Thoughts on simplicity and slow living, enjoying everyday moments and walking right out of our comfort zones…
About a week and a half ago, during the small dumping of snow here in NYC, a lightbulb went off in my head. I had a mini epiphany. But wait, let me backtrack a bit to about two (and a half) weeks ago. I made playdate plans with a friend while our kids had a blast at a birthday party. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was going to snow on the set date. For those who don’t know me, I very much dislike anything wet and slushy. So you know dancing in the rain is not my idea of fun. Ok, now fast forward to two Fridays ago.
I spent much of the morning deciding whether I was going to stick to my plans or flake. The old me would’ve said, “you crazy?! We’re staying home.” But while I brushed my teeth, I had a chat with myself. Why couldn’t I just brave the snow and take my little girl to this playdate? And so the thoughts danced in my head. Actually, to be honest, it was more like jousting in my head. Swish, swish, gargle, gargle and “ok… I think I can do this.”
And so, I got myself and Bekah ready. Leggings – check, snowsuit – check, boots and coats – check. Backpack on and a quick second to drool over how absolutely cute she looked in her snowsuit/coat combo. She looked just like the Michelin tire man (LOL). Ok, and we’re off! As soon as we got outside, I began to see that the monster inside my head, really wasn’t as scary as it seemed. Walk to the train, but got on the bus instead (so we can use the elevator at another station, cuz Lord knows my back needs all the help it can get since we are sans stroller). Get to train station wait only 2 minutes. Get to another bus stop and wait only 5 minutes. Arrive at our destination and walk 3 blocks. Time spent actually fighting wet snow and slush: 7-10 minutes.
This small, ordinary episode really got me thinking. Most of all, it got me questioning what living simply really means. By definition, simplicity means the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do. Or that which is plain, natural and easy to understand. And so, if this is what it means, why on earth do we make it so complicated? I think that for so long I made simple so complicated because simplicity is raw. It allows for real – moments, emotions, well, everything. With simplicity, there are no excuses. What you see is what you get. It can’t be manipulated. And it doesn’t call attention to itself. There’s no praise or admiration that immediately comes to it. So the motivation is pure. And it most certainly is not LAZY!
I began to see how I justified certain behaviors and life in general by making things complicated. But man, complicated is draining, tiring and so, so damaging. And simple? Well, it’s uncomfortable. On that Friday, I was sucked from my comfort zone and pushed in the direction of intention, just by saying YES to simple. I learned that simplicity means just doing the next thing. Not compiling a whole, intricate plan but just taking things one step at a time. I’ve realized simplicity is not weak because there are no masks. There’s nothing to hide behind. No feelings of emptiness. It’s not something obvious, yet it’s always within reach. But once we grasp it, we get contentment and peace. Of mind, body and heart.
I spent the rest of that day and consequently the weekend asking myself, what took me so long? If it’s just that simple, why didn’t I come to this realization before? Frankly, I have no idea. But I’m so very thankful for this experience. One more door has opened. Another step in the right direction taken.
How about you guys? What everyday experiences are leading you to a simpler life? I’d love to hear about it.