Tag Archives: simplify

Taking a Break

The Fishing Hole

Sometimes, when the days are long and the temperatures too hot, my mind checks out and takes a little boat ride out to a special place where the lily pads are as big as golf umbrellas. Here the pressures of life seem to evaporate in the dull glow of the late evening summer sun. There are moments when all of us simply want to disappear to that place where nobody knows our name. I went there today, yet I never left my home.

It all started with a text message from a friend who happened to be out on my mythical body of water in the flesh. He sent me a text message, and in a couple of short sentences painted a welcomed word picture of this amazing solace of solitude. This image he captured in a few words was filled with numbers: seven jugs, twenty white pelicans, and three-eleven foot alligators coupled with a full moon. It doesn’t get any better than this whether you’re dreaming or not. Perhaps it seems a bit cryptic to you, but to me it is better than a 3-D movie with the glasses. If I can’t go in person, at least I dip my toes and drag my fingers in the waters of my imagination.

My ole fishing buddy is slipping across that still body of water headed for the little slew hidden among the lily pads where he can tie off to the remains of a decaying tree top. Over his shoulder, the moon is full and its light ricochets off the black water in a mysterious way that can mesmerize you if you stare at it long enough. Cruising across the water, you realize you are not alone out here. There are some other predators out here with the same thing you have on your mind—big fish! You can hear them as they grunt along the shore line or occasionally you might catch a glimpse of an eleven foot red-eyed gator as it glides effortlessly through the still waters of the lake. One gets your attention, but three tells you to be very, very cautious. There are others out here tonight that want to lay claim to this fishing hole.  No this is not a clip from Swamp People, but this is the best stress reliever you can get for a couple of gallons of gas, a fishing license, and an ice-cold can of Dt. Mtn. Dew. And the best part is it’s not costing me anything but little time.

Perhaps you’re wondering about the pelicans and the jugs. Those big white birds are roosting like Wal-Mart bags snagged in the branches of the cypress trees, while the jugs are rigged with circle 5 hooks and baited with big bream. To quote my buddy, “The bigger the bait the bigger the catfish we’re gonna catch!”

Now—all that’s left is to kick back, get comfortable, and enjoy the croaking of the frogs and the occasional splash of a smaller fish frantically attempting a maneuver to evade a much larger fish hungry for sushi. The hum of an occasional mosquito shatters the silence, but with a wave of a hand that calming hush returns.

I may not be there in person, but I sure enjoyed the journey in my imagination a


great deal. In case you’re wondering, my friend shot me a text this morning to tell me he had just netted a seven pound catfish. Pretty good I thought, but the ones I caught last night in my dreams were far bigger.

Simple is Superior

Simple is a word we must define if we plan to use it as a description in or a goal for life. People automatically hear their own definition whenever the word is used regardless of the context. So for this reason, I want to define it and clarify the meaning I hope to convey.

Simple can mean lack intelligence, education, or experience. Toss that meaning in the garbage can; I will not be using that one. Simple can also mean of humble origin or modest means or position. This is a great definition but often misunderstood, so forget that one as well. The meaning I hope to convey is one often overlooked but equally essential—simple means not complex.

Let’s all agree, life would be a lot happier if we were to simplify our lives. We live in a chaotic world—a technological world where we as masters are quickly becoming the slaves to the gadgets we’ve invented to help us cut our work loads. Just look around next time you are out in public (now that will meaning looking up from your texting or web-browsing) and count how many people are staring at smart phone or tablet and are plunging through the day without ever looking up and seeing the world around them. If that’s you—your world is too complex.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a cell phone, I-pad, or nook. Those little inventions are nothing more than tools that have been created to assist us in our day-to-day lives. The problem happens when we can’t do without them—when we become techno junkies who go into the DT’s when the that little screen goes black. Simplify! Cut back a little! Stop and smell the roses instead of googling a picture of roses.

Most of us don’t like to admit this, but we are simple (not very complex) creatures. Now some would argue against this, and if you are debating the intricacy of our individual biological systems, I would agree those are wonderfully complex. But…to really enjoy life and find satisfaction, simple is far more fulfilling than the complexity we are drowning in.

You may be thinking—you must live somewhere in outer space. No, my humble abode is next door on the same street or cul-de-sac on which you live. I have just decided to unplug from time to time. I can only process so much information (likely you are in the same boat), and the fact is, I will never know or understand everything. I’m not God, and I never will be.

I am tired of running here and there—worrying about ten thousand details that really don’t matter and won’t matter ten seconds after I take my last breath. I’m not that important, nor am I in control, and neither are you. So, why do we live like we are? Why do we stop meaningful conversations with living breathing people—put them on hold—to catch a tweet, a text, a call, or an email from a non-present entity floating through the nether world of the web? Let it rest a few minutes—the message will be there when your real life conversation is over, but the real person may turn you off if you allow an interruption to control who you are willing to listen to. Simplify! That’s why you have voice mail and memory on your data plan.

Simple is superior. Use the media tools. Enjoy the techno gadgets. Just don’t become their slaves. Simplify your life! Red alert—none of us are that important anyway. Slow down a little and take a deep breath. Look at the sky for a few moments. Feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen and see if you can hear the rocking tune of a mocking bird. That Bluetooth and BlueRay stuff will be there when you get back, so put it down and grab a cup of coffee and look at the world you live in. If you look around you may just see the problem for which you are the solution.