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Eating Pistachios
Photo: Christian Jung
Do you do the same thing I do when I open a new bag of pistachios? I eat the ones that are saying, “I am going to be the easiest one to open. See how my shell is already split? You’ll be enjoying my heart-healthy benefits, not to mention delicious taste, in seconds!” It’s good that pistachios are usually sold in their shells. I end up eating fewer of them because of the time it takes to open them.

Over this week I’ve eaten all the ones that were easy to open and now only the unopened and slightly opened pistachios are left. Eating those becomes laborious and time-consuming. I’ve haven't tried using a nutcracker thinking it would smash the little nuts to pulp. I would probably chip a fingernail or tooth using the prying method. I usually end up putting them by the birdfeeder for an industrious squirrel to take as his prize, while contemplating whether to just go for the bag of walnuts, sans shells, in the freezer instead.

Our human nature always seems to direct us to the easy way of doing things. And is that all bad? No, not necessarily. Say you are struggling to pay your credit card debts of $8,000.00, $340.00 and $76.23. Financial advisors will tell you to pay off the $76.23 because it is the easiest to tackle and gives you the instantaneous feeling of, “I can do this!”

Easy Enough

Perhaps you have a big project like the basement, attic, or garage to clean and it seems overwhelming. Organizing experts advise you to pick an easy, small part of the project to get started on or even just set a timer for 15-30 minutes. When it rings stop, though usually you realize that wasn't hard and you keep working.

If your child has an overwhelming school assignment due (soon!) you probably know better than to say, “You shouldn’t have procrastinated! Now you have two weeks of work to get done in two days.” Better to say, “Let’s make a list of everything that needs to get done.” After looking at the list maybe the easiest thing is to start with a trip to the store for supplies. A stop at the ice-cream shop makes that first step even easier.

Sometimes we make things harder than they need to be. Here’s to making life simpler and taking those easy, small steps that get us going in the right direction whether it be organizing, starting new health habits, or making our relationships more meaningful.

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By Denise Schaller Curnutt. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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