For the last 18 months or so, I’ve been actively simplifying and reorganizing my life, and I’ve told you about most of my triumphs here on So Much More Life.
I don’t like to make value judgments about other people’s lifestyles, but I strongly advocate simplifying life. A simple life is truly better than a complex one, and I hope my blog and other similar ones are showing you that.
Today, it’s time to look at some of the ways my simple life is superior to the overly complex one I was living before. Here are four ways my life is better now that it is simple than when it was more complex.
1. I can now watch spiders crawl across my bedroom ceiling.
I did just that — watched a spider crawling on my ceiling — Saturday afternoon as I was waking up from a nap. (See point 2.)
It’s not just that I have the time watch spiders defying gravity, it’s that I no longer feel the need to control my environment by killing them nor do I feel the societal pressure to eliminate the creepy-crawlies from my home just because that’s the accepted thing to do.
Spiders are sometimes a part of simple life, and I couldn’t be happier. When my life was more complex, I didn’t always notice their beauty or how amazing their existence really is.
2. I can now take naps without guilt.
Even when I don’t wake up to a spider on the ceiling, I still enjoy my naps now.
I never took naps. Life is too short, I thought, to waste it sleeping at inappropriate times. But evening concerts are more fun when you’ve napped in the afternoon, and 20 minutes of rest in the afternoon can go a long way toward making up for restlessness the night before.
Now that I use my time more deliberately, I can enjoy naps as long as I’m reasonably certain I’m napping to improve other moments of my life rather than out of laziness.
3. I now feel free to buy sugar-coated animal crackers.
When a frozen yogurt shop opened in one of my favorite neighborhoods, they had a free sample day to promote the new store. I gladly tried some vanilla yogurt topped with pineapple and a few coated animal cookies. It turns out that I like these cookies very much.
At Walmart last week, I bought a bag of these very cookies for the first time.
That may not seem important to you, but it means several things to me. It means that my life is now simple enough that I don’t worry about my weight — thanks to three simple walks per week and an expanded vision of my own size. I also don’t worry if I sometimes eat some high fructose corn syrup. And I don’t mind overpaying for something once in a while.
I’m not concerned that they may have been cheaper at a warehouse club or that these are really a child’s snack not intended for big guys like me. Last week, for a moment, cookies in circus shapes became a deliberate part of my life.
4. I can now allow my fears to wane.
I don’t believe in evil, and there’s no such thing as a bad day — although I do have occasional strange days — but for many years, I had lots of fear.
Fear, I’ve learned, is another word for complexity.
I had the usual fears of both failure and success, but I also found myself becoming afraid of the things that had momentarily derailed my life in the past — like violent thunderstorms, financial turmoil and a host of other things. I no longer have such complex reactions to simple circumstances.
Today, much of my brain’s fear-fog is lifted, in part because my life is becoming simple enough that when the fog starts to settle over me, I can still find my way around because there are fewer obstacles to bump into.
In other words, I’ve learned to eliminate most of my fears and live comfortably with the ones that remain.
5. I can now accept that I was simple all along.
I’ve never liked fancy clothes, I don’t drink or smoke and I gave up cola years ago. I’ve never done drugs. I don’t eat expensive foods nor decadent ones, but I sometimes overeat. I don’t like expensive coffee (or coffee of any kind), and I find unsweetened iced tea more appealing than I ever knew it could be.
I don’t over-organize, over-analyze (very often), overspend or overwork.
I’ve always been simple — or minimalist, if you prefer. But now that my fears are leaving my life and I realize that societal expectations only impact me if I choose to let them, it’s easier to get even simpler. And it’s easier to live more grandly.
You see, that’s the point of my simple life. I live an increasingly grand, amazing, brilliant life that isn’t often held down by expectations, complexities or silliness.
My life is better today than yesterday, even if I have a little less money one day than another — and even if my stomach burns or my back aches because a worry of my own making momentarily sidetracks my spectacular life.
Some people are trying to find a simple life. I’ve always been simple, but now I’m deliberate — and even simpler than ever.
My simple, deliberate life is serving me well today. It’s serving me better every day. How is yours?
I hope it isn’t loaded down with complexity.
Gip Plaster is a web content writer. Previously a journalist, online bookseller and even a corporate advertising guy, Gip now specialize in writing high-quality content for websites — his and other people’s. Learn more here.