“Keep It Simple”

From Each Day A New Beginning, June 25:

“’I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. And scratch where it itches.’               Alice Roosevelt Longworth

All too often, we complicate our lives. We can wonder and worry our way into confusion; obsession or preoccupation it’s often called. ‘What if?’ ‘Will he?’ ‘Should I?’ ‘What do you think?’ We seldom stop trying to figure out what to do, where to do it, how to meet a challenge, until someone reminds us to ‘keep it simple.’

What we each discover, again and again, is that the solution to any problem becomes apparent when we stop searching for it. The guidance we need for handling any difficulty, great or small, can only come into focus when we remove the barriers to it, and the greatest barrier is our frantic effort to personally solve the problem.”


Amen to that! “Simplify” is one of my favorite directives. Tidy surroundings are very important to me, but much more important is keeping a tidy mind. My emotional sobriety depends on it. And without emotional peace, I ‘m vulnerable to my own addictions.

My addict, Angie, is thirty-seven, all of my children are in their thirties, and they are old enough to be independent and accountable for the choices they make. If Angie were fifteen, I wouldn’t be saying this. I would still be her legal guardian and would have some leverage over her. But she’s not a teenager, and I’ve learned to get out of her way and let her solve her own problems.

It’s hard, of course, to let go like this no matter how old our children are. But when I remember to keep it simple my life works better. I sleep better, for one thing, and that gives me the strength to face the challenges of each new day—wild fires, monsoons, and flash floods. Welcome to New Mexico!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.