My Story

K. Amber Curtis, PhD
BEFORE simplifying my life: This was me in January 2018, trying desperately to catch up on overdue research projects barely a week after my 3rd son was born

OTHER THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW

Hi, I'm Amber

“Simple” is the exact opposite of how you’d describe my life over the last several years, which drove me to intentionally seek out practical solutions for simplicity…

In 2013, I earned my Ph.D. in May, moved across the country in June, had my first baby in early August, and started a new full-time job as a tenure-track professor just two weeks later.  Most people would consider any one of those things a major life event, but I—being naïve, and just because of the way it happened to work out—experienced all of those things within the span of a few months. It was as brutal as it sounds.

Fast forward 4.5 years and I found myself with THREE beautiful young boys, loving my job but feeling so far from where I’d imagined my career would be. The mom-guilt was debilitating. My marriage was suffering. And I was so mentally and physically drained that I didn’t know how to keep going. But I did. I kept (keep!) showing up, day after day, determined to figure out how to make it all work, how to do more in less time, how to stay true to my priorities, and how to see the proverbial forest through the trees.

Looking back, it’s now obvious that every part of that struggle had a purpose. Has it been pretty? Oh my goodness, no. Was it really, really hard? Heck, yes! Did I want to give up? So many times. Am I glad I didn’t? You freakin’ bet.

Not only has my experience taught me invaluable lessons in perspective and prioritization, but I’ve also obsessively researched scientifically-proven ways to enhance productivity and efficiency while overcoming burnout and despair. My goal is to help you know what I only wish I had—to help you find simpler ways of doing what you must in order to maximize doing what you love.

While our individual circumstances might differ, we’re all faced with juggling multiple demands within the confines of an only 24-hour day. How can we ever keep up? Everywhere I look, I see the toll this battle is taking on all types of people in all types of situations. Yet I refuse to believe we have to stay “stuck” if we’re unhappy. I refuse to buy the message that it’s a zero-sum world where we either have “it” or we don’t, where we’re forced to choose this or that. So if you, too, have endlessly more to do than time and energy to do it, I’m here to uplift and challenge you: I promise, there are concrete steps you can take to make things better—now!

I’m the first to admit that I DON’T have it all together. Many days, I’m just as crazy as ever (just ask my husband). I’m striving to excel at my academic job while being the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend I can be…along with now adding this into the mix. And truth be told, I still dream of having MORE kids! So again, my life doesn’t look simple. I fall repeatedly, but get back up again. Any moments of chaos are opportunities to step back, reflect on what matters most, and simplify everything I’ve got going on so I can realign my time with my priorities.

The mantra I’m constantly reminding myself of, drumming into my kids, and hoping will inspire you as well is, “NO PROBLEMS, ONLY SOLUTIONS!” We may not have the answers or know-how at the time, but they’re out there—and I’m committed to using my extensive research skills to seek and share them with you. It’s crucial to remember there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that’s perfect for all people, or even for the same person all of the time. Things work until…they don’t. Rather than stay stuck in the hardship, that’s our chance to grow, to adapt, to evolve. Everything I offer here is intended to equip you with an arsenal of tools towards that end.

I sincerely hope you’ll join me on the journey to greater simplicity and joy!

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