I am a "highly sensitive person" according to the definition by author Elaine Aron. It is an innate trait of psychological sensitivity. I always knew there had to be some theory to explain the overload I often feel. If you haven't read her book, I recommend it, although not everything in her book applied to me (I have never been considered shy, for example, and I don't mind violent movies and occasionally loud music!)
As Aron kindly points out:
- I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input
- I am aware of subtleties in my visual environment (I notice everything)
- Other people's moods affect me
- I need to withdraw on busy days, to a place I can have privacy and relief from stimulation
- I am have a rich, complex inner life (I ruminate on everything...)
- I am conscientious
- I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once
As author Elizabeth Gilbert said, "I do better with less on my plate." Amen sister.
Sadly, I don't want less on my plate. I want to embrace life and do everything. So I work full-time, live with chronic daily headaches, take courses, work out regularly and read everything I can get my hands on. However, my trait also means that I sometimes crash and need (prefer) to spend entire Saturdays on the sofa under a big blanket, surrounded by shelter magazines and classical music.
In an effort to manage my brain, I try to adopt systems to simplify life...like only buying white sheets and towels, and wearing a lot of black. I also hate clutter, but I love things, so sometimes it is a battle to keep my life sane and organized...
I love my rules and systems, as they prevent my obsessive brain from melting down.
So I thought I would share a simple system I use to stay organized at home.
I don't have a smart phone and I like to write things down...so I use these wonderful Moleskine black notebooks for everything. I have an annual planner (the big one) for appointments and daily "to do" lists. The small daily notebook is where I take most of my notes (Christmas lists, great quotes, house stuff, etc.) so I don't have annoying little pieces of paper all over the house.
And I file the books at the end of the year (or when the notebooks get full)!
The annual planner is nice as it lays flat, has a week at a glance and a blank page facing each week for my "To Do" lists:
Part 2 is that I only have two kinds of pens that I write with! Years ago, I fell in love with fine-point black markers and I have never looked back. I have not written with a blue ink pen in at least 10 years.
My favorite pen is my Mont Blanc Noblesse Oblige (I love the name), which was a gift:
I also LOVE my black Uniball Deluxe Micro's and buy them buy the box. They are all over the house and in every bag (and at the office):
I am also an inveterate list maker. Here is my Christmas list, where I am recording gift and book ideas for people...
Everyone says I would enjoy an iPhone. I would love to have an iPad or maybe a Kindle. I can see these tools condensing life into a neat little bundle. But honestly, I hate monthly fees for an iPhone, which are higher in Canada (and I am sitting in front of a computer all day at work and all evening at home!). I also don't like relying on a battery for my life.
But above all, I like the tactile bliss of writing things down...
How do you simplify?