Monday, August 4, 2014
The Simple Tools are the best.....
After I cut my hair really short and quit coloring it some years ago, I found that these moves simplified my life a great deal. I no longer had to spend time with messy tints. I didn’t need a drawer full of pins, clips and hair decorations. I retired my hair dryer except for special occasions and I saved a great deal of time.
There was however, one problem. I have a serious cowlick on one side of the top of my head. The result? Every morning the hair on that side of my head stood straight up as if I had stuck my finger in the light socket. As my hair tends to be on the dry side I didn’t want to wash it every single morning and was hoping to be able to skip a day without paying much attention to it except to run a brush over it, smile at myself in the mirror and go.
And now here I was looking like Dennis the Menace. What to do?
The answer turned out to be very simple. I found a small spray bottle with some body spray still lurking in the bottom. I emptied it, washed it and filled it with water. A couple of quick squirts of water on the offending locks, a run through with the brush and bingo! I was ready to go.
Now my little spray bottle is an essential part of my daily routine and always goes with me (empty of course as per TSA) on trips. It is my savior.
This experience brought home to me how useful the most simple of tools are. It is not by mistake that the hammer, the wrench, the pliers, the saw and the screwdriver have been around for hundreds of years and are an essential part of any homeowners tool kit. We may spend money on fancy electrical gadgets to help with home maintenance but without the basic simple tools, our kit is useless.
The basic design of the sewing machine for example, hasn’t changed much in a hundred and fifty years except that we have stuck an electric motor on it and added a bunch of fancy features. The simple elegance of the original idea has sufficed to produce clothing, furnishing, sails for ships and many other necessary cloth products for many generations.
In life too, the simple tools are most often the best. We may, for example, go on fancy diets or follow regimented exercise routines to maximize our health and minimize our weight but for many of us, in the long run, eating fresh foods in appropriate portions and staying active with all kinds of enjoyable activities are the simple way to reach our health goals.
Similarly, regular sleep, time to reflect or meditate and purposeful deep breathing also support our bodies and minds to stay healthy and on track. We may buy ourselves high tech sneakers and attractive outfits to wear as we jog or walk but they aren’t necessarily going to make us any more fit. Moving those leg muscles and challenging the heart and lungs is what is going to make the difference.
Although I have no desire to sell all my belongings and move into a tent, I also acknowledge that simplifying the trappings of my life helps me to feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed by what is around me.
We recently moved. To facilitate the process, we gave away, threw away or sold a huge amount of stuff. What I discovered in the process was that I could survive with a lot less than I owned. Even after we moved as I unpacked I found myself saying to myself, “Now why did I bring this? I really don’t need it after all” and out went a lot more to the thrift store in my new neighborhood.
Simple tools, simple surroundings, simple solutions. All of these combine to make for a calmer, more manageable life. The world outside of ourselves is complicated enough. Why make our personal and inner lives more cluttered than they need to be.
I love my simple spray bottle of water. It does the job without the need for buying a brand new one or filling it with fancy fluid. Because of it, I feel better first thing in the morning when I look in the mirror and I can carry that feeling throughout the day.
Yes, the simple tools are the best…….and so is the simple life.