Slow Down. Breathe. Simplify.


“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”–Henry David Thoreau

What do you do when you’re stuck?

You slow down, take a deep breath, and you simplify.

It is the best antidote for anything that ails you. It cuts right through the noise. Fast.

When you don’t know what to say, simplify.

When you can’t decide what to wear, simplify.

When your neighbors are driving you insane, simplify.

When nothing is going as planned, simplify.

When you’re at your wit’s end, an exhausted heap on the floor, having tried everything, done everything, been everything, and still it’s not enough, simplify.

When your heart is broken and you can’t make sense of a major loss and disappointment, simplify. This is exactly what presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton did the day after she experienced one of the worst setbacks of her career. She took her dogs for walk in the woods. No makeup, no media, no fanfare. Just her, Bill, and the dogs.

And if you don’t know how to simplify, just ask yourself: What is one small way that I can simplify in this situation?

And wait for the answer.

All you need is one step. A first step.

Sometimes just asking the question is a way of simplifying.

For me right now – moments after discovering that an entire batch of laundry came out covered in a million tiny pieces of Kleenex, and I can’t turn back the clock to pull the rogue tissue out of the pile – simplifying means throwing the whole wad into the dryer as is, and sitting in my rocking chair next to a sunny window.

Yes, that’s what I’m doing as I write this post: letting the sunshine bathe me with heat and light.

And I already feel better.

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  • Wendy

    My mother, who recently died at 99, constantly had Kleenex in her pockets, and even though I checked before doing her laundry, occasionally there would be a rogue one she had tucked in her sleeve. Yes, lots of lint!! After she died, I cleaned out her closet and washed a few things up, and wouldn’t you know–Kleenex. Even from beyond she is never far away! 🙂

  • Stephanie Bennett Vogt

    Love this, Wendy!! Thank you for sharing your story about your mom. I must have been channeling her. 😉