Roy Nelson had the perfect system. When his wife was gone for the day, he fixed his own meals. But that wasn’t the perfect system. The perfect system was his scheme for minimizing cleanup. One bowl, one spoon, for the entire day. Breakfast: bowl of cereal with milk, and spoon. Cereal consumed, rinse out the bowl and use it for coffee. Rinse and set aside. Lunch: soup. Oh yes, that includes the spoon too. Repeat the rinse and set aside. Dinner: Chili? Tuna casserole? No problem. Repeat the rinse, and get ready for dessert, ice cream and cookies. Finish off the day with a thorough washup of the two utensils, and relax.
I found myself doing the same thing the other night. Make a white sauce and dump over the cooking veggies. Wash the pot. Saute the chicken chunks and add to veggies. Wash the pot. Boil some noodles. Wash the pot, and… Nope, that was it. Isn’t that sometimes the best way? It’s kind of like the stuff we learn as kids. Keep it simple. Use only what you need to use. Clean up after yourself. Basic stuff like that.
That’s not to say a gourmet meal or an elaborate dessert, or even an over-the-top thank you letter shouldn’t happen. Go ahead, indulge. That cheesecake that takes seventeen steps. The love letter to your beloved. Things like that are fun to create, and even more fun to share. But sometimes we need to recede, sit back, take stock. That’s when it’s fine to simplify. Shed all the extras and take it down to the bare bones. Make a peanut butter sandwich. Email or twitter a greeting that takes up only one line. Stay in your pajamas. Simples pleasures are what can stabilize us when life gets overwhelming.
Take a moment to thank Roy Nelson, for showing us how to keep life simple.