1. Simplification in the digital area. Basically one company (Apple, of course) and everything tightly tied in. iPhone, AppleTV and iPad Pro. The iPad Pro has been the single most simplifying thing. No need for a laptop, seriously. Not for what I do (which is mainly write and edit). I have a simple, big and beautiful display to work on, to play on, to read on. And music, of course. We have an old iPad that is basically our musical system. No LPs, tapes, cds to keep track of. Apple Music and Pandora take care of our musical needs entirely. Oh, and that irritant of not being able to turn pages well when playing intense musical pieces? Gone. A simple bluetooth pedal beside the piano that with a tap turns the pages on my iPad. Amazing!
2. Bacon. This is super silly because I've heard about it for a long time, but finally decided to implement it. Just cook it on a pan in the oven, spread on parchment paper to soak up the grease, and at 375 for about half an hour (though use your nose to check on it). No mess, no standing over the pan, no greasy glasses, no grease spread throughout the house (open floor plan kitchen problem!), no burns from popping grease. And the bacon each time: PEFECTION!
3. Blocks. We have the most beautiful dining room table from Cindi's grandmother. Clawed feet, beautiful grain. But when you expand it, it wasn't reliable on the leaves. They would drop if you put pressure on them just a certain way and we've had messes at big dinners with this. To rememdy it, we've been putting books underneath to hold the leaves in place. It was a hassle! Hauling the books from the guest room, figuring out the right combo to insert them, and it was damaging the books. Yesterday, I mentioned to Dave the possibility of blocks. Last night I got them. They slide right in and hold it up perfectly and when not in use, slip into a drawer in the dining room's buffet. Hassle gone!
4. Doors. This house has settled and the doors have gone a tad awry. The master bedroom closet door always wanted to open on you (when you were in the closet), the master bedroom door itself had to lifted to latch shut, the front screen door didn't like to catch. We mentioned these to Dave and he fixed or showed how to fix every last one of them. A whole pile of stupid minor irritants, poof! Gone!
5. Gate. The gate to the pool had also become a sticky wicket. A hinge had apparently begun to pull away. Dave fixed this as well. It opens and closes smoothly!
6. Glasses. I really wish I didn't need them and could keep on with contacts. I try the contacts periodically and invariably regret the decision within a few hours. Most days it's simple. I just reach for the glasses and that's that. I can see and see clearly up close, far away, and everything in between. And they're much lower maintenance, though I find wearing them in rain to be still intensely irritating!
7. Alcohol. I like wine, but I'm now on my 42 day without alcohol at all and I have to confess: I love THAT even more. Feel far more energetic, saving money (alcohol is expensive; tea is not!), sleeping like a champ, and still having a blast. I learned that it was EASY for me to say: "I don't drink" just like "I don't eat wheat; I don't eat sugar." Once the decision was made, life was so much simpler. And I've learned to enjoy my "Nojitos" with just sparkling water, lime and mint leaves. Oh, and Cindi and I enjoy an afternoon smoothie most days too: various fruits and berries, a pile of spinach and other greens, and even some lemon (peel and all!). YUM.
8. Prayers. Weird to put that in here, I know, but Treasury has made our devotional life so simple. There was a time I tried using it like a breviary (and you can), but as Cwirla said: "I'm not a monk" and David Petersen observed, "It really is a single office book." So with our morning bullet-proof coffee, Cindi and I pray the Treasury every day. Simplicity itself. Daily kicking off the day with the Word and prayer. What's not to like?
9. Omnifocus. This is an amazing piece of software, that regularly used really does free the mind of clutter through the Getting Things Done paradigm. I'm so glad Michael Schuermann recommended this as a way to implement GTD! Still mastering it, but I have found it such a blessing.
10. Exercise. Again, simplicity was the key. I basically just walk and do push-ups. Try to do a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (more is always better!), and 250 push-ups interspersed along that walk as a minimum. Sundays are rest day (gee, who thought of that one!). This is usually my lunch hour routine. When I feel like it, I add in more (rows, pull-ups, situps, or a run). But mostly I'm content to walk and do the push-ups. The old body responds well to it all and I can see doing this simple routine for the rest of my days. No need for a gym, no need for special equipment, and can be done anywhere at all.
Kind of ridiculous miscellany, but all of them have reduced minor irritants and major stresses and tended toward more a more simple and peaceful life!