A few weeks ago after a particularly frustrating morning at the office, I snuck away to gather a few things at the store, get the mail and find some lunch. As I sat back down at my desk to eat, I opened Facebook. At the top of my feed was a post from Oklahoma State's alumni association. The current STATE magazine was now available online.
I'm not much of a reader and barely have the attention span to read an entire story, but for some reason I read the guest message on page 4. The first line of the column from Jason F. Kirksey, vice president and chief diversity officer at Oklahoma State University, really struck home with me. For all I know it just might become my new motto. I honestly think it needs to be in a fancy script font emblazoned on my office wall.
"Life itself is simple; we complicate it."
If you've met me in person, and have really gotten to know me, I'm probably about as complicated as they come. I overthink. I lack communication. I frustrate easily, and anger quickly. But I’m also creative and loyal, along with many other positives.
For me, someone who is inherently negative, I have to consciously decide whether to be happy or not each and every day. I have to seriously pick my battles. Is the dog hair that’s gathered with the dust bunnies under the kitchen bar really something I want to notice and do something about? Probably not. Is the millionth Lego that I've stepped on and kicked across the dining room something to get upset about? No. I've just resorted to tossing them out. If it's not important enough for the boys to pick up, then it’s going in the trash.
Same goes with the things I do around our place. The other day I snuck out at lunch to count cows. I noticed as I was on the pasture trail trying to decide which way to go, there was a broken post in the fence line. (Dang deer anyway.) I decided I didn't have nearly enough time to worry about it because I had a conference call to be back for in half an hour. So I mentally made a list of all the things I'd need to solve the problem and planned to do it after I returned home from picking up the boys and making supper. I got my 30 minutes to myself and even had enough time and patience to check another mile worth of fence because my repair didn’t take that long. I don't even think they noticed I was gone.
Fixing a broken post in the grand scheme of things really wasn't that big of a deal, but I had to curb the voice in my brain telling me, "Well, what if there’s a cow or calf out in the CRP because of that broken fence?" "What if there's cattle out there that I can’t see and something bad happens to them?" I had to again, consciously not complicate things and be assured the number I came up with when I counted heads was right.
Sure would be nice if the rest of the world would adopt something like what Mr. Kirksey said in his column. "Life itself is simple; we complicate it." Our social media feeds wouldn't be clogged up with political banter and arguing. Our distain for the political climate and upcoming election won’t cloud our minds as we sit down to supper or watch the evening news. Instead we'd celebrate the simple wins.
Next time I head out to do the evening chores, I’ll appreciate the crisp air hitting my face and how the black horse meets me at the gate. Instead of worrying if he’s going to plow me over in order to be first to the bunk. There's not a prayer in the world of me changing his behavior, so I'll adjust my outlook on the situation and keep my reaction to him simple.