Simplicity, Clarity, and Flexibility

I’ve been staying home as much as possible, in an effort to spend as little on gas as possible. There are limits to how thrifty I can be, however. Barry and I go to Biggby’s on a close-to-daily basis. Also, he and I have appointments and meetings (for him). Due to the Huntington’s, he does not respond well to change. What this amounts to is me trying to create a predictable environment so as to not stress him out. That is extremely artificial and tiresome.

Staying home encourages me to get rid of things to streamline my life. This is very deliberate simplification. I am very conscious of creating space for the next phase of my life. Everywhere I turn, “making space” or “creating an opening” seem to be the theme. Watching Dr. Phil, a guest was having communication problems with her daughter. In reality, the mother never allowed the daughter to finish one sentence and even insinuated that Dr. Phil was delusional. The audience roared with laughter as he suggested that perhaps someone qualified could take over the discussion. The mother lived in a fantasy world and any professional that disagreed with her opinion was obviously incompetent in her mind. Her mind had no space for disagreement. Healing requires space for completing unfinished transactions.

Space also has other functions. As someone easily overwhelmed, I work at perpetually de-cluttering my house. It was pure survival when I went to business school. When I was working, going to school, and dealing with Barry’s cancer, I did not have the emotional wherewithal to hunt for things or deal with too much visual stimulation. Getting rid of stuff was both cathartic and mandatory. Also, during school, I saw how the simplest idea usually wins. Think Apple, with all of their intuitive design features. Think of sitting in the middle of an empty room versus sitting in a crowded room.

Simple translates into flexible. In the empty room, you can face any direction with equal ease and respond instantly. I am determined to simplify my life so I have maximum options when Barry passes and also so I don’t lose my mind in the meantime.

The world we live in demands flexibility. The organizations that have simplified have the best possibility of survival. A refusal to change or simplify can be a death warrant. An inflexible company, for example, is the institutional equivalent of Barry. Barry at least has an excuse, an actual neurological disease. I have sympathy for him because he has no options. He is a good guy doing the best he can. The diagnosis is terminal and I have understood that for years. An organization that has to live in an artificially controlled environment to survive is of no use to anyone. Taking care of a hothouse plant requires maintaining the hothouse, regulating the temperature, humidity, etc. Eventually, pretending that the plant is strong feels ridiculous. If the plant can’t survive outside, we let it die. We might water it outdoors, but we won’t coddle it. If it lives, fine; if not, oh well.

Creating space opens up reality to the possibility of healing. People need to be heard, not just placated or pacified. When a person has just had an emotional catharsis, suddenly they might have clarity. Every organization they belong to will benefit from their new found clarity and inspiration. Flexibility blossoms and new solutions are made obvious, if the organization can tolerate the fresh air. He who can open a space for healing to occur, wins.

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About cdhoagpurple

I have an MBA, am married to a GM/UAW retiree with Huntington's Disease. I am more Buddhist than Christian. I plan on moving to Virginia when widowed. I have a friend''s parents that live down there and another friend living in Maryland. I am simplifying my life in preparation for the eventual move.Eight years ago, my husband had stage 4 cancer. I am truly "neither here nor there." My identity shifts and I am always surprised where I end up. 2015 was my hardest year ever. This is my Dark Night of the Soul. Welcome to it.

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