Simplifying Life

This week has been…exciting!

Firstly, thank you all so much for your kind and loving birthday wishes. You truly know how to make a girl feel special ❤

Since I just started working last week, no one at the office knew it was my birthday on Tuesday, but one of the therapists happened to bring in homemade cake pops, so I pretended that they knew.

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My parents and I celebrated that night with dinner at Niko’s Taverna. One of my favorite foods ever is a good gyro (year-oh), and I knew that Niko’s makes a mean one.

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Madre: Alison and I should have shared one!

Me:….I think I’m gonna finish mine.

And I proved triumphant.

For dessert, we shared (I mostly devoured it with Madre’s help) a karidopita, or syrup-soaked walnut cake. Madre insisted on saying ~8 times to the waiter that it was my birthday, so the cake came out with a candle as they blasted an eerie version of “Happy Birthday” over the speakers.

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THIS CAKE. One of the moistest, most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten. It was like banana bread meets carrot cake meets tres leches cake. I miss it.

Thank you, Mom and Pop, for a lovely dinner!

On Monday and Tuesday night, I messed up my sleep schedule by going to bed at 1 AM (even though I work an 11-7 shift, that’s still a lot later than necessary). I probably wasn’t even doing anything that important that late at night— maybe some blog reading, Instagram scrolling, preparing my work things for the next day, replying to emails, texting friends to catch up…

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ICYMI on Instagram: I helped out with POOL therapy for the first time yesterday, and I wanted to quickly let my family know in our group chat. I didn’t realize what I actually typed until I finished work 5 hours later. I could not. stop. laughing. 

Since I screwed up my sleep schedule, I’ve been pretty exhausted these past few days. Last night, I tried going to bed at 9:30, but Lord knows how stressed I get when I “try” to go to sleep at a certain time. After some tossing and turning and venting to my parents though, I was blessed with a good night’s rest.

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scarfed these overnight oats in a jar post-workout, while packing lunch, putting on work clothes, and pre-talking with a friend on the phone while heading to work *two imaginary thumbs up because both thumbs were occupied*

MORAL OF THE STORY: I have been craving more simplicity in my life. Basically, I want to tune into those 48 hours unplugged at Fiona’s summer house (I might cite that trip for the rest of my life; it was amazing).

I need to declutter my life. Simplify. So a few days ago, I reflected on five— and only five— priorities in my life right now. Check it:

1) Faith // This means making time for daily prayer, meditation, and daily Mass when possible

2) Family and Friends // Sitting down at dinner with my parents and checking in on my close friends.

3) Health // Moving and grooving daily, in one form or another. Sleeping enough (but not forcing it) and eating enough good-for-me and good-to-me foods.

4) Work // Doing what I need to do and putting my best foot forward.

5) Blog // Catching up on blogs and posting on my own blog (because I love it!).

What’s not on here? Social media. UGH. I hate to love it and love to hate it.

Also of note: The first three— faith, family/friends, and health. I think these are the golden three. These are the things that keep me grounded and sane, and none of them require social media (maybe just a phone for calling/texting).

I feel so much more at peace when I focus on one task at a time or one person at a time in this present moment. I am going to keep this list somewhere in sight, so that I can be gently reminded that I can be doing something refreshing and rejuvenating besides scrolling through Instagram, BuzzFeed, Facebook, etc. Even the blog needs to take a back seat sometimes!

With that, I’m off to go to Mass and then to the gym before work. Hope you all have a good day filled with good busyness AND rejuvenation!

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p.s. this was my lunch yesterday and today, and it’s fantastic — smoked salmon, avocado, and cracked black pepper on 16 grain/seed bread (added spinach in there today too!)

So tell me:

What are your top five priorities?

Any tips for simplifying life?

What is the funniest that happened to you this week?

What are you having for lunch today?

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17 thoughts on “Simplifying Life

  1. I think starting a new job is both very exciting and overly stimulating. I’m a work-a-holic myself. The days that follow orientation at a new opportunity are usually filled with strange bouts of insomnia. It’s a sign of stress – a really positive stress. I’m eager to perform (type-A personality) and I’m curious to quickly ramp up and make impact at work even though I JUST STARTED. My managers all tell me the same thing – you just started; go home; sleep; you’re going to burn out.

    Now that you are new, this is a good time to really pay attention to the ebb and flow of your work week/day. What needs to be done now and what can wait? If it can wait, LET IT WAIT. Turn off your work brain, and do something analog. This is a very difficult thing to do – my sisters and I are still trying to “put the type-a away” and “let type b set you free.” Another thing I do is – the last 30-45 minutes is airplane mode time. No computers, no phones, no screens at all. If work or any action items are on my mind, I write down lists so I can ease my mind and know I won’t forget to do these things TOMORROW.

    I hope this helps!

  2. For me, 1) self-care 2) relationships [bf, family, friends, etc.] 3) health/wellness 4) reading blogs or watching YouTube and 5) low-key weekends. Any tips for simplifying — I’d have to say make a list of only three things to accomplish each day. As much as we all like having a long to-do list, and being able to check each one off, you sometimes have to be realistic! Plus, it helps you to find what really is most important for you to get done in a day. Some semblance of food prep for meals during the week helps. I don’t do anything major, just make sure I have enough snacks/breakfast items for the week, and then do a mass prep for my week of lunches. Not always the most fun/creative, but it takes the worry of what will be for lunch out of my hands during the week! Lunch today = Aidell’s pineapple and bacon sausage + sautéed zucchini + basmati rice!

    • I used to make a list of only 3-5 things I had to do every day too, but then I started writing down all the little things I had to do so that I had more to check off at the end of the day, haha! But that’s a good way to simplify and prioritize!
      Mm your lunch sounds amazing. Bacon sausage?? ❤

  3. I was really busy and didn’t get to comment, but HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY!!! Hope it was a great one, and wishing you a wonderful upcoming year! *hugs*

    So weird, because I am o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with gyros too, ever since my first one at a farmer’s market. Now my obsession has expanded to just about any Greek/Mediterranean food, but gyros…mmm, my first love. 😍 You have me drooling. 😝

    I’m going out to lunch at a cafe with my mom today. We’re having a girls’ day out/appointment day (😜), so we’re taking advantage and getting a special lunch together. It’s going to be fun, and I’m really looking forward to it. Have a great day, Alison!!

  4. That looks like the most perfect piece of birthday cake! I also love your nail color! HAHAHA How did poop therapy go? 😉 Hope your job is treating ya well. By the look of that cake pop, it is!

    I’m just going to grab leftover spaghetti and meat sauce for lunch + a side salad. Simplifying my life is something I really, really want to do but just can’t seem to. It frustrates the heck out of me!!! UGHH do you have any tips? I feel very stuck. 😦

  5. Happy belated birthday–hope you had a great one! And I think that the simplest things in life are the best things!
    Priorities: 1) Find a restaurant to celebrate that I got my first job! 2) Finish my scheduled blog posts! 3) Clear my inbox! 4) Finish editing my YouTube videos, and lastly, 5) make sure I actually get in enough physical rest!

  6. Mmmm, I love gyros (although whenever I eat them with other people, no one can seem to agree on how they should be pronounced!) My family used to go to this tavern with a chicken cheesesteak gryo with tons of melted provolone and grilled peppers and onions. I miss it! 🙂

  7. So happy you had a good birthday! I laughed at the Instagram with the typo too. I am always trying to set my phone aside and take more time for prayer, journaling, and doing things to put my soul at ease. But it is so hard to just put our phones down sometimes! I also need to work on getting more sleep too!

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