Don't make it so complicated

posted by Jeff | Monday, February 25, 2019, 7:10 PM | comments: 0

I spent part of the weekend, and a solid hour at lunch today, just getting out and moving around. I went bowling by myself Saturday. I saw ducks and geese at Lake Eola today. Right now I'm sitting on my patio listening to that wonderful time of year where no air conditioners are running. There are times when life feels so uncomplicated.

So if I'm willing to concede that happiness is at least in part a choice, do we also choose to make life complicated? It's probably true that we often adopt routines and practices without really asking if there's a more simple way to do things. For example, I viewed hiring people as this big complicated thing because I only knew it as a job candidate, but once I started to hire people, I realized that what I knew was needlessly complicated. Heck, electric cars, vastly more simple than those with internal combustion engines, were a solved problem a hundred years ago for most use cases, and yet we ignored the tech for a century. In interpersonal relationships, especially the romantic variety, we put all kinds of work in try to make the partner into an ideal they are not, or do not want to be, instead of just moving on to someone who does fit the ideals (seems like we all need to learn that).

I'm generalizing about life, sure. But that goose, he admittedly has a tiny brain incapable of making or giving fucks about complexity, and his existence seems so much simpler. What kinds of things am I making more complicated?

As a sidebar, this is a common problem with writing software. We go through stages where we think the right thing to do is be clever instead of simple, so we deliver complicated stuff that could have easily been handled in a more simple way. I appreciate this more than ever as the author of the same software for 15 years or so, and I'm still finding lingering stuff that was like, "Why did I do that?"

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