Simple Bounty

m&m

 

Bounty is good things that are given or provided freely and in large amounts, according to Merriam-Webster. When I think of the word bounty, I think of bountiful, a word often heard around Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think we forget what a bountiful amount of possessions we have. And what an abundance of blessings.

I don’t want to go all Green Acres or anything, but I really have felt the need for simplicity lately. Kim John Payne , author of Simplicity Parenting, describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed.

I experience at least three of the four pillars of excess on a weekly basis. Just one trip to Target puts me face-to-face with too much stuff and too many choices.

I can’t seem to totally transform my closet into a model of a capsule wardrobe, so I still battle with too many choices there, also. I love the idea of narrowing down my apparel to a selection of 37 fabulous pieces. But there are problems. Like, when you plan to wear the white top but your only clean undergarment is dark blue. Then there are all your sleeveless dresses that require a little sweater – for protection when the indoors feels like winter and to hide your flapping upper arms. I know it’s doable, it just takes time to get simplified.

Too much information is a sneaky excess. It assaults me every time I open my laptop. Ten Ways to….How to Do Whatever in Six Easy Steps… The Best…Wait Until You See What They Look Like Now… If I google a word, I will get a definition, the book, the movie, and the urban slang option.

One pillar of excess that I don’t really have to deal with is speed, except when I’m running really late. I do not jog. I love my slow cooker. I slowly savor my peanut M & Ms.

What I think I’m learning is that to really appreciate the bounty of blessings, I need to sort through the abundance of excesses in my life. The busyness of life can be like blinders, keeping us from seeing what is really around us. It may sound like a paradox, but paring down can actually increase the bounty of your life.

X for eXtra

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photo-pixabay

I’ve loved ABC books and A-Z lists for quite a while. This post is one in a series on writing and I am almost to the end!

There are a lot of eXtras a writer must make use of in order to be successful. Take eXtra care as you read this and see if there are some eXtras that would be helpful to you.

A writer needs an eXtra measure of creativity. This doesn’t just apply to fiction, but to all genres. A good writer knows how to get her unique ideas on paper, and she can do it in a way that others will want to read. A writer could use eXtra time, but since there are only 24 hours in a day, time must be used wisely. This may mean setting a schedule and sticking to it or eliminating something from your life.

EXtra patience is also important. When people say writing is easy, you need to be eXtra patient.That’s like saying someone is “only” a stay-at-home mom.There is no “easy” or “only” about either of these vocations. An eXtra measure of patience is required of you, yourself, when you get those rejections notices.

An eXtra sharp pair of eyes is essential for proofreading. You might want to borrow someone else’s for this task. EXtra sharp eyes are also needed to keep alert and pay attention to what is going on around you.  Which leads to the next eXtra, an eXtra keen sense of hearing. Listen to what people around you are saying – you may get some great story ideas.

If you have any eXtra tips, please leave a comment below!