Mountains and molehills…

molehill“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius.

Simplicity is sometimes elusive, but almost always present.  Sometimes you just need to know where or how to look for it.

The most important thing I’ve learned about simplicity is that it always wins in the long run.  Simple is stickier than complexity. It survives.

Stuff didn’t feel that simple last month.  It all felt a bit too much; too many things to think about; too little time to do it all in; too many emotions flying here, there and everywhere; too many demands; too many people to keep happy.

By the end of January I was worn out. I wasn’t acting with any control, purpose or intent. Things were getting done by the seat of my pants truth be told.

(Which for the record isn’t sustainable. Or particularly enjoyable.)

Time to press the pause button and have a think. So I cogitated a bit. I ruminated a lot. I stared at my belly button fluff for a while too. I then wrote myself a list. I’m a girl. I do lists:

  • Prioritise the important stuff, and recognise what’s not.
  • Put everything in one place. Have a single view of the demands being placed on me.
  • Think about what’s working and what isn’t. Be realistic about what I can change.
  • Be pragmatic. Repeat after me Bucks: BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
  • Ditch the huge, lofty goals. Break things down into small, manageable steps.
  • Focus on achievements – the stuff that gets done – not what falls by the way side.
  • Smile more.  Be me. Have some fun…

When things all seem a bit huge / complex / O.M.F.G. I get my *bunny in the headlights* face on – startled is the look du jour – and I totally forget to keep it simple.

I am responsible for making what matters to me happen, day-to-day, in the face of competing demands. No one else is going to do it for me. It’s logical really isn’t it? No one else is going to step up, grasp the bull by the horns and tell me when to clock off from work, head to the gym, have a glass of wine with my best mate, or head home to hang out with the boyfriend are they?

Take that logic a bit further for a second. It also makes perfect sense to me that if I put everything in one place then I’m guaranteed to make my day-to-day decisions based on a complete picture of my commitments – work, personal and social.

If someone wants some Mel time I will think twice before saying “yes.” Is it urgent? What else is planned? If there’s a clash, can I do another time instead? Sometimes the answer will be to agree to what they are asking and I’ll move something else. Other times, an alternate option will work for everyone.

The point is that these decisions are intentional. And my life feels more manageable. Simplicity reigns supreme. I no longer make everyday choices using an incomplete picture of what I have to accomplish at work, and in my personal life. I’ve removed the complexity.

Mr. da Vinci – Leo to his mates – said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And I for ones think he was bang on the money.

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