Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Keep It Simple Stupid. 

(Or the friendlier version, Keep It Simple Silly)

I like to make things complicated for myself, I think I always have. I remember when I was planning my wedding, I read in one of my six ton wedding-extravaganza magazines that the average bride-to-be tries on 8 wedding dresses before finding the perfect one. I was dumbfounded. Eight? Seriously? I went to twice that many stores and tried on countless dresses. The same with my cake. Fondant cakes were hard to come by in this area 12 years ago, but that's what I wanted (and that's what I got). Chris and I searched high and low for a bakery that could make us a fondant cake we could afford (jackpot at Christine's Pastries in Clinton Township ~ definitely some of the most yummilicious cakes EVER!). We did end up with a beautiful wedding, and my dress, well if I could think of some excuse to wear it again (in my fantasy life where it still fits me, of course) I totally would. Right now. I love it and I will be heartbroken if none of my daughters wear it someday.

When I was pregnant with Bethany, I wanted to decorate her nursery in a friendly bug and garden theme. Before Target came out with a line of friendly bug and garden kids bedroom accessories. I scoured eBay, stenciled walls with butterflies and flowers, enlisted my mom to paint clouds and a sunshine on the ceiling, and got really creative. It was fun, but would have been so much easier if I had just gone with a more popular theme.

I sometimes like things so complicated that I don't get anything done. I have a vision, but can't figure out exactly how to carry out that vision, so instead of just going the easier route, I fret and procrastinate and end up with nothing to show for anything. If I don't have time to do things thoroughly and completely the way I want them done, instead of taking a short cut or just getting the job partially finished, I don't do anything. 

There has to be a better way. I'm trying to train myself to keep things simple. Complexity is not always a selling point. Doing something the same as someone else, to save myself from figuring out a new way, does not have to be a bad thing. Someone else often knows better. Partially finishing a task might be better than not starting it at all in some cases.

Easy, simple, classic meals are okay. I don't have to think of something new to cook for dinner every night (and then when I can't think of anything, everyone eats frozen pizza or cereal instead ~ is that really better than an old stand-by recipe?).

Easy, simple, classic outfits are often just right. It's not necessary to leave the house naked because I can't find the perfect clothes, or to wear something I might not be comfortable in. (Kidding about the naked thing. Bet you were wondering.) 

Easy, simple activities are usually best for the kids. I am not a cruise director. Playing hide and seek, board games, cuddling up with movies, kid-lead arts and crafts and made-up games are more fun than contrived activities that are sometimes more work than they're worth. The great thing about this is I have four kids. My very own play group. Put them together and one of them is sure to come up with something fun to do. And I don't have to organize it. Although sometimes it's fun to plan something that requires some adult interference. Sometimes.

I already wrote about my New Year's Resolutions in my last post, but I'd like to add K.I.S.S. to that list. Actually it is more of a lifetime goal than a mere resolution for the year. I want to move toward simplicity as a way of life. More or less.

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