5 Ways My Simple Life Is Better Than A Complex One

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.


  1. ” I can now take naps without guilt”. Thanks for sharing that Gip because I’m notorious for taking naps and sleeping late (I’m a night owl) and I often times feel like such a loser because of it. I’m trying to get back to a regular sleeping schedule and off the ‘vampire’ sleeping schedule but it’s a lot harder than a thought.

    1. The world is much different and sometimes even more appealing at night, but I no longer seem to enjoy being up or out late. Establishing a regular sleep schedule — no matter what times are involved — really does make a difference. A confused body never feels good.

      1. I’m a night owl also – I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. We all have different body clocks – it’s going with your strengths for me that’s key.
        I own a mug that says ‘I’m not a morning person’ and there was never a truer statement made’!

  2. What a wonderful post, my friend, well-cnsidered and well-written. It is always such an encouragement to actually read about the benefit a person is actually deriving InRealLife from “simplifying”, rather than just hearing a torrent of noise about how one MUST simplify. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for a very encouraging comment. Maybe we can all learn a lesson from it: Sharing benefits is just as important as sharing the message itself.

      Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Nice post Gip! Before I had kids, my favorite way to spend some free time was to nap. I’m looking forward to being able to do that again one day.

    I love that you watched and appreciated the spider, although I’m quite certain I would have needed to get it out of my house before I ever slept again. It doesn’t help that I was once bitten by a spider in my sleep, had my hand swell up and had to get my rings cut off. 🙂

    Hearing about your simple and deliberate life is relaxing. I tend to be an over-analyzer, and I’m pretty sure that trait will take a lifetime of management. It’s interesting to hear from someone that has accomplished simplicity so nicely.

    1. If it has been a scorpion — which I have seen at least twice at our house — I would have responded differently. That might be because I got a scorpion in my shoe when I was a kid and I remember that experience. It doesn’t hurt for long, but it really hurts for a while.

      Naps are great for computer-strained eyes, stiff hips and sore necks as well as for the sleep itself. They’re a great way to deal with the effects of an overused and apparently aging body!

  4. I really enjoy this post.

    You write: “I don’t like to make value judgments about other people’s lifestyles, but I strongly advocate simplifying life.”

    I’m just curious if you have any tips on how NOT to make value judgments. It’s been very hard for me, since I’ve begun simplifying my life, to not judge when I see my loved ones being buried alive in clutter and commitments. My husband and I spend too much time talking about what’s wrong with everyone else’s lifestyle.

    I’m really inspired that your simplicity has allowed your fears to wane; I hope as I continue to simplify my lifestyle that the same will happen for me!

    The realization that you have been simple all along rang true to me, too. I’ve written a bit about how identifying with minimalism has allowed me to give up a life-long battle on whether or not I need to feminize my image through what I consider to be uncomfortable clothing. Minimalism has allowed me to accept myself as a modest dresser, and see it not as a failure at femininity but a natural way of being myself.

    1. Thanks for the comments… from one modest dresser to another. It’s always jeans and a simple shirt for me. I have vowed to never dress up again, and that seems like an easy promise to keep.

      Here’s my best advice on value judgments: Since you don’t know what someone else’s soul or life is trying to accomplish, you can’t know how well they’re doing at it. While you and I both feel that getting control and creating some order of the nonsense of life is best for us, others seem content to be blissfully ignorant of life’s true pleasures. They would have better lives if they simplified them, but how do you know they want anything better? Some people seem very satisfied with the trance they’ve been lulled into. For them, finding true happiness from simplicity is a journey for another time.


      1. Thank you for the thoughtful response! I like this: “For them, finding true happiness from simplicity is a journey for another time.”

        Good call!!

  5. Great Post Gip

    I really love your connection with fear and complexity. So much of our fear is wrapped up in our need for complexity and more, when all we really need to do is extract more goodness from what we already have.

    Still don’t know if I could get excited about spiders on the ceiling though.

    1. I stepped on a spider at work today. It didn’t bother me that it was there, but I did it because I didn’t want it to scare someone else. I feel pretty bad for stomping on it now!

  6. This post is great. I really resonate well with the idea of “taking a nap and not feeling guilty” I once posted on my fb…”The man who can take a nap without feeling guilty, has mastered their life.” Great points here about keeping things simple, and enjoying it!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Baker. I’m glad you liked the post. I hope you’ll be stopping by again.

      Napping is one of the greatest things I’ve discovered in recent years!

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