The word, “simple” has several different meanings, including: innocent, modest, humble, lacking in knowledge/naive, free of secondary complications, readily understood, and plain. It also seems to me that “simple” means different things to different people and what is simple to one person may not be simple to someone else. I recently had a discussion with a dear friend of mine who described my life as “simple.” This person is highly intelligent, with considerable education, who has known me well for decades. I was taken aback with this description of my existence, and I quickly informed my friend that most people who know me tell me they cannot begin to fathom the complexities of my life and the fast pace at which I live it. Like many people in today’s world, I never seem to have enough time or resources to accomplish everything I need to do. I co-own a business; I am responsible for generating 99% of the revenue for my business, meaning there are other people who depend on me for their livelihood; I work on complex, high stakes litigation for sophisticated attorneys who demand my perfection in everything I do; I make hundreds of speeches to large audiences (try it if you think it’s easy!); I travel for business frequently (which, in my opinion, is anything but simple these days!); I supervise employees and other staff, with varying degrees of success; I take care of many household duties both inside and outside my home, including supervising household workers of varying types; I assist family members and friends, on a regular basis, with personal and psychological issues; I learn how to play new songs every week on my bass guitar; I read, then read, then read some more every day, including books, magazines, professional journals, and newspapers; I attend as many concerts, requiring travel far and wide, as I can possibly afford, in terms of both time and money; I take many personal trips, including to international destinations; I am in constant contact with more friends than I can count (and these are actual people, not so called friends on social media); and last, and most important, I constantly strive to maintain a loving and friendly relationship with my husband. I daresay I accomplish more in one week than many people accomplish in a month, maybe more! Now that some of my friends have retired, they fill their days with hobbies, meals with their retired friends, and household chores, while I am working plus doing things they are doing after my work is completed! My late mother used to say I make things look easy, or simple, because I have no trouble doing things other people find difficult. Maybe that’s what my friend was thinking about; maybe my life seems simple to other people because I consistently accomplish many things!
The comment which prompted this blog has also generated much discussion between Melissa and me. My take on the comment was that it had to do with our lives not having lots of interpersonal drama. That was part of the context of the discussion. So, while I agree with Melissa that her life is far from being a simple life (and simplicity sounds pretty good to me), I will say that we have worked, hard, to minimize the drama. Melissa, in particular, long ago adopted a philosophy to distance herself from those who created unnecessary drama, from those who lives were always in dissarray. Their dissarray is usually based on life choices they have made and they often turn to Melissa to try to solve their dilemmas. So, to try to “simplify” her life, she has had to eliminate some sources of stress. Beyond that, I think it takes dedication and hard work to make our complicated lives flow smoothly. We’ve had lots of practice with that, but nonetheless, we find new challenges often. Running a small business creates challenges daily. Challenges arise from every direction – from the client side, from the administrative side ( has anyone reading this post tried to buy health insurance lately, deal with office insurance, or deal with an IT conversion?), from the employee side, as well as doing the actual work we’re paid to do. But, we get there by persevering. And, we get there by prioritizing what is important, what has to be done, and what we want to do while limiting the distracting dramas whenever possible. Maybe it’s not so simple, after all.