Friends have asked me how I came up with the name “Keep it Simple.”
It was complicated of course. There were three of us on Facebook Messenger trading ideas and names back and forth. This went on for a while, and even my co-worker chimed in with a name. It was way too long. I just rolled my eyes. As my fingers headed toward the keyboard to type out “keep it simple you guys” – ding…ding…ding – the universe spoke to me. How about “Keep It Simple.”
I don’t know about you, but I complicate even the simplest of things. I can complicate putting ice in a glass. Should it be crushed? Or just cubes? Big cubes or those little ones? Or maybe I should use the ones shaped like flowers? Or how about the plastic, colorful ones that don’t water down whatever you may be drinking.
Being an alcoholic in recovery can be difficult to say the least. I find myself complicating everything. I don’t know how to act half the time. I question every thought, every action, every response. From what I have been told, that thing I use to think with is broken. It’s as simple as that.
Many things in my life had to change and one of the major things was my attitude and the way I look at things – at life. A friend once said, if you whine, cry and complain about your life, you will live a negative life. It made sense to me. It was simple and uncomplicated.
So, I made a serious effort to stop whining and complaining. At least out loud. I still thought negatively, but I figured if I didn’t say it out loud, it was ok. Enter the reminder that my brain is broken. I was so busy trying not to say negative things out loud that I was giving myself a headache. Through another friend, the phrase “negative thinking” came into my life. If I wasn’t thinking whiny, negative thoughts to begin with, I wouldn’t say them out loud. How simple is that?
I was flipping through a magazine this morning while I drank my coffee and I came across some contests being held. If you go to the magazine’s online site and enter you could win a spa treatment. I looked at the page, thought “oh I never win those things anyway” and turned the page. Ding…ding…ding. The universe was about to speak again. My next thought was “that’s probably because you never enter them Debbie.” It’s not complicated. There’s a simple reason I don’t win. It’s the same reason I wish I could win the Lottery but never do.
In the picture, next to “Keep It Simple,” you see a camera in my hand. I love taking pictures. I took two photography classes and bought a beginner’s book on photography and struggled to figure out the language: “F-stops, white balance, aperture, ratio” and the list goes on. I’d never remember some of those things no matter how hard I tried. My life as a photographer was doomed. I don’t even think you can imagine the negative thinking going on over that fiasco.
Enter the universe once again. “You enjoy taking pictures Debbie. Simply aim the camera and click. No need to put a label on it. Just enjoy the experience.”
Now I just enjoy clicking away with my camera and not only have I become the family “memory keeper” but everyone knows if you want a picture taken at an event – Debbie has her camera. Or, as some say – “watch out, Debbie has her camera.”
And although not all the pictures are great, sometimes I come up with some juicy little nuggets like this one. My grandson does love bubbles.
Yes – I sometimes still complicate keeping it simple. But the universe is relentless. It pings me all the time.
Debbie Potocki Provost can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org