I’ve been reflecting on my life lately… well not lately, I reflect all the time! I’m an external processor, which means when I’m in conversation with people, they don’t receive any canned, or pre-planned answers or thoughts, they get raw and uncensored Jeremy (well…kind of censored!).
When people have asked me how I am doing my answer has been this: “My life has grown incredibly simple.”
Before I was married, life was complex for me. I remember juggling all kinds of things in college, things 3 or 4 people would consider doing separately, but not together. I was an RA in the older men’s dorms, taught SS and helped with middle school youth group every week, met consistently with 5 or 6 different groups for 5-6 different things, engrossed in conversations during all 3 meals in the cafeteria, and sought out professors who I wanted to learn from. I remember thinking, I hope “regular” life is less busy, hectic and complicated. I was assured it was.
Then I got a ministry job and got married. Both of these two monumental changes in my life simplified the complex a little. My job forced me to focus on a few things, vocationally, instead of a plethora of other things. Working with children and middle school students preclude me, typically, from engaging with college students, seeking out professors, or contributing to many different groups at once. Marriage has simplified things in the sense that my relationships are more focused and intentional. Friendships change and relationship postures change when you get married. Regular life was being shaped and realized.
Then along came these things called kids! Interesting how easily they came along without much discussion. Amanda and I waited for about 3 years before we had our first, then less than 2 years after Sari, along came Macie. I tell you what: the complexity of life really simplifies when you are really tired from an all-nighter that you didn’t choose because they are throwing up or fussy and restless all night! Extraneous things in life tend to get neglected more out of survival than anything. Raising kids has forced me to really simplify the other things. It’s funny, but we tend to gravitate toward couples with children close to our kids’ age. This isn’t discriminatory on our part, more another means of survival and thirst for “adult” connection!
In the path of simplicity, however, is a paradox. You see, while I say on one hand that my life has really been simplified, the parody/paradox here is that WITHIN the simplicity, is a world of complexity. Confusing? You bet! Try to figure out why a 3 year-old girl is crying and throwing a fit. Try to discern what a 1 year-old girl wants as she is learning to talk and it all sounds like…huh? Try to figure out why they wake up at night fussing, or fight when sister is playing with a toy the other isn’t playing with, or why in the next moment they can be incredibly cute and obedient. Sometimes this stuff happens all at the same time!
Simplicity of focus, complexity of issues and problems and special moments within that focus… ah, the recipe of life. I haven’t read the book on the graphic above… I googled “simplicity” and “complexity” and that was a top image link. “Simplexity” I kind of like that word. No matter the content of that book, that word epitomizes my life right now.