Appreciating the simple

frog on back-edThere is something soothing about simple. It’s peaceful and you know what to expect. Occasionally it’s tedious and boring but every once in a while there is nothing so rejuvenating as a simple routine.

It helps you through the hard times.

Distracts the pain.

Gives you purpose.

Usually the routine isn’t about the obvious.

My morning Starbucks coffee frenzy isn’t about the coffee, it’s about the total experience. It’s partly a social experience and partly sensual – the smell and the taste. I can’t think of anything more fragrant than coffee early in the morning. Maybe bacon but let’s stay with coffee.

It’s about people knowing who you are and greeting you by name. An afternoon Starbucks isn’t as good as the morning one. (It’s not bad though!)

Exercise isn’t about the physical good it brings. It’s also about the stories from the crazy ladies. There is nothing more boring than plain old exercise. Nothing! Without the distractions and interactions I wouldn’t stay with it. Even my blog would miss the inspiration.

TV enjoyment is in the connection. It’s the continuity of it all. You watch the same shows and you know the characters. When I worked, there was water cooler catch-up on some programs.

There are cases of actors/actresses getting stalked because some delusional person thinks they are the characters. (I promise I always kept 500 foot away from them. Always!)

There is something very soothing in repetition. Mentally challenged people calm themselves by repetitive behavior. Sometimes I do too.

When I worked I thought it would be nice to trade jobs with someone with repetitious activities. Just a day would do it. Too much wouldn’t work. One day would recalibrate me so I would be grounded again.

Monks (and others) meditate to refocus on the simple.

Animals have their routines too. Many groom themselves, their mates or offspring. Grooming is very soothing. My shoulders relax at the thought of a spa day. (I have no interest in grooming the beloved husband. He can scratch his own cooties.)

Today I admired my daffodils and the day lilies poking their little heads through the warming ground. It made my day.

My pond fish came to greet me, asking when the feeding will begin. “Soon,” I said, “very soon.”

The birds are nesting. They leave their leftover housing materials on my patio as a sign. There was bird drywall and roof shingles all over the place.

I know that there are seasonal routines. Each is as beloved as the others when their turn comes. Right now I am delighting in the rites of spring along with my Starbucks.

Really, can it get any better than that? It’s so great to be alive to enjoy the simple things!

35 thoughts on “Appreciating the simple

  1. You hit the nail on the head. Monks work, simple pleasures, familiar smells and surroundings…all so mooring like buoys in our personal ocean. Made me happy to have my feelings explained so well by another writer 🙂

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  2. I like a simple routine Kate. I get a bit befuddled if I stray from my routine. But then when we are thinking of going on vacation or a day trip I need it to be spontaneous cause I spend too much time fretting over the “going” part! You are going to get me to be a Starbuck lover because I am in love with the idea of getting a Starbuck’s white chocolate mocha.. 😀

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    • We are similar. Traveling can make me anxious (even when I want to go) so the shorter the anxiety period, the better. In fact, to lessen the anxiety, I do “routines” like making lists, buying something new, etc. To establish a Starbucks routine, you have to go often enough so they get to know you. Then good things happen. Also, register your card so you freebies. (Sadly, Starbucks doesn’t pay me or even acknowledge me for all the promoting I do.)

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    • When I worked I would come in early to be able to hang my coat up and sip my coffee before the hordes were at my door with all the injustices of the world that I had to solve. (Dang! Occasionally I miss those days. Mostly I miss wearing the cape and tiara!)

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      • “the hordes were at my door with all the injustices of the world that I had to solve.” True that~!

        Most of the time, I enjoy being in a leadership role, sometimes I long for one though 🙂
        MJ

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        • Mostly I did too. I like doing things my way. I even enjoyed the constant conflict which most people don’t like. Guess I was in the right job. Just every once in a while……

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  3. I absolutely loved this post. At first I thought, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. The picture of the frog is more than worth clicking over. Oh, my goodness! That frog is sooo at peace. I love him. But then you talked about your morning Starbucks, a topic I could so easily identify with. And you reminded me of all the details so that next time I visit my favorite coffee spot I’ll enjoy it all the more.

