What’s The Matter with Pondering What Matters

“I live a pretty simple life.” – Tom Selleck

Yeah…so it’s no secret I love take out Chinese! Terrible but true. Oddly enough, one of the things I love most about getting take out Chinese is the little fortune cookies at the bottom of the box. I mean how simple are those little jokers, and yet they bring me so much joy. I mean, I know…they originated here in the states post WWII and they don’t happen in China but there is something about breaking open that cookie to pull out those little slips of paper and read a few words of good fortune or zen like insight that seems so fascinating and fun to me. You never know what you are going to get and if it may (or may not) be something relatable.

Recently I got…

“Things in life should be simple rather than complex.”

Now when I first read it, I thought…”oh boy – when hasn’t life ever been complex?” but then after pondering it for a moment, it occurred to me I have been a student of attempting to keep life simple for almost two decades now.

I think most all of us can agree, when things in life start getting complex, it can be pretty difficult or overwhelming to deal with.

It already can seem like a struggle to balance life as a wife, mom, professional, along with house and home, then layer in all the EXTRA (whatever that may be) – so if one part of life gets messy, the equilibrium gets thrown off and everything else just seems THAT much more complex.

Yet when I look back, I have studied, read and attempted to steer my life in a direction that simplifies rather then makes it complex. I think my mindset began this subtle shift after my stint studying and teaching abroad back in the 90’s. I returned with an awareness that us Americans love choices and choices are fun and good but they can also lead us to great confusion. I mean for goodness sake, we have half a grocery store aisle dedicated to just PEANUT BUTTER! If that doesn’t illustrate how much we love our choices over even the simplest of products, I don’t know what does?!

My mindset further shifted after the passing of my father ten years ago. He was 57 turning 58, when he tragically passed from Pancreatic Cancer. After watching a beloved person in the prime years of life be taken, it truly sets your priorities right. You quickly realize life is complex enough. So by continuing to actively pare down the daily little things that I made choices over and consequently further simplifying life, yeah…I was all about that! Let me tell you, grief can really teach you how to let shit go…

As a result of those two decades, I personally have chosen to keep life simple with everything from color on my nails and toes (always red), to the towels we use (white only), my career (15 minutes from my house), the butter I buy, the coffee I drink, the humble house I own and the products in it. Now at nearly 50, I know what I like, and what things bring me the most joy…so by eliminating the extra choices about ALL those little things – it actually lends balance to a potentially teeter totter world!

Because in truth, we don’t realize it…but all those little moments belaboring choices, are a daily time and energy suck! It’s like a black hole we throw time and energy down. On the daily we create superfluous complexities in so many little ways, we hardly recognize that we’re doing it. Yet all those little moments are adding extra stress, and sucking time and energy from us that throws us out of whack.

Think about this reality, we spend 15 minutes sniffing scented candles deciding which to buy, or six minutes in an aisle perplexed about toilet paper, ten minutes deciding a new polish color, 30 minutes reading and rereading an email, 15 minutes deciding what to wear…etc, etc, etc…the list could be endless…but without even RECOGNIZING, WE DO IT!

Only you know HOW many times a day you are doing this but I see and hear people doing this on the daily! Myself included from time to time, despite being a student of my own mindset shift. My goodness it is SOOO easy to get sucked in to those little moments of indecision all the while manifesting little anxieties while wasting our precious time and energy about NOTHING! But if we truly studied ourselves, and tallied those moments up, how often was it? How much time was wasted or what little bit of stress did those unrecognized moments create?

Do we accidentally create complex moments for ourself over things that should be so simple?

READ THAT AGAIN!

Do we accidentally create complex moments for ourself over things that should be so simple?

REMEMBER! This is all energy and time that could be spent on something you actually love. Like maybe your favorite hobby, time with your family that normally is missed, or even enjoying a quiet moment doing nothing. Let’s be real, this list can be endless too!!!

After-all, life can get REALLY messy and complicated. Things aren’t always easy and clear-cut. So once you know what works for you, why make things more complex? Just go with what you know and eliminate the rest! This is simply a simple way to easily create balance and harmony. I’m not saying don’t try new things…but if it’s causing a quandary, let it go and maybe revisit it at a later date…or maybe not.

Sometimes, we do have way too much on our plates. No one said life was going to be easy, but no one said that we sometimes make life more complex for ourselves either…so don’t waste your time and energy on those little things! Save it for the true complexities in life that deserve being pondered and for more opportunity to enjoy the good stuff in life!

At the end of the day, to some it may seem dull or boring. Yet to me, by eliminating the choices that cause unnecessary complexities – it is my way of keeping life simple!

As always…

Go in love,
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