I am amused or perhaps bemused by the occasional articles in various sources about people who have successfully simplified their lives and are happier for it. I like to be aware of where all my edges are, so I have never been one for creating complexity in my life. And yet, I cannot imagine how people are able to really pare down these days with all the bits and pieces that worm their way into your needs. (For instance just consider all the types of insurance…)
Anyway, I have been taking stock of the status for many of the little things that help us to keep a life. Particularly because quite a few can be out of sight, out of mind. I just realized that I cancelled my teeth cleaning in January, meaning to reschedule and haven’t gotten back to it, oops. This is why I take stock periodically. I keep a list of all these bits and pieces, again so I know where the edges are – because these are all things that can trip you up when you don’t have them in order when you need them, but things that tend to work their way out to the edges of your awareness.
Many people let the condition of their skills and career work out to the edges, and often even fall over the edge. And then when they need to take stock, say in the midst of some change at the office, they don’t even know where to start. Doing the work every day somehow felt just like keeping that skill current. But it turns out that it wasn’t, at all, and now it’s a problem.
We can fill each day with plenty of tasks, we get bombarded with reminders of this or that bit of life-keeping thing from the dentist or the insurance company or HR; and we can relax and let the busyness of the tasks or the external reminders take the lead. It can all just be too much.
Or we can set aside an hour or two as often as we feel the need and go through some of this life-keeping that gets out to the edges, check up on it. I’m going to go hunt up the dentist’s phone number now.
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