    I agree, It’s good to have some repetitious activities in our life but not too many. When I was in college, I had a summer job of picking the bad strawberries out from a moving belt in a frozen food plant. Too much repetition. But when we moved back to the US after 15 years of living in the Philippines and having a maid, I turned out that I really enjoyed the relaxing repetition of housework.

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    • If you run out of repetitious housework, I can help you out there. Picking bad strawberries would get old. I have this vision of you (looking a lot like Lucy and Ethel at the conveyer belt) with the strawberries flying all over.

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  4. This really resonates with me, Kate. I identify with the comfort of routines, and often wonder if that makes me almost too simple. You’ve made me feel a whole lot better about that. LOL! I like the pattern of life that comes with a degree of predictability. I often extoll the joys of what I refer to as an “ordinary day.” I don’t need “highs” very often, but I do thrive on consistency. I think the satisfaction you derive from your trips to Starbucks is lovely. I’m hoping you just keep that up! 🙂

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    • I like the term “pattern of life.” When I worked I was always sure to schedule some time at home just to enjoy life with soft routines (those are ones without absolute deadlines). Maybe a long weekend or two throughout the year. Getting up late, breakfast out, shopping during the day — all luxuries that you don’t often get when you work. Maybe I was the first one to enjoy “staycations!”

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  5. There is so much joy in this post Kate, and it reminds me to focus on the new little flowers reaching for the sun, the newborn calves, the promise of summer routines. You are spreading the word to look closely at simple things for life’s true enjoyment.. Thank you!

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  6. I agree, routine is nice, especially at home. A routine day at work would be nice from time to time. Today work routine was broken and I found myself at a park overlooking a lake for almost an hour doing admin work. Nice office view. 8)

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  7. I think that you’re right about the soothing nature of continuity, but I find that doing the same things over and over does not come naturally to me. Part of being a free spirit, I guess. Still during those times in my life when I did have structure I enjoyed living like that. Something for me to think about.

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    • In my personal life I like some level of routines. In my business life, I liked to be challenged but every once in a while I really wanted a one-day break just doing mail or making copies so my head could veg. Of course I never got it so occasionally my head exploded!

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  8. I am all for simple. I have a very simple life these days. Too much of anything and I get cranky… which is not simple it causes stress.
    Sounds like your Spring is finding its way home.

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    • Yes his cooties and his dead skin are his problem! It’s been hectic buying cars and appliances. You get so wrapped up in stuff it’s overwhelming. All the buying is done (I hope) so now I can go back to simple.

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  9. I love my routine and have been known to become quite cranky when it’s disrupted. Oh yes, nothing beats the morning coffee, but in the summer, I love Starbuck’s Mocha Lite Cappuccino anytime…yum! I love the frog photo, Kate!

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  10. Oh Kate, I do love ‘the simple’…it’s calming, so peaceful. We have our windows open today and the birds are very happy with us. We have a community cat who is quite the producer…we can never pin her down for ‘a fix’…she has just had another (her fourth that we know of) litter and who knows where they are…hidden away somewhere. We put cat food out for her; when she leaves the birds come and eat the rest of it. Our iris are popping out…Michael’s ‘ugly’ tree is full of beautiful green leaves…’spose I should change its name. Ugly tree is not nice. We’ve wind chimes around the yard and they are simple and soft, easy on the soul. And lastly, I am weeding out closets, drawers…life is much too complicated to have all this stuff we never use…out it’s going. For some reason this week we’ve not had the TV on much…talk about simple. Also sublime…the awesome quiet…and the birds! It’s simply simple. Thanks!

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  11. Simple. Life unadorned. Mind free of clutter.
    You hit it with continuity. Really appreciated this one.
    (and now I should get started throwing out stuff we don’t need…..all that “it might be useful at some point”…anti simple.)

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