By BRADLEY ROBERTSON
I grew up a very decent math student. I liked the organization of the problems and getting a neat, correct answer. I remember loving graph paper and getting excited for using tools like the compass and protractor. I was very orderly as a teen and so math just seemed to fit right in.
I remember getting really into fractions and I enjoy doing them today with my kids.
Do you recall the term “simplest form” from your days of Mathematics?
It’s finding the absolute smallest number as the answer to the problem.
I was checking out in the Publix line the other day and got distracted when my bag-guy began talking about math to the cashier. I soon finished my checkout and moments later their brief conversation sparked something in me.
My busy yet good day was reeling in my head. I had missed a couple important tasks and still had an extensive agenda at 4 p.m. on a Friday. My mind was bouncing and I said to myself, “Could I get that in simplest form?”
I chuckled at my words and then their reality spoke.
On the outside, my day was great, no complaints. Yet on the inside, my soul and mind knew better than that. My own subconscious was telling me something. Something I desperately needed to hear.
“Could you maybe get your days in simplest form?”
My effort at being somewhat superhuman came to a halt.
Why is it we often feel like we can do all things? Or if we even know we cannot do all things, why do we try to make ourselves believe it?
One can point fingers at culture or the “busyness” of life, but to be honest, it all rests in our own hands.
Our days are as simple or complex as we make them to be.
So, I took this permission slip from my subconscious as an opportunity to make a few changes in the coming week. If I were to put my days into simplest form, what would that look like?
First, planning. I used to be superb at this but have gotten lax this last year. I woman once told me, “Poor planning results in a poor performance.” Isn’t that the truth?
I began with writing and planning out a day ahead at a time. I don’t mean planning out weeks and months of dates, just the one task of staying one day ahead, in simplest form.
“How can I help Sissy this week? What appointments need to be made? What’s for dinner tomorrow night? Will I go to the store? Am I running in the morning?” I didn’t want to overdo it, just easy checkoffs to create a simpler 24 hour day.
Next up, saying ‘No’ to all the extra and prioritizing on what’s most important first.
I’m quick to get distracted by helping and serving everyone and then leaving myself and my family on the sidelines. This idea should be flipped around. When I care for myself, I can much better care for my family. And when I put a priority on my family, I feel settled in my maternal role as Mother.
It is a lesson I’m still working on, that I cannot please everyone. And putting a priority on my family and my home is some of the best work I will ever do on this Earth. In order to simplify, we often have to say no to the good, so that we can cling to what is great and makes us whole.
Third, I decided my children are old enough to help simplify. They are each able to do chores and are smart and eager children. I am giving them a short list each day, only 2-3 tasks, that can assist the whole house.
They are by nature workers and help around our home every day, but giving them a short, daily list will help me out by not having to ask in the afternoons, a simple, little step that could potentially have big results.
So this is my starting off point, to put my day to day “in simplest form”. Are there practices that you have to simplify your days or weeks?
I would sure love to hear from you too!
Always feel free to e-mail me at Bradley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers to a simpler day and a simpler time for all of us.