Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Everyone complicates their lives, myself included. And when we do, we lose sight of what really is important.
I’m going to share a true story right now. I have changed the names, though.
My daughter participates in Destination Imagination, or DI. The team has been together for three years, and it has been difficult for them. Putting seven gifted children in one room and getting them to cooperate is not easy. And this year they chose to do a play without words, so adding the challenge for them to not talk for five minutes is also difficult. The team tournament was this past weekend, and this is what they work for all year.
About a month ago, one of the little girls, Emelie, suffered a brain aneurysm. She has been in the hospital, learning to use her left side again. And her ordeal is not over…they still have to repair the blood vessel. In the meantime, she is going through hours of rehabilitation every day, still keeping up with her homework so she doesn’t have to repeat the grade, unable to see her friends because her blood pressure has to stay low and the doctors don’t want her excited.
Kathy, Emelie’s mother, was one of the team coaches. She hasn’t been active with the team for the past few weeks. But Kathy showed up at the tournament yesterday with her younger son, and supported our daughters’ team, never letting the kids see the tears that showed up from time to time.
DI tournaments are times of high emotions for these kids. But our team went through this with calm determination, something I have never witnessed in this group before. They are normally picking at each other, talking over each other, bossing each other around. There was none of that. I overheard three of the kids mention Emelie to the others at various times, and I know she was in their thoughts as they went up on stage.
Our neighbor and her daughter were there at the tournament as well, competing in the same category. Jane is not an overly emotional child, but she had a meltdown after coming off stage. She had broken an earring and thought she lost the pieces. Jane was pouring her woes out to her mother and me, and I told her that I understood how much pressure she was under and that I was sorry that her earring was broken. At the same time, catching sight of Kathy standing across the room, I asked Jane if the earring could be fixed. She nodded tearfully. And I told her that if money could fix it, it wasn’t really a problem.
We all think many things are problems that really aren’t. It is part of the human condition, I think, to forget those things that are really important or to take them for granted when they are readily present.
So if something is bugging you, I ask you to simplify the context and ask yourself, is it really a problem? If you have enough to eat, a safe place to sleep, and money can fix the annoyance, is it really a problem?
I am finding myself looking at my everyday annoyances with a different set of eyes. Are things really problems? I find myself realizing that I am very lucky…that almost everything I have considered problems really are not.
Photo by 401(K) 2013