cloning, I went on a ‘search for simplicity.’

How do we search for simplicity?

  1. Yes—it’s OK to say “No”! Saying no creates a fear that people won’t like us and that we’ll be judged unfairly. Deep down inside, we want people to like us, and the thought of not meeting their expectations is downright terrifying. Is it really worth sacrificing your sanity to try to please everyone all of the time? If you’re not sure about something, say no to it. If your heart is not really in it, say no. Simplifying your life is about being content with making choices that work for you.
  1. Build margins in your schedule. Know how much time, energy, and ability you have and then dial it back a notch. Leave some space in your busy life for unexpected situations that will pop up.
  1. Slow down. A lot of us are wizards when it comes to crafting “busy habits.” We measure success by how much we can get done. We get in the habit of being busy and often feel depressed when we aren’t busy. Burning the wick at both ends is not healthy. We become exasperated and irritable, and the truth is, we put off life’s important issues. Difficult conversations and topics with our spouses go unresolved. Office meetings get delayed. We’re too busy to go to church. Whatever the matter, important things get trumped. Try to slow down and find time for reflection.




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