keeping things simple

Do you have a rubber band constricting your life?

So, I have a tale to tell. It’s funny and embarrassing but I’m going to tell you anyway for a good reason.

I woke up in the early morning hours. My hand was throbbing. It was really swollen. I pinched it and didn’t feel a thing.

A few weeks before this, believe it or not, I had a similar thing happen with one of my fingers. I had cut it and it became infected. It was so swollen, my husband had to cut off the ring on that finger because it was making it worse.

So when I realized my hand was swollen, I immediately wondered if I had cut my hand and not realized it and the same thing was happening again. I felt my hand for a cut somewhere. There wasn’t one. At this point, I was sure I would end up in the emergency room. The pain was throbbing and intense.

And then…..

I decided to feel the rest of my arm.

(We’re going to take quick detour for a minute now, so stay with me.)

At my local library, the staff wraps the books in white paper and then secures it with a rubber band. The patron’s name is then written on the paper. A great deal can be learned by knowing what kinds of books people read, so this is how our library handles this privacy issue.

Well, I always put the rubber band on my wrist while I check out the books.

You know where this is headed, don’t you? I had left it there and completely “forgid aboud’ it”. (Think an Italian accent.)

I had even double-wrapped the rubber band on my wrist! I guess, it took that long for my hand to swell. I hadn’t noticed a thing earlier because I was moving my arm and that probably kept my hand from swelling.

I immediately jerked off the rubber band and my hand was back to normal in about an hour. When I told my husband the next morning, he howled. However, he wasn’t surprised. I’ve been known to do things like this before. I am kind of a klutz.

delicious sweets near green delicate stems on white table

But you know what I was thinking once I took off the rubber band?

I was thinking about how it was such a good example of how we approach much in life. We never think of the simplest answer first. And it’s usually the simple answer that’s right.

pink and white flower with white background

For example, if you want more joy in your life, examine how you spend your time. It’s that simple. Spend less time doing the things that don’t bring you joy and more time on the things that do.

Thinking in simple terms works across many issues:

Instead of looking for that elusive medical answer to your issues, take stock of your health habits first. If you’re tired all the time, take stock of your eating habits. Are you exercising daily? What about your mental habits? How are you talking to yourself?

Always look to the simplest answer for everything first. The old adage, KISS (keep it simple, stupid) still works although there should be a better word for “stupid”, maybe “silly”?

Always look for the obvious.

Jesus never delivered a complicated, or long sermon. They were short and to the point. He never complicated his message with complex theology that no one could follow. He used simple stories that highlighted simple truths like, if you want to grow tomatoes, don’t plant pumpkin seeds. (Actually, he said you “reap what you sow”. Basically, the same thing, right?)

photography of tomatoes near basil leaves

The rubber band is any emotion, habit, action, etc. that you continue to engage in with no clue why. And trust me, we think and do most things in our life robotically, seldom asking ourselves “Why”?

Why do you feel the way you do?

Why do you do the thing you do?

What do you need to do differently?

It really isn’t complicated but it is complex. But you’ll figure it out if you “keep it simple, silly.” I did and I’m no smarter or more enlightened than you as clearly indicated by the rubber band incident.

Have a great and simple day and God bless.

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