When life’s not easy, embrace the simplicity

A few months ago, I bought a notebook. What made that notebook more special that other notebooks I had to choose from? What was written on the cover: “Life is simple. Sometimes not easy”. Felt like discovering the words of contradiction best describing our reality.

Yes, life is simple. The governing principles are natural and the same for most of us.

The long-term perspective: we start by being born. If we are lucky, we get a proper education, become adults, get a job. We get married, have children, retire, and enjoy the pension (again if you are among the fortunate ones). And at the end of the journey we die. In the short perspective of a day we wake up, eat, go (or not) to work, shop, do some sports, eat again and then sleep.

Of course, all the above have certain degrees of variations.

Simple, right?! But why not easy?

Because things that will disrupt the flow of our lives will happen.

Is like taking a trip, on a breezy sunny morning. Your task is to go from point A to point B. You start with great enthusiasm. You see the road ahead. It looks straight. The sky is clear, and on the horizon, there is nothing that could interfere between you and your destination. As you go along you realise that the pavement is not as good as you thought. You haven’t noticed the holes. You haven’t anticipated the proper length of the trip; you are far less prepared for the heat than you should have. You do not have enough resources. You stumble, you fall, you get hurt. You get up and continue, keeping the eyes on the horizon. You tell yourself that if you continue you will reach your destination and enjoy the prize at the finish line.

Even if the start is simple, the rest of the journey will not necessarily be easy.

Unanticipated obstacles and unwanted bumps along the road will shake us on the way.

The latest, global challenge?

A pandemic that affects the whole humanity. And for us, the modern version of homo sapiens, this is not a small interruption. It is major chaos generator and one big life changer.

How do we stay grounded and how do we continue to swim in seas of uncertainties?

Focusing on the simplicity of life and holding into the habits. I know it is easier said than done, but we must handle the cards we were given.

Right now, limitations are many and they are not making our lives a smooth ride.

In the current context (and during our entire existence), keeping it simple becomes the saving solution. Having and maintaining a simple routine will give some sort of direction. In times of need – eat, sleep, repeat – is more than enough. If you feel you can add up the extras, do it. Within the reasonable limits.

Simple does not mean unimportant. Simple is the essence, the backbone, and the marrow. It is the solid structure you will later build on. When life is not easy, we must return to the basics. Keeping our sanity and nourishing our minds, souls, and bodies are the priorities. And if this translates in looking out of the window all day long, good enough. You will not stay there forever. The madness and the rush will be waiting for us, anyway. No one will be speared.

As rational species that we are, we have a natural tendency to (over)complicate things. The actual circumstances enhance this trend. Putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves will neither solve, nor ease the situation. Patience, acceptance (which does not mean surrendering) and healthy, simple routine, practiced in full awareness, will help us get through any challenging times.

When life’s not easy, we ought to return to simple existence. This it is not a quick fix, nor a magical solution, but will give us a first-hand tool to keep us going.

When life’s not easy, our best option is going back to the basics and embracing the simplicity.

Lots of love,

Sharing Simple Words

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