I was reading through various articles and posts the other day when a quote I hadn’t read in a long time caught my eye:
‘Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated’.
As usual, the man makes a lot of sense. It got me thinking about all the times I over complicate my life with no resulting benefit – usually quite the opposite.
Take Christmas, I started December totally stressing myself out trying to create the ‘perfect‘ Christmas, forgetting that small children aren’t quite as bothered as we imagine. I poured way too much energy (read money) into choosing the ‘perfect’ gifts – the vast majority of these were very well received and gave me a great deal of pleasure to give but I can’t help but think I could have gone about it all in a calmer (and cheaper) way. Particularly true when it came to the children’s presents.
As the year is drawing to a close I’m looking back (as you do) and wondering is life more complicated than it needs to be?
- Despite wanting to lose a few pounds I visit Starbucks on a near daily basis (I would say daily but they shut on Christmas Day!). Between resolutions, books and good intentions I can admit to over complicating my diet to the point of madness. It’s not like I don’t know what to do!
- Family days out. These are never straight forward. They start out simple but then we get waylaid with a to-do list and end up with grumpy children – wondering where it all went wrong.
- To move or not to move house, that is the question – one we’ve been going round and round on for the entire year. I think we actually know the answer, we just don’t want to deal with the packing…
- I have developed an inability to say no to people, especially people I like. I then get into a total stress when I realise I have simply run out of time, energy or both. I run all over town trying to fit everything and everybody in only to end up frazzled.
- I made finding more joy in life a priority and I figured out pretty quick that it’s the simple things that make me happy (not saying I don’t enjoy the odd grand adventure either of course!). Essentially give me a coffee shop (I do mean a hot chocolate shop), a book or time to write and perhaps the odd friend chucked in and I’m pretty happy. So why don’t I do more of it? I do get to the coffee shop on occasion but it’s always with a to-do list a mile long chomping at my heels so I’m usually out the door before I’ve even got said book out of my bag.
- I worry too much what other people think – from family to friend’s and even the lady behind the counter in Costcutter. I think we humans generally do care (even when we say we don’t), caring a bit about what others think is probably key to holding our ever so slightly fragile societies together…can you imagine if we stopped altogether? However, It isn’t necessary or even helpful on a grand scale to worry to the point of excess. We have a lot of lovely family around us but only one person who is able/wants to babysit (my mother in law). We are so lucky that she loves to take care of our girls on occasion but she is also very busy and I tie myself up in knots wondering if she really minds, is she too busy, is she just saying yes because we have no one else. My husband always thinks it’s fine and I always have to consider it from every angle.
- I want more time to write yet I let everyone else dictate my time – I can’t blame my husband or anyone else if I never ask for help.
The list really could go on and on. I over complicate my life and fill it full of ‘being busy’ without ever getting the most important things done (in my personal life anyway).
So what can I do?
Maybe get those to-do lists under control. I love a list but mine seem like millstones around my neck sometimes, combined with tight daytime deadlines I don’t make enough headway with anything to be satisfied.
I used to love getting up extra early and fitting in some exercise or writing. That has been curtailed by our youngest waking up at 4.30-5am (I defy anyone to get up at 3am to get a jump on their day!). She has however been sleeping ever so slightly better so perhaps this will be a possibility again soon.
My writing will never be a priority unless I push it to the top (ish) of my list. My family are so used to me doing everything and being everywhere but it’s literally leaving me no time in the day, or evening. I need to schedule in some time (maybe leave my husband to watch tv on his own in the evening for once even though I know he doesn’t like it!).
Finally, I need to stop trying to multitask so much and focus more on what is in front of me at any one time. Flying from one thing to the next leaves me worn out and unsatisfied.
Do you over complicate your life? Are we driving ourselves a bit crazy?!