Long heard and quoted, the KISS rule – Keep it simple stupid – harder sometimes to do than it seems, isn’t it?! That need to work, rework and improve things… that inner perfectionist that is never satisfied and tries harder to ‘make it right’… that voice in your head that says it’s ‘not good enough’ or ‘you don’t know enough’ can be the undoing when, often, good enough is perfect! Trusting in oneself (and sometimes others!) to leave well enough alone in creative projects, work tasks, relationships… in life… letting go of the need to be perfect, releasing expectations and simplicity are, I’m beginning to think, the key to happiness… maybe.
So, I recently watched that documentary on Marilyn Monroe, the one with the unheard tapes. What a sad wee waif she was! I was inspired to draw her. I couldn’t get the eyes right, the mouth but I kept trying, tweaking and fiddling until I had something that seemed close enough or good enough or, at least, caught the spirit. I then worked on it with colour. I did a blue ink wash. Then decided it wasn’t ‘good enough’ so layered in some roses. Yikes! It was ok but to be honest, I should really have stopped with the blue because looking at the photos of the stages, it appealed to me more. Too late now! Anyway, the point being, need to learn to leave well enough alone. Go with my gut, stop over-working, over-thinking things, and KISS.
On my mission for well being and self care, I’ve been thinking about other ways to apply the KISS rule now too. For example, I’m a bit of an info junkie. I’ve always defined myself as a ‘curious’ person. But, perhaps, this needing to know everything is an aspect of this inner perfectionism? Finger on the pulse. TBH I suspect it’s a learned behaviour, developed to cope with childhood trauma from travelling solo with my father at a young age – story for another day perhaps! Although, to give a flavour, I have a very vivid memory of being on a plane at Chicago airport en route from Canada to Mexico one winter when I was maybe 5 and in tears because my father had hopped off to make a call to a local friend and the flight crew were starting preparations to take off again. He returned in time of course, beaming with his optimistic light. Mr unpredictable, spontaneous, wild and free – loved him to bits and don’t regret a thing. In any case…
Back to my need for info… I frequently drive my husband nuts with my barrage of questions whenever he comes home and says he ran into someone. He seldom has answers to my questions because he just doesn’t ask. Well, he does ask when it comes to some things, just less people related. Why do I need to know? Sense of security no doubt. Environmental factors all under control. Got to let go and trust that if it’s important it’ll come to me. Working now on simplifying what I actually need to know. Prioritising! Taming and redirecting my curiosity. Letting go of the need to know unimportant shit. Decluttering my head. Clearing the decks. Curating. Simplifying the quantity and quality of content. Making headspace for creativity!
Another opportunity to simplify appeared this morning when I opened my email. When I worked in corporate I had hundreds of emails a day and was on email all bloody day but these days I rarely look. So freeing but, when I do look, there are hundreds of messages to trawl through. How can that be? I subscribe to everything; sometimes, just to get access to a doc that someone’s promoted. Info junkie! It’s becoming a bit overwhelming and somewhat stressful. I only read about 10% and at the same time worry that I might miss something important. So, on the ‘to do’ list, the ‘unsubscribe’ project!
But maybe start on Monday… Today it’s raining; a bright day with a soft spring rain. It may be May but it’s definitely an ‘Aprile dolce dormire’ kinda day…
Wishing you a lovely weekend full of sweet simplicity… stop and smell the roses!