The A-Z of Simple Living: ‘A’ is for Acceptance

a-z of simple living

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{Hello to any new readers from Planning With Kids! If you haven’t been here before, you might want to check out these popular posts: How to Start, 12 Things Happy People do Differently and The Myth of Work/Life Balance.}

Before you can make sweeping and lasting changes to your home and life, you need to understand where it is you’re coming from.

You need to accept your current circumstances, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.

If you don’t start out from a place of acceptance, then all the work you put in to creating a simpler, slower life will be overshadowed by feelings of inadequacy, guilt and comparison. (And we know, comparison is a losing game.)

A is for Acceptance:

1. Accept that where you are in life is your starting point.

That may be a family with 3 young kids, a single mum with a teenager, a retired grandmother…

Until you accept the place you’re currently in, it will prove almost impossible to make meaningful changes to your life. You will be too busy feeling inadequate!

2. Accept who you are – your strengths and weaknesses.

I don’t mean you should stop improving yourself, stop learning, stop attaining new skills. But don’t try to squish your square shape into that round hole any more. Some things will simply prove harder for you than for others. Accept it and move on.

3. Accept your limitations.

Be them personal or circumstantial. Somethings are just not possible given your current situation.

Take pride in the fact that you are working with what you’ve got and doing what you can.

4. Accept that you will be making changes to your life gradually.

Deliberately, mindfully, intentionally. They are more likely to stick this way.

5. Accept that there will always be more you can do.


So stop trying to reach the finish line in the shortest time possible. The finish line keeps moving and this is not a race.


If there was one thing you needed to learn to accept in your life, what would it be?

Me? That I can’t possibly do everything (all at once).

{And that I need to listen to my own advice more. Ha!}



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8 Responses to The A-Z of Simple Living: ‘A’ is for Acceptance

  1. Lulu says:

    One thing i needed to accept is that sometimes you are just going to have a crappy day (hour/outing/bedtime etc) with the kids. I’ve got 3 kids now and have learnt that life isn’t perfect and you shouldnt put pressure on yourself to be. Bad days *will* end.So muster what courage you can, smile and face it. It won’t last (and one day it might even make a good story)

    • Brooke McAlary says:

      It’s funny isn’t it – this idea that we’re supposed to be perfect?

      After Isla was born, I felt trapped by my own judgements – times in the past when I thought I knew better than a parent, thought I knew how to do it all already, times when I thought, “How hard could it be?”

      It took me a long time to let go of that. Because, really, we don’t know what we don’t know. But I think I felt I needed to live up to these silly ideals that I had pre-kids. Even though NO-ONE could live up to them.

      We absolutely need to find the balance between being as good as we can and being content with “good enough”.

  2. amanda says:

    Loving this blog…..There will always be more….stuff to do, things to learn. If I can start to simplify then there will will time (and space) for the lovely people around me.

    Thanks alot.

    • Brooke McAlary says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda. And welcome!!

      I can’t even begin to tell you how much better my life is since starting down the simpler path. But, as you say, I won’t reach the finish line because there will always be more. But the more I simplify, the better life gets. So it’s well worth the work!

  3. Estelle Krol says:

    Myself, I simply need to accept myself, my age, what I look like, the fact that I’m not living the life that I dreamed of…The fact that I’m a single mum…

    However, life remains full of wonders and possibilities, there is so much to do, to learn, to discover…

    A long therapy and my own choice to read words of wisdom like yours brought me to the beginning of the way to acceptance…

    Thank you so much Hillary for all that you are sharing with us!!!


    • Brooke McAlary says:

      They are big, important, inspiring things to accept, Estelle. Thank you for sharing them with us. xxx

  4. Kate says:

    I have 2 young children and have returned to work part time. Watching my friends and colleagues careers sky rocket around me has helped me find my current mantra, to remind me to be patient and take things slowly … “I can have everything, just not all at once” … I remind myself of the precious time I’d miss with my boys if I was to work full time and pursue career progression. This helps me find peace with the choices I’ve made.

    • Brooke McAlary says:

      I love that, Kate – “I can have everything, just not all at once…”

      I might have to take that and have it tattooed on my body somewhere, if that’s OK?? ;)

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