There are many simplicity mantras one can follow these days. Whether on the internet, in magazines, or an early morning talk show, you can find tips on simplifying your life and the world around you.
Want “simplicity” choices? There are plenty. Hope you don’t get overwhelmed by them.
Within all the blogs I read, there can be hundreds upon hundreds of tips, some of them conflicting with others, maybe pointing you in one direction when you should be going in another.
If you are among those who have grown weary of all the simplicity content that is so prevalent now, I offer a solution. You can simplify this as well. All the “tips” that you read about, sometimes in great numbers, can be drilled down to a couple that are really important.
Life can be complicated. Technology complicates it even further. I also understand there may be a generational cut off of younger people that have not been guided by the hand of relatives or mentors that practiced and preached a simple approach to life.
I was very fortunate to have a grandmother and grandfather that showed me on a daily basis that your days on this earth do not have to seem complicated or confusing. You can make things easier on yourself, and in the process, make life easier for others.
My grandmother, in particular, had a couple of different mantras that she would repeat over and over again. These lessons could be thought of as simplicity tips that she lived, and tried to pass along. The first is one I’ve written about before, but it’s important enough to bear repeating:
“Life is precious.”
Or, life is a gift that should be spent wisely because we know not how much of this gift we will receive. She thought it a privilege as well, without having a sense of entitlement for anything. Everything had to be earned. She rarely took anything for granted.
This is an important thing to remember, every day. I think of it almost as a mission statement of sorts, instead of a “simplicity tip”.
“Food is everything.”
My grandmother knew the importance of a vegetarian diet before it was in vogue. Now, she was not a complete vegetarian. She loved a nice Porterhouse as much as any carnivore, and she made more meatballs in her life than anyone I’ll ever know. But, more times than not, she was cooking spinach, escarole, broccoli, and green beans, to toss the vegetables with either rice or pasta.
I ate a lot of rice and broccoli in my 47 years. A lot of pasta fagioli. And I drank a lot of spinach juice (she thought the cooked juice helped keep you regular). I ate a lot of simple, healthy dishes that were heavy on the vegetables. My grandparents (and other family members) knew the importance of the quality of the foods you ate, and the long term impact it may have on longevity.
“Life is worth living.”
This is along the lines of “Life is precious”, but deserves its own bullet. Once you realize that life is in fact the best present ever, you have to do your best to enjoy it, do important things, and live it with the people that mean the most to you. The members of this generation spent most of their adult lives on the job to support their families, but they also knew the meaning of their down time and how they could use it to create special memories.
The traditional Sunday Dinner comes to mind. There was rarely a Sunday when parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were not gathered around the dining room table to eat, drink, and have a mini celebration of life. Making it worth living.
That’s it. Three things. Simple, huh? See life as the equivalent of a gift that should be opened, and that we have fun with. Fuel your body with the right foods to have the abilty to fully appreciate this life. Spend your life wisely. Remember your obligations, but also remember to relax and know how to have a good time.
“Life is not complicated. We just make it so”