I would love to be able to simplify my life. For instance, I have found that I really don't like making decisions about the little things. It is difficult enough for me to make the big decisions all day, let alone to answer impossible conundrums about "paper or plastic?" It has long been a dream of mine to be independently wealthy enough to semi-retire and pay people to come to my house to fix my hair, make me food, and help me work out. And maybe tell me what to wear, too, because...some days it is just too stressful for me to pick out an outfit.
I am the go-to decision maker in my house. Most moms are. I decide what food to buy. I purchase most of the clothing worn in the house. I decide what to feed the dog, and the cats. I decide what time we get up in the morning for work. I decide which flavor of coffee to purchase. I decide when someone is sick and when they are faking.
How can all that be simplified? If it were just me, by myself, maybe it would be feasible. But I'm a family unit, not an individual, and as the mom I am expected to remember everything for everyone, and to make decisions for everyone. I can be decisive, but people usually don't like what I decide.
Simplifying is much more difficult than it looks, and it is disingenuous of the self-help books to say otherwise. Simplifying can be more work than just leaving things complicated. Take something simple, such as the tradition of going out to lunch with your coworkers for a special occasion. It starts out innocently enough. A hypothetical colleague, Jill, was just promoted to the next rung on the corporate ladder, and everyone is just waiting
Me: Hey, let's go to lunch! (at this point, I am actually happy, because lunch is my favorite part of the day)
Coworker #1: Sounds good. Where?
Coworker #2: Anyplace sounds fine.
Coworker #3: I'm in!
Coworker #4: Yay! We haven't been out in so long!
Me: Thai? (I'm starving...I'll get something with curry...or not)
Coworker #3: No. Peanut allergy.
Me: Chinese? (Okay, I'll have some garlic shrimp)
Coworker #2: MSG. Swells my feet.
Coworker #4: They closed that place down last week.
Me: Mexican? (I guess I could have a quesadilla)
Coworker #1: I don't like the way they cook their lengua.
Me: Barbecue? (maybe a turkey taco?)
Coworker #1: Gives me the heartburn
Me: Cheeseburgers? (please, for the love of all that's holy, somebody PICK something!)
Coworker #4: Lactose Intolerant
Me(sarcastically): How about just a plain PB&J?
Coworker #3: Nope. Peanut allergy.
Coworker #4: I'm eating gluten-free.
Jill: I'm just going to order a pizza.
Long gone are the days when people would just politely go where the guest of honor chose without mentioning their food allergies. Now things are all complicated, because everyone's individual dietary needs must be catered to in order for everyone to be happy. Consequently, it is easier to just order a pizza than to make a decision. If a bunch of smart, educated women can't make a decision about something so simple as lunch, I think we've figured out what is happening with Congress.