Keep it Simple

One of my favorite pastimes at the end of a long workday is to watch “fun” TV. I’ll surf around and find video clips on YouTube, or I’ll indulge in a Rom Com movie (that’s all this social worker can handle these days= Fluff). However, unlike me, I got sucked into the Welcome to Wrexham series, about the football (soccer) club that Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny purchased recently. It was heartwarming and funny and inspirational. I loved it and looked forward to the next episodes once they were available. Therefore, imagine my dismay when I log into the streaming service on my TV one October evening to get this notification “This service is no longer accessible on this device.” What?! Wait?! I haven’t finished the series!! So, after making several calls, first to my internet customer service then to the actual streaming service customer care, I learn that due to the age of my TV I could no longer stream that particular service. After all the back and forth, the bottom line was, I needed a new TV. And the truth is it was definitely time. My current TV worked fine but it was not a smart TV and therefore had its limitations. It was easy to get a new one, I picked it out quickly at the store, after doing some research, purchased it and was on my way! Easy! Simple! But then came the complication of getting it mounted. Would the bracket fit? Who could lift it up for me and secure it? After more calls and asks around a friend graciously assisted, and I was back in action after a couple of days. Not too difficult a task overall but also not as simple as I had hoped.

However, it was not lost on me that one simple thing, like wanting to finish a show, morphed into a week-long series of events; have an issue, figure out the issue, talk about the issue, explore resolutions to the issue, and finally resolve the issue (and then get it hung up and set up). I lamented to my sister, “why can’t things just be simple?” It can feel like one simple thing pops up but as it unfolds it can lead to other issues that make things not so simple. Sometimes each step can be easy to traverse but not always. Now granted this is a “first world” issue and there are much more difficult things happening in the world (& even in my own world), but you get the point. Because not only does that domino effect happen with home ownership, but I notice it professionally as well. One meeting or one conversation can trigger something else, which ends up opening Pandora’s box. Sometimes, that happens organically (and is necessary) and other times we can manufacture complications (that maybe aren’t so necessary). Those are the moments of which I’m becoming more aware.

Are we making things harder on ourselves thanthey need to be? And if, so why? I’m all for going above and beyond when it makes sense and is reasonable and feasible. But there are occasions when the basics are sufficient. Please don’t infer I’m promoting “quiet quitting” because, I’m not. I think we need to be forthcoming and intentional about where we draw lines and establish boundaries. Are there tasks we don’t need to do when work life is so harried? Are there deadlines that can wait? Are all the things we think are so urgent really that urgent? What happens if we don’t get it all done? Is that, ok?

It seems like we get so caught up in the rat race that we lose sight of what we are really doing. Things can be so busy that it’s sometimes easier to just keep going with the flow than taking the time to stop the flow and examine it. Why is it flowing so fast? Is there a way to slow the flow? (See what I did there with “slow”).

I noticed with a colleague this week that she did just that. There was a problem heating up to a boiling point. An emergency meeting was called. In those situations, my tendency is to want to run fast to the problem and turn down the heat. HURRY before it gets worse! Yet there she was, calmly stating that “Yes, we will resolve the issue but with a thoughtful and intentional strategic approach”. She is committed to still addressing it but not reacting to it. I was impressed! She and I had a good conversation the next day about that whole meeting and the way in which she responded, what I took away from it and then our commitment to “slow the flow”. We determined moving at an ongoing breakneck pace is not sustainable. It’s not healthy and quite honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary. Perhaps there are some occasions that call for speed and quickness in responding but I don’t think that is always the case. I am going to really work to monitor myself and help others to do the same. No need to over complicate or add extra. Pace yourself, be intentional, thoughtful, and protective of your own health and well-being. Others are watching and can be inspired by your example.

 Keep it simple, sweetheart!