I watched Sex and the City on repeat in my college years. My girlfriends and I would gather around our living room TV with bowls of popcorn and glasses of wine. We would stay up late in the night hashing out the plot points and dreaming of our own futures. It was a chapter of life that was a lot of magic and a lot of emotional mess. I’m grateful for it. 

But when I watch Sex and the City now, as an almost thirty-six-year-old who is a far, far cry from my early twenties self, I am always surprised by things that used to make me laugh or cry. Some of my fondness remains, like in how Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Samantha love one another and how they showcase the power of women’s friendship. And c’mon- team Aiden for life!

But other Sex and the City moments make me question: has the show changed, or have I?

Recently I was watching season five, episode four, titled Cover Girl. Charlotte is determined to find a book in the self-help section of a bookstore. She sees two women crying in the aisle. One is eating her hair. Charlotte sees the book she wants, but turns from it because she is embarrassed by the despondent woman sitting there, and starts calling out, “Travel? Travel?!” She gets herself as far away from the area as possible.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s narration comes on to tell the audience, “She couldn’t bear the thought she belonged there.”

I always thought I was a Carrie, but I am more of a Charlotte now. I’m good with it.

What I am also good with is running toward the self-help section, not away.

I need help, a fresh perspective, and to make changes that help me not just do this life thing but live this life thing well. This is why when three of my favorite communities on the internet (Exhale Creativity and Read-Aloud Revival) featured Kendra Adachi and her book The Lazy Genius Way as book club picks AND our own Military Mom Collective AshLeigh Link wrote about one of the principles, I ordered it myself. 

white book with print: The Lazy Genius Way
Image source: https://autoimmunesisters.org/simplifying-life-the-lazy-genius-way/

The tagline alone holds big promises: “Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done.” When I read a title like this, I’m thinking, Oh sure. Yeah, that could work for the civilian population, but we’re a MILITARY FAMILY. Nobody and no book are gonna solve this kinda crazy.

And yet here I am, months out from reading The Lazy Genius Way, and I am still picking it up, thinking about it, and applying the book to my life.

Adachi introduces 13 principles to help readers, “embrace a life that offers space for success and struggle, energy and exhaustion, clean houses and crappy meals.” She shares with us that, “it all counts because it’s all yours.”

I wanted (and still want) to have all the principles in a flow, but I am being patient and slowly adding in what serves.

The three principles that are working for me right now are Decide Once, Live in the Season, and Schedule Rest. I am learning I can make change happen, even with all the unexpected that military life brings. I can both seek and find a more peaceful way to live, by training up my lazy genius self. Here’s how it’s playing out:

Decide Once

scrabble tiles that spell out "Decide" "Commit" and "Repeat"
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Adachi offers up a lot of different ways to decide once, but I love that she drives the point home by telling readers to, “name something that stresses you out and make one fixed decision to make it easier.” This sounds too good to be true. But it’s good, and it’s true, especially for a squirrel brain like mine that has a hard time getting organized.

I’ve decided once to put my keys in one place. Every. Single. Day. I now make our meal plan once a month. I follow it and knowing it’s done, I just look at it and make the thing listed for that night.

My husband is home right now, and instead of stressing about if I’m spending enough time and cherishing him here, we have a dedicated date night each week. It’s not fancy, we don’t have a babysitter, and we usually play cards or watch a movie. But we do something, and it’s great.

Decide once! Who would have thought such a simple action could have boundless rewards?

Live in the Season

Military family life seasons can sweep me off my feet. While everyone else is celebrating Christmas, I might be trying to bring joy and pack boxes to PCS. Or in any random moment of the year, I might be trying to maintain a family rhythm and prepare myself for solo parenting due to a deployment or TDY. I can’t just live from winter, spring, summer to fall. I must live in anticipation of constant change. It is part of the excitement of military life and part of my frustration.

When Adachi talks about living in the season, she shares that, “it won’t always be this way, but it is this way now. Living in your season doesn’t mean trying to change everything to make your current circumstances look the way you wish they did. Living in your season means letting your frustrations breathe but not be in charge.”

Is that a sigh of relief for anyone else?

Our current season of life looks like we moved right before COVID hit, we had a baby in 2020, and we didn’t get settled into our new duty station like normal. If I’m honest, I’ve held a lot of grief about it. However, thinking about not letting my frustrations be in charge is an eye-opener. It’s something I can DO. I have recognized this chapter was hard. But I am starting to feel ready and able to make space for something new.

Schedule Rest

person wearing trainers and resting in a hammock with a dog watching
Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

Self-care gets a lot of buzz these days. There are many opinions swirling around on the loud internet about how we need to reset our bodies and fill our cups. I often end up feeling exhausted on what to choose that will make me come back to my life rejuvenated. Will a hot bath help me out? A time to be pampered? A yoga session?

Adachi takes the guesswork out of figuring out rest. “Self-care is less about pampering than it is about doing what makes you feel like yourself.” While I am still in the process of figuring out what makes me feel like me, I am experimenting with it and already seeing the fruit of my labor.

I have scheduled rest once a week since June and will continue to schedule this. For right now, that is picking one night a week where I shut all my work projects off. I go to bed at 9 p.m. and sleep. It isn’t complicated or fancy, but it is what I need in my current season to survive and be a good human.

As I continue to run toward self-help and not away, I hope I can apply more principles that help me to be a genius about what matters. I know reading The Lazy Genius Way has been a step toward that version of myself.

Have you read The Lazy Genius Way yet? What principles did you decide to apply?

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