Have few desires."
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Simplicity: The Art of Complexity featuring Irony and Type-A Personalities
I feel like a lot of irony has been occurring in my life lately.
Today I was asked to draft a thank you letter to someone I am most definitely NOT thankful for. Granted, the letter is not from me and it's more of a political move than genuine thankfulness, but this person does not deserve to be thanked. I won't get into the nitty-gritty except to say this person cares only about generating revenue and not about informing and educating our community and that's exactly what they are being thanked for. Do you see the irony here? (You have no idea what I'm talking about and have quit reading because I've left the realm of inclusion so I continue for catharsis.) I also may or may not have have had personal AND professional conflict with his person. It's hard to please everyone, I guess.
Last week, in an attempt to be "totally on top of things", I decided I was going to start work on my first graduate-level class the moment it was posted on Blackboard. I usually don't work on Fridays and the class was supposed to be posted that day - 5 days before the class officially starts. Win! In my mind I pictured sitting in my big, pink chair next to the fireplace with the laptop perched atop my comfy blanket. In silence and uninterrupted focus I would dive head first into academia. I even brought my new glasses home from work.
Instead, I discovered the Internet was down that day. Which meant two things: Obviously, I couldn't access my class and less obviously, I couldn't distract the kids (who were also home with me that day) with Bob the Builder. "Can we fix it?" Not today.
So, really, that's it. At least that's all I can remember right now. I guess I just have a general sense of irony lately. So I exaggerated when I said, "a lot". What I should have said was, "a completely normal amount."
Self diagnosis: I'm focusing on the negative things that are bound to happen in any one's life and inserting a sense of sarcasm to protect myself from the realisation that I don't have control over every little thing. "Ha! OF COURSE I decided to quit drinking diet Coke on THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE, EVER, EVER, EVER. THAT'S SO FUNNY AND IRONIC! HA-HA-HA. HO-HUM. i have no control... i need to have control...DIDDLY, DIDDLY."
The more I add to my life the more complicated it gets. Which is the opposite of living simply, right? And isn't that the title of this blog? And, FYI, more compartments means there are more opportunities for things to be absolutely, positively out of my control. It doesn't matter how many calendars, iPhone apps, organization tactics, and highlighters I have. If the freaking Internet is down then there's nothing I can do about it. (Except I downloaded the Blackboard app so that never happens again... wait, what? Control freak you say? Well, yes.) I know, I'm out of control with control.
It's in my control to live simply, right? I don't have to have a family of 4 (yes I do), a full-time job (yes I do), be enrolled in graduate school, run a non-profit, and various other activities that chink away at my simple life. For the short-term I could say, "Screw this! I'm spending the rest of my days in the hammock in the back yard! My kids can run around barefoot and WE WILL LIVE SIMPLY AND THE SUN WILL SHINE FOREVER!" By the way, we don't have a hammock. Yet.
For the long-term, I'm choosing to let things be a little bit crazy right now. We have goals. We (my family and I) understand we're not the only people in this world. Maybe not the little ones, but Chris and I know that. We're not trying to run a race or keep up with the Jones'. The things we do have a purpose and most of the time we have felt led and compelled to our involvements. I think THAT is simplicity: Doing things with a purpose. Prioritizing. Making sacrifices. Sometimes that means our life revolves around our calendar and sometimes it means we sit in the garden and eat pea pods off the vine for an hour.
And sometimes it means we relinquish control of our crazy lives to the One who has all the control because simplicity is not a goal. Simplicity is now. Simplicity is always present. Just simply live. (Double entendre intended.)
"The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t simple." — Doris Janzen Longacre