I’m sitting on my new couch, looking out my wide-open windows, and man oh man do I feel good. Take this with a gulp of perspective because if I’m being honest, most moments of goodness I’ve experienced lately are sticky with a feeling of anxiety and fear. But for the most part, I am feeling a little lighter today. Anyway, back to the big windows and my overstuffed couch (seriously people, Craiglist gifted me the world’s greatest piece of furniture). I’m listening to country music and the weather app is reporting that Eugene will be flaunting a bold eighty-two degrees tomorrow. PRAISE THE LORD. Last year I lived in denial that the weather affected me. I definitely don’t mind rain or clouds; in fact, I like them, but I can’t deny that seeing the sun makes me feel fifty shades of fabulous.
So as I am sitting here, soaking in the goodness, I’m trying to get a handle on what the heck has been going on in my head these past few weeks. Basically it is all boiling down to one word—simplify. I have been heeding this mantra ever since I poured my heart out to my dad and presented him with my messy pile of tears and confusion. He listened thoughtfully as he always does, and then more or less just told me to chill out and stop complicating everything. “Simplify,” he said.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Uh, Dad, it can’t be that easy. You don’t understand. There is so much. I’m so overwhelmed. “Simplify.” He always does this; his one liners always get me. And in this case it didn’t even take him a whole line to make me re-think and reorganize my whole outlook, it only took one word. So I’m doing it—well I don’t want to get ahead of myself—I’m trying, to strip my life and my thoughts down to the bare bones and simplify.
What does doing this even look like? I’ve tried to live this out by ceasing to care about the nitty-gritty as I have before. And when I say nitty-gritty you should know that I am referring to much more than mere nit and grit. I’m talking gigantic, jumbo fears and unknowns and stressors. I’m trying to scratch it all and remind myself of what really matters. The alarm in my head shrieks at me that everything has to be figured out and handled RIGHT NOW otherwise I am doomed—but my growing resilience is shouting right back that HEY! MY DAD TOLD ME TO SIMPLIFY SO THAT IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO DAMNIT.
All that stuff can wait. Not everything is time sensitive, in fact most of it isn’t. When I am overwhelmed I put pressure on myself to find big answers to even bigger questions. But what if that pressure is pushing those answers farther away than they were in the first place. What if those answers will come naturally in due time if I just chill out and stop worrying about them. Because let me tell you, I am a talented worry-er. If there was a worrying olympics I would look like Michael Phelps with all my medals. Instead of focusing on worrying, which will only cause me further anxiety, I am choosing to focus on the bare bones and simplify.
So you know what? I’m going to drive down 18th street with my windows down and country music blaring so loud it makes the elderly glare, and I will do it with not a care in the world. I will stare out at the blue skies and Spring trees and tell myself that the only thing I have to focus on is driving at a steady 23 mph so each stoplight turns green right on time. I’ll tell myself this because it’s true. I don’t have to worry about this and that or him and her or when and where or why; all I have to worry about is what is right in front of me. “Simplify.”