Simple, Complex, or Both?

Simple, Complex, or Both?

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.” ~Douglas Horton

In preparation for a short-term move to the family cottage this summer, I decided to sublet my apartment for a few months.

And so, the culmination of my COVID containment culling has produced a remarkably sparse, clean space.

All corners, paper piles, and random crap has been sorted through and cleared out, bookshelves weeded through and straightened, bedside table drawers emptied, and all dust-bunnies have been swept away.

During this rental-preparation process, I began collecting little things I wanted to ensure I take with me—calligraphy pens and ink, art supplies, printer ink and copy paper, some books, my sewing machine—four months on an island demands a certain attention to details.

Rather than making to-do or “don’t forget to bring” lists (I’m not sure when I lost the desire to chronicle my daily accomplishments), I would simply grab whatever item had just popped into my brain and stick it off to the side.

Over the course of time, my hallway began to look like a junk yard.

And while the entire process took a long time, but I did it in bits and pieces so that no one task felt weighty. Example: cleaning all my silver jewelry before packing it. It wasn’t a chore, but rather like placing a puzzle piece in its proper place.

It’s amazing how much better I do when not rushed.

Yesterday, having nothing left to sort through, clean up or set aside, I finally packed the accumulated stuff up in manageable bags and boxes and carefully arranged them in the trunk of my car. All that’s left to be squeezed in the back seat are my clothes and a few precious plants.

I stood there a moment, admiring my efforts, making note of the available remaining space. It’s like a puzzle, packing a car—some people are better at it than others. I’m a champ. Lots of practice.

The fact that I don’t leave for a month matters not at all.

Because, the day I actually pull out? Easy-peasy. Make coffee, grab keys, get in car. Simple.

Not sure when I lost the tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Complex doesn’t necessarily have to mean difficult.

Thank goodness.

“Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” ~Austin Freeman

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Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

When your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more easily and collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

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