This month at we are going to be talking about two big words…

Focus + Simplify

I am learning new skills around the use of social media and the internet.

I know all about facebook (of course…my age is the fastest demographic for FB. It is how I see photos of our grandchildren!)

I can limit myself to 140 characters and tweet (while trying to be interesting).

But, now, with the nudging of coaches and the help of a younger web designer, I am venturing into being more efficient and more informed. Feedly.  Hootsuite.  Mailchimp.  WordPress.  Jetpacks and widgets and add-ons.  Oh, my.

It’s a new paradigm as I approach another birthday, further from 60, yet again.  A new frontier is fun to explore (once I have been told and shown and maybe both of those, again….at least once).  And the results are simplifying my life and helping me to focus on what I need to know now.

Focus and simplify is an approach we intentionally adopted in 2004.

My husband had invited me to lunch at a restaurant we usually save for special times.  I should have known he had something on his mind, but I wasn’t prepared for his message.

“We need to focus and simplify,” he told me.  FocusSimplify.

We were living 35 miles from his work. We maintained 40+ acres of woods and prairie.  I ran a busy retreat and training center with ropes courses and paintball for team building.  He was pastoring a growing church.  I was managing the center with a growing staff and increasing services.

We were driving, preparing, mowing, maintaining, training, marketing, inspiring, selling, planning… all the time. Together and apart.

The Woods Retreat and Training Center had been a “finding place” for me.  I had discovered a great outlet for using my special gifts and personality and had developed a heart and mind for experiential training. I was good at planning and organizing specific and targeted team building events for a wide range of ages and interests.  I was busy doing what I knew I was good at, which is a great way to be happy. And it was a lot of work.

Dave needed me to support him in his demanding position.  I needed him to support me in my endeavors. We were stretched thin, no matter how good we were at what we were doing or how much we enjoyed parts of it.

My husband saw we should Simplify and Focus our efforts as we entered our 50’s.

It was a huge adjustment at first. Selling our land. Shutting down our business. Moving back to town.

We did it.  And we continue to do it.  Simplify. Focus.

It is a common discussion.  How can we be more focused? How can we simplify?

Moving from The Woods was one of the hardest things my husband has asked me to do. But it has been one of the best ways we have changed. Since then, we have gone to places we never could have imagined. We have tried new foods and lived in a few new places. We have ventured out and met new people and gained new skills and grown into new confidence. We have gone together and we have occasionally gone alone. But, we are more together than we have ever been.

All, because at 50, we agreed to simplify and focus.