Treat others the way you want to be treated. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Exercise every day. Do what you love. Say please and thank you. Take ten deep breaths when you’re upset. Smile at everyone you meet. Stay present with the people you love.
Have you ever noticed that the simplest things can be the hardest to do? I seem to notice this daily, especially when I have forgotten (yet again) to clean out the cat’s litter box or text someone back or stretch. Simple things! Hard to do.
I think a big part of why it’s hard to do the simple things is that I often don’t give myself the time to slow down and stop multi-tasking, stop cramming so much into my days, stop checking my phone. When I am able to do those things, everything seems lighter and easier, and the simple things are likelier to be done.
I also think that when things seem simple, we take them for granted. We assume we’re doing them, or at least doing them “well enough.” In fact, though, I sometimes think I do the simplest things worst of all. As I go through each of my days, am I being polite? Am I being patient? Am I remembering that I am not the center of the universe? Am I remembering that nobody is in “my way”? Am I being kind? Am I giving people my full attention? Am I listening? Am I putting myself in other people’s shoes?
Sadly: not always. I wish I could say differently, but while these things are fairly simple, they’re even easier to forget.
As I draw closer to the end of my month of daily blogging, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I want my whole life to be about the simple things, even if they’re hard to do or to remember. Practicing these things might be my entire life’s work, but they also kind of feel like the entire point of being alive.