It’s OK to make things easier for yourself.


It’s OK to make things easier for yourself.

Have you ever been over to someone’s home for dinner, and you compliment the hostess “Wow, this meal is really delicious! Thank you!” and she quickly brushes off your compliment, saying something like, “Oh really, I didn’t do much of anything at all. I just bought a pre-seasoned pork loin from the store and tossed it in the oven, that’s all…”

It’s as though she feels like less of a hostess, friends, wife, mother or woman, less deserving of love and appreciation, just because she decided to make things a bit easier for herself.

Perhaps she feels guilty for choosing to enlist someone’s help instead of doing everything all by herself.

This saddens me.

We live in a society where hard work is highly praised and taking the easy route is often frowned upon.

Yet, at the same time, most of us are obsessed with finding “quick fixes” that save us time and money. It’s a strange paradox, isn’t it?

We glorify hard work and intense effort, yet when we seek out savvy short cuts, we apologize or feel guilty for taking them.

Living with this kind of paradox, it’s almost impossible to feel happy about your choices. There’s a sense of dissatisfaction no matter which route you choose. Even the magazine Real Simple has fairly complex projects and recipes.

My personal wish is that more people would decide, “You know what? It’s completely OK to make things easier for myself. It’s OK to get help. It’s OK to set up systems that allow my day to flow with more ease. It’s OK to delegate certain things that I just don’t want to do. None of it makes me ‘less’ valuable or lovable at all.”

It’s OK, for example, to buy pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables if that’s going to make it easier for you to whip up a nutritious dinner. Why not?

It’s OK to invite a friend to come over to your place to do a workout DVD together instead of schlepping through the snow to the gym. Whatever it takes!

Did you know that fabric glue works better than BadgeMagic for those pesky scouting uniforms, and that the stapler works in a pinch too.

It’s OK to give yourself whatever advantages you need -cooking short cuts, professional assistance, a helping hand of any kind – in order to create the positively beautiful life that you want.

You don’t have to feel guilty about any of it. 

Because… you know what? Even in our privileged society, life is already challenging enough just as it is. There’s grief, loss, illness, death, traffic, work deadlines, family conflict, downed power lines, clogged drains, all kinds of “drama,” big and small. So why not give yourself a leg up whenever you can, and encourage others to do so as well?

When you hear your hostess say something like, “Oh, I really didn’t do anything…” stop her and say, “Actually, you did lots of things. It takes great effort just to gather us together. You made this beautiful meal happen and we’re all grateful you did.”

Instead of shaming ourselves, or each other, for choosing the easier route, let’s celebrate all of the brilliant, creative, resourceful things that we can all do to make life more civilized and meaningful. Let’s be compassionate with ourselves instead of critical. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out a little more ease in a complicated, trying world.

~ Dr. Sue

PS. I ask one of my staff to read through my articles to make sure there are no glaring problems. I also used Spellcheck to catch typos and grammar issues. Because sometimes it takes a village to raise a child, run a home, run a business, or hit a writing deadline. It’s OK to get help!

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