Monday, July 22, 2013

It's So Simple

I  don’t know about you but every so often I need a good kick in the pants.  I start to feel overwhelmed and lost, all over again, like the world is closing in and I don’t know in which direction to turn.  It is at these times that I return to my own words, not because I’m some sort of guru or something but because, well, I’ve been documenting my own journey for the past five years.  And I have to say, over this expanse I have hit on some pretty decent kernels of wisdom, and few posts that I leave for the sake of balance despite my cringing when I read them.  Ah, being human! 

It’s strange at these moments when I reread my own advice  I have this otherworldly experience, seeing myself through my readers’ eyes, reading my own words and taking my own advice in the third person.   And often, my reaction to something I read is, “That’s so simple, why didn’t I think of it?”  I mean I did but I digress.  Or I’ll think, “That’s so simple, how could I forget that?” or, “That’s so simple, why did I stop doing that?” 

Are you starting to see the through line here?  Today was just such a morning and this train of thought, this phrase, “that’s so simple” got me wondering, why is it that something so intrinsically simple is often incredibly hard to do?  It occurred to me that it is so ingrained in our culture to suffer, to feel like we have to work and slave and sacrifice, that we often dismiss something out of hand if it’s “too simple”. 

“That’s so simple, it’ll never work.”

We even sort of hold it in low regard, unworthy of our time or attention; a simple construct, a simple person, a simple lifestyle; that simplicity lacks any sort of complexity or depth. 

But here’s the mistake in that kind of thinking.  Simple isn’t the same as easy.  Marriage is simple but it isn’t easy.  Honesty.  Death… Geometry.  Often simple ideas can even sound sort of trite because we dismiss them without considering the work involved in bringing them to fruition, impossible fantasies and the stuff of children’s stories.

I don’t necessarily think we should disregard something because it’s easy either, but I will confess to often approaching it with caution because nothing is ever that easy.  But it is often that simple. 

So maybe it’s time to stop denigrating simple and embrace it a little.  Make a simple list.  Take a simple step.  Make a simple change. 

And today, why not commit a little to the real work and let yourself be happy.  It’s so simple. 

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