For Simplicity’s Sake

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I got it wrong today. I was so excited about my progress that my brain went into overdrive. Next thing you know, I was driving in reverse.

I spent that last few weeks “decluttering” as I mentioned in my last blog, and I began to feel like an entirely new woman. Time appeared out of nowhere. I began to experience relaxation without anywhere to be or anything to do. I cleaned without watching the clock. Braden and I disguised his Thanksgiving turkey as Spider-Man. I exercised. I graded papers in the office with my husband. This was LIFE as God truly intended.

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And then today happened. I felt like a student as I threw away everything I had ever learned. I spent my evening counting the minutes to determine how much I could squeeze in. I told Braden, “I’ll play as soon as…” or “I’m on my way (followed by 15-20 more minutes of non-movement)” more times than I care to remember. And I did not even realize how much of my day I wasted away with trivialities until I sat in the shower and said to myself, “I can’t keep this up. I just can’t do this everyday.”

Then it all sunk in that I had gone about today all wrong….I forgot three rules embedded in every fiber of my math class.

1.  Always simplify. My students ask me how do they know whether or not they should simplify. My answer is the same every time: always. If it can be simpler, then simplify it. My sister and I have been involved in constant conversation about ways to get rid of the excess going on around us and within us. We decided to pick 33 articles of clothing and wear them everyday for the next three months. (Actually I cut mine off at Christmas but you get the idea.)  Anyhow, I’m so busy decluttering and simplifying that I have inadvertently made the simplification process complex.

2.  KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). I know. I know. Sounds exactly like rule number 1. As a teacher, sometimes we have to use different words to reinforce the same concept. In other words, yes I did say the same thing twice in a row to reiterate its importance. I completely understand that I cannot ignore life’s responsibilities all the time. At some point in time, I have to actually work. Humph! However, if I can minimize the “work” at home and maximize the simple things then somehow I achieve the impossible – balance (an ideal some claim does not actually exist).  As I reflect on some of my days where “I got it right,” I did incorporate some to-dos whether they included housework, leftover school work, or homework. It was the focus that changed the outcome.  The order of operations, if you will, was out of whack creating an incorrect answer. Consequently, instead of warm fuzzy thoughts and early evenings, I am left with tired eyes and rest nowhere in sight, and of course massive mounds of half sorted clothes left to torment tomorrow.  In my quest for simplicity, I forgot to keep it simple…

3.  KISS it (Keep Switch Switch). Also looks familiar…or at least it should as the acronym is identical to that posted in rule number 2. Yet, the meanings are incomparable….

I attended a New Orleans Saints game on Sunday – all dolled out in a black tutu. I could not wait to see what the rest of the crowd would wear. I just knew my tutu would pale in comparison.  As I peered out the window while stuck in traffic, I noticed something quite dramatic about the crowd….They all had on jeans…all of them. I saw two other people in person dressed up for the duration of the game…The rest of the characters I saw on the big screen just like everyone else.

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But, I also noticed people’s reactions when they saw me. They smiled and waved and complimented me – as though that tutu had revealed aspects of myself that words could never say. They appreciated my sincerity. And that is the girl I would like to KEEP – the tutu girl in a blue jeans world.

As far as switching goes, I am working to SWITCH those habits will not allow me to stop and enjoy the moment. I will SWITCH tomorrow after days like today. And I will recognize ahead of time that I will mess up again and will therefore have to SWITCH again….and that’s okay.

Life is what it is. We get it right. We get it wrong. As long as we keep trudging ahead, we are walking in the right direction. Right and wrong are both subjective. And life goes on regardless.

So as I sat and wondered how everything took such a drastic turn, I began to pray, and God stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of one of my favorite memes:

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And I laughed to myself. Because for a quick second I thought I was just an ordinary girl. I forgot that I was a princess blessed to live an extraordinary life.

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