Simplicity. It’s one of those things that many of us had as children, but at an age when we were incapable of appreciating it. It occurs when the stuff of life is boiled down (so to speak) to its essential ingredients.
Simplicity brings clarity, focus, and well defined purpose. Often we associate it with poverty, or lack of possessions. But it is not exclusively the property of the poor.
Several years ago my wife and I began to create an entertainment program where I would combine songs and stories; we called it “Simply Put, Simply Found.” It never really got off the ground, because . . . well, life is not simple for most of us. The demands of my odd work schedule (combining several part-time jobs) made it hard to focus. As a result, the project was provided no Simplicity with which it could be Found.
My heart attack three months ago changed that radically. In fact, I am still in the process of finding out all the things it changed, or will change, in the future. It is why I am titling the year 2017 “Adventure” for myself, personally. Because that is, indeed, what it is: uncharted personal territory, with mountains to climb, and valleys to cross.
And it has brought (through no wise effort of my own) a good bit of simplicity to my life. Each day has pretty much the same agenda: get better. Get proper rest, take your meds on schedule along with supplements (I do adhere to a few witch doctor neutraceuticals, if you must know), try not to over exert yourself, but get regular exercise (monitored at cardiac rehab).
I am improving. Although I know there is a ceiling to that improvement since I did damage to my heart. And I also know that down the road there may be other hurdles to encounter due to the aforementioned damage. But that is just how it is. Now that I can drive again, I do run some errands, go to a movie once in a while, check emails, and write on my blogs, etc. (in fact, I am working on a new blog for heart attack survivors now at www.heartattacksurvivorsite.wordpress.com).
But life has become MUCH MORE SIMPLE than it has been, rivaled only by when I played with Army men and rode my scooter, “Lo,” many decades ago.
And I love it!
I am able to do much of what I used to do physically, just no gym workout, and not too much singing and playing guitar (too little wind and stamina yet), no excessive leaf blowing or raking, no climbing on the roof, or lifting heavy boxes (or grandchildren).
Well . . . maybe I’m not really able to do much of what I used to do (after looking at that list). But as a result, life has become much simpler.
I do not rise early in the morning anymore (usually 7:00 AM or later). My rest is critical to my health now more than ever. Bored? Never! I find plenty to do, but my focus remains on improving my health, planning for our future (financially and otherwise), and considering my options. I am a praying man, so I am able to spend time in prayer about others as well as myself.
We are totally reliant on social security income currently (and gifts from generous friends and family), and even though that source is not adequate at least it is predictable.
As I look back to the past there are certainly things I wish I could still do. But I also see that the simplicity that has been forced on me is a beautiful thing. It helps bring clarity to each day, and encourages me to “stop and smell” those proverbial “roses” we always talk about.
I am almost at the point where I can say I am glad this happened to me. Because the simplicity it imposed on me has been so refreshing. It makes me wonder if it’s even possible to impose simplicity on yourself just shy of tragedy or disaster.
What has been your experience with simplicity?