I admitted to my husband recently that I wanted a simpler life. He took that to mean moving off the grid and my brain turning to mush. He became alarmed. Thats not it, I assured him. It means I want freedom from the clutter that seems to fill my everyday life. Living simply does not mean simply living. It means living life uncluttered by the superfluous, allowing for a life of more purpose and clarity.
If youre a member of one of the five original Blue Zones of the world, certain questions never need to be asked. Choices are few. You eat fresh food, some of which you grow yourself. You live with family members. You socialize in the same groups of friends youve known for decades. You walk and get plenty of natural movement. You attend faith-based services. Sleep and repeat.
Now, Im not advocating moving to a Blue Zone. I just happen to see the merits of that simpler way of life. But even in the Blue Zones, the introduction of fast food has created more choices for its residents. Bad choices. Making life a little less simple, and much more unhealthy. Sometimes, more is not better. Some things should not be tampered with.
I began thinking more about this concept while at the grocery store the other day. As I passed by a man shopping with his son in a particularly dizzying, product-filled aisle, I heard the man utter under his breath, all I see is stuff from top to bottom, and too many choices. Amen brother. Clutter and confusion.
A short time later, on the very same shopping excursion, I ran into a friend of mine who has a son the same age as one of mine. As we chatted, she commented that no matter how often she shops, what store she goes to, or what she buys, her son laments and complains, we dont have anything to eat. Really? I know those words all too well. I hear that same phrase uttered from my own children on a daily basis. But, it was her next statement that resonated with me the most. I think he just has too many choices. Bingo. Thats it. No one needs a hundred different kinds of cereal to choose from.
Too many choices is confusing. Have you ever been to a restaurant that has fifty items on the menu? What? How long does that take to decide. If there are fifty things worth having, I better read through them carefully so I dont make the wrong decision. Gordon Ramsey rule number one: A menu needs only a few, simple, meaningful items, done exceptionally well.
Purpose and clarity.