When I drive in the car I am blessed with two children in the back that can read and believe they know all the rules of the road. Basically I gave birth to two back seat drivers.
… the problem is made worse because my Prius displays how fast I am going in big numbers they can see from the back. If the speed limit is 45 and I am going 46 I am quickly told that I am speeding. If I am going 44 then I am told to speed up. As much as I love the grasp of numbers and the willingness to help, this is a bit much.
The same thing comes up with traffic lights. They are quick to make sure I go the second they turn green and are upset when they turn yellow as I drive through.
It got me thinking.
Traffic lights have a lot to do with Intentional Living.
It happens too often. We find ourselves speeding through life, not focused on what we are doing, and we miss the lights (hopefully it doesn’t happen too often… especially on the real roads).
I think a lot about you as a reader when I write posts. I wonder who you are, where you are at, how I can help you and more. Are you frustrated and wanting to simplify? Have you far pasted me in what you have learned about minimalism and life? One thing I can be fairly sure about is that you are interested in having simple and/or minimalist living in your life. Depending on where you are at you might need different ‘lights’, but I would like to propose that all three colors are critical, and probably equally important, in creating this life.
I don’t know about all countries, but I am pretty sure that red is fairly universal in meaning STOP. There is urgency with red. It isn’t something to think about and consider first.
This is the most critical step in establishing simple living. Stop! Way to often in life we are traveling along… sometimes at a dangerous speed, and we try to pick up different fads along the way. We try to grab shortcuts for our jobs, eating, organization, parenting and more, and throw them in the backseat as we race along. This is why there is such a huge market for these ‘short-cut tricks’.
But minimalism and intentionally living is different. It isn’t something that can be added to your already busy life. If your life is speeding out of control it requires you STOP. I don’t know how long you can or need to stop, but stopping isn’t optional. You have to get a look at your life standing still. Things look different that way.
Though often coming after green in traffic lights this would come after red in our example. Stopping is the action, yellow is the thinking we can do from the stopped position. It is impossible to figure out what we want from life when we are racing through, there are too many other thoughts to compete with. Thinking about what you want your life to be, where your life is now, what is working and what isn’t, are all things that need to be done after a stop.
Sometimes we get here after major life events. Death of someone close, disease, natural disasters, or even graduation or other positive events. All of a sudden life seems to stop and these real questions come to the surface. What really matters in life? Am I working toward it? What about the people who matter to me?
Please don’t wait for life to throw these Reds and Yellows at you. Take the time now to figure these things out.
Life is action. You have to move beyond the dream. Move beyond the ideals. Make changes in your life. The process is often more messy and hard than we think it should be… ideals never work out in life perfectly and they shouldn’t.
What you figure out in the yellow make steps toward. Though all equally important the green is the area you should spend most of your time in. Nothing is changed in the dreaming and thinking stage. Make it happen.
These aren’t steps that need to happen just once, they need to happen regularly. After a ‘green’ period spend an evening or a few days in the red and yellow to evaluate and see if you need any ‘green’ changes. The amazing part of life is that we can do these steps. It might not be quick fixes, but we do have control of where we are heading.
Thanks so much for reading!