Remembering Simplicity

Now and then, I find it necessary to corral my fundamental simplicity messages – to refocus and try to remember what they are.

Simplicity, cheeky sod that it is, isn’t always simple. Like happiness, there are effortless moments. However, to fundamentally influence both simplicity and happiness, it requires reminding oneself and continually working at it.

Sure, the work should slowly succumb to the pleasure, but as with getting healthy after sickness, or picking up an old instrument you haven’t played for years, at first it is difficult and there are always reasons that your practice might slip awhile.

In both examples – the stiff muscles trying to get healthy, and the bum notes miss-hit – it takes some time and frustration to get over the reinitiating and into the joy.

What can we do each day to try to develop mnemonics, to help us remember? What is the simplicity equivalent of heading out for a jog, or sitting at the piano?

Certainly, at the moment I need them. Unlike most simplicity authors, I do not claim that this path is a one-way ticket in the right direction. The awareness of your goal perhaps makes it seem further away, especially during difficult times.

These should be little things that help us pick up momentum and to ease ourselves back into the frame. We can pick up the bigger items later. Here are some of mine:

1)    Find something you like doing that is entirely different from your normal day-to-day routine and helps you escape. Do it for just five minutes. For me, this does actually involve sitting at the piano, or picking up my guitar and playing and singing.

2)    Throw or give away three things that have been sitting around too long – perhaps a magazine you think you should read, or a book that’s been by your bed pressing into your dreams.

3)    Book at least one midweekly night in at home a week and do nothing, watch a movie, read a novel (not nonfiction) or spend time cooking.

4)    Go for a walk outside, even if it’s raining and it’s just round the block. This includes when you’re at work.

5)    At least once a day, fight the urge to check your phone or email for new messages. At least once a week turn your phone off for at least an hour while you’re still awake. One morning a week, don’t check your emails when you first arrive at your desk.

In one of my next posts, I’ll try to look a little further down the path and see if we can spot where this simplicity is heading. For now, take these baby steps with me and let’s see if we can get back on track.

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