A few Thoughts by Melynda Wagner Use your shield of armor & simplify

Melynda Wagner

Do you have a Shield of Armor?

Recently, I was grocery shopping in one of those, totally redone, expanded, new and improved, jumbo super mega has everything grocery stores. I found myself, parked and starring at the refrigerator section of the orange juices. I was frozen. I could not decide what kind of orange juice I liked or preferred or even chose in the past. I literally shut down.

My friend, turned the corner, and looked at me and said, “Are you okay? It’s just OJ, pick one.” He said I looked like I was from another country, and that this was my first visit to an American grocery store. I was paralyzed with indecision…do I pick pulp, no-pulp, calcium or Vitamin D or maybe low calorie and low acid to minimize reflux. HUH?? Seriously, I just want orange juice!

I find that if I have too many choices then I can’t decide on anything, and the decision goes unresolved or worse, I might end up buying both choices. We live in a very blessed nation, however, with so many choices, it makes it hard to navigate to actually make and stick to a decision. Whether, you are choosing a doctor, a couch, a car, a bed, or a loaf of bread, there are a lot of choices out there.

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So it had me thinking... I know that I like small group settings, small circles of friends, small intimate stores, and especially cozy restaurants with small menus. In essence I would say I prefer quality over quantity – especially when we are talking about friends and food. In group settings, smaller allows me to feel more relaxed, make connections, and join conversations. There is an ease to it. It is simpler.

I would say it’s an issue that many of us face, including our children, on a daily basis. Can you relate? Do you agree? I say, ENOUGH already! Can we go back to the basics and start to simplify our lives? The answer is yes, we can, but how do we do that?

I think it is done by making one small choice or decision at a time. Simplify. Choose to have less so you can enjoy more. Choose to shop at smaller stores, restaurants with smaller menus, focus on a brand that you like and stick with it. Basically, it helps to limit your choices. That also can mean that it might be time to downsize, purge, clear out, clean-up, donate, trash, giveaway-whatever it takes to simplify your life and then maintain it. It starts with the ability to say “No” to things and “Yes” to adapting a simpler lifestyle.

I personally have chosen to sit down and really view my life from a different perspective- based on needs, budget, family, friends and what really makes me happy. I am a work in progress myself and I struggle - it is not easy. Almost every week, I say that I have to put up my shield of armor to deflect all of the constant bombarding of advertising, wants, needs, must dos, must haves. I have to remember to defend and protect myself, to be strong, to say “no” and move on.

Less is more, believe it and try to live by it. It really is easier said than done. But I have to believe that it will help clear the pathway to living a cleaner, simpler, and less stressful lifestyle for myself and my family.

One last thing that you might find funny and maybe even tad bit ironic, if you ever visit my boutique, you might think, what is she talking about-simplify? My shop is filled to the brim with unique finds, one of kinds and just some really amazing treasures. But usually there is only one of anything, because it is a …Well, that’s another story. Remember to Dream Big, Think Tall and Shop Small.

Melynda Wagner is a devoted Mom, local business woman and amateur writer dedicated to building relationships, making connections with others and sharing her stories along the way. She is co-owner of French Creek Boutique located in Elverson on Rt. 23. www.frenchcreekboutique.com