I was watching some old pictures flash by on one of those digital picture frames, and one thought keep replaying in my mind: How, in every single photo, things seemed simpler. Maybe not easier, but certainly simpler.
I’m sure part of it is nostalgia, and another part of it is the expectations of life that comes with gaining some perspective1
In truth, I know that there are at least two actual phenomena going on.
The first is that life simply is more complex. We have a bunch of dogs, we both work at jobs that ‘matter’, we have two(!) cars, we’re trying to have kids,2 and we both have semi-active lives, leading a couple of different peer groups.
The second, though, is that we far too often allow things to get complex by not dealing with life and the situations it presents in an upfront and direct manner.
Most of it is procrastination-based: “I’m tired, and it’s Tuesday, so I’ll do the dishes and put away the laundry tomorrow…”3 Some of it is fear-based: “I’m going to come up with this ‘story’ to keep from dealing with an awkward situation that would have been much simpler had I not procrastinated on until it got awkward…” Some of it boils down to sheer exhaustion, either of body or willpower.
Angie and I share a saying that all too often has become prophecy in our household:
“Nothing seems important until it’s an emergency.”
We have worked hard the last several years to be more, for a lack of a better word, adult, but the results have been uneven, at best. I am excited to see how this year goes, as we’ve downsized the house, shed a ton of possessions, and taken some solid steps toward getting our financial house in order.
I’ve been trying to do a better job of meeting life head-on on a day-to-day basis. That is my great challenge, I think- to restore simplicity by dealing with things as they occur. As a coach might say, I’m trying to focus on the process rather than hyperfocusing on the results.
In order to reach my goals, I’m also trying to take a step back. Instead of working for 10 hours, I’m trying to put in 7-8 good hours. I’m trying to reach for a balance between getting things done and actually taking care of my body,4 seeing as I’ve not been in good shape, or been properly rested (or even hydrated) in what seems like years.
I guess we’ll see how it goes, right? If you see lots of pictures from my back deck, looking like a sober Jimmy Buffet, you’ll know I’ve been at least partially successful =)