Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Simplicity

I want to lead a simple life.  I don’t want to have too much stuff.  I don’t want to have things sitting around in the garage never being used.  I want everything in the house to be mostly essential, and I want it to have a place to be put away.  I also want a summer home and endless supplies of New Glarus beer on tap in my man cave, which is another thing on the want list.  This is all to say that I have stuff sitting around in the garage, way more stuff than what is essential, and on the rare occasion stuff does get put away.  To put it simply, the simple life that I so desperately want is hard work, ridiculously consistent work.   I want a life where I don’t waste time and energy on mostly trivial things like what’s for dinner or what to wear on any given day. I’ve actually given serious thought to having 5 of the same outfit that I basically wear Monday through Friday and just cut that decision out all together(I like doing things like Einstein). I’ve wondered if this want for simplicity is just a desire to not make decisions, or if it’s actually wanting a straight forward(simple) life. I could be fooling myself, but I don’t think it’s about the decisions, there are certainly ones I don’t want to make, but I think it’s more about cutting out the useless noise, or pointless decisions. I hope that makes sense. It’s almost like I view myself as having a decision fuel tank of sorts. Each day I’ve got quite a bit of gas in the tank to make decisions, but there comes a point where I feel that tank getting low and I haven’t made decisions of any real importance, and I really don’t care what I have for dinner most days. I would like it to be healthy, but if I’ve had a long day I may go toward the double cheeseburger, but that’s another topic… Back to simplicity, when I think about that term I think about lives like my parents. They are definitely busy, probably busier now that they are retired than they were when they were working, but they lead simple lives
    . The more I think about it, I think the key is saying no. Like I said, they are busy, but they are busy with what they want to be busy with. They don’t need to mess around with things that they don’t want to do. The things that don’t get done just aren’t as important as other things. I feel like that’s the answer, what’s important to you, and what’s going to be important to “future you”? If you take care of those things, and concentrate on those things, life becomes simple. If I don’t want those things in the garage, get rid of them, donate them, sell them, whatever, but don’t make the decision bigger than it needs to be, simply make the decision and move on. Obviously there are things in life that you may not put on your “important” list, but they are probably on the “responsible adult” list and they just need to get done. Simple as that. No need to over think it, or make the task bigger than it is, do it and move on. Seems so simple doesn’t it? Get the things done on the need to list, work on making things easier for future you, and concentrate on those things that are important to you. Seems simple enough…pun intended… For me, preparing for “future you” is where the work comes in. Trying to make sure that you are doing what you can to make tomorrow easier gets to be exhausting, and God willing there will be quite a few tomorrow’s to prepare for. I think a lot of this want for simplicity is a big desire to lead my life in a proactive way as opposed to a reactive way. I don’t know why that is, but being prepared for something before it happens is a very comforting feeling. Maybe it’s that comforting feeling that I’m after and I just choose to call it simplicity. Or maybe I’m just full of it and thinking about this too much. At the end of the day, future you is always going to have work to do, whether it’s in an attempt to make the next day smoother, or to simply attempt to survive the day you’re in.  I think simplicity ends up being a lot like happiness.  It’s a choice.  You choose to not make things overly complicated.  It’s a choice to make a decision and move on.  It’s a choice to pay attention to those things that have significance in your life, and to ignore those things that are just going to end up being background noise. 

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