Wow. The amount of time we spend trying to force life into predictable patterns can’t be worth the effort, can it?
I do it. Most of us do it. We’ve learned that the fruit at a particular grocery is usually fresh enough, so we return to that store every week or so to make a purchase. We have friends who never show up for events, so we stop expecting them and eventually stop inviting them. We have favorite authors whose new titles we eagerly anticipate and pre-order online. Simple.
We line up all of our expectations, good and bad, but then some of our careful predictions don’t pan out. Shops go out of business. People experience midlife smackdowns. The idolized bestselling author writes a stinker. We’re forced to reassess, which can be annoying if there isn’t enough spare time to do the necessary search-and-replace. Things keep changing. How are we supposed to keep up? Complex.
When we’re pressed for time is probably when we’re most likely to rely on shortcuts, checklists, or other people’s recommendations. If we’re not also short on money, then it can be tempting to just pay experts to do the job, but that means we need to figure out who the real experts are. Talk about complexity!
Simplifying seems expedient and wise, at first glance, but life doesn’t lend itself to efficiency or streamlining. Real life is messy, business is constantly changing, and people are mercurial. It never gets easier. Well, maybe it gets easier to accept that it’s so hard.
Everybody loves a winner. They say my granny was always more interested in the losers. I’m afraid I inherited her affinity for the underdog. Or maybe I watched this cartoon one too many times when I was a child:
When in this world, the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed,
And rob and steal from those who need,
To right this wrong with blinding speed goes…
I really ought to fight that tendency.