My newly revived late-summer obsession is making these zucchini noodles with my shiny new $20 Japanese mandoline. (It really is the color of toothpaste, just like the picture shows.) Our single zucchini plant went crazy this summer, and the only reason I haven’t been making these noodles nonstop is that I didn’t have a mandoline till last week.
A few years ago, I won an epic mandoline in a food blogger’s giveaway. It was huge, complicated, and cost $200. After it arrived, I gave away my trusty little bridal shower mandoline that had served me well for ten years. I didn’t need two mandolines, and the fancy one was better than my inexpensive one—or so I assumed.
But here’s what happened: my prize mandoline was so big it didn’t fit in the cabinet. Getting it out to use it was a pain, and the machine itself was complicated. My home kitchen needs didn’t require a $200 mandoline. My old $20 one worked just fine, and I missed it.
I finally got so annoyed with the fancy mandoline that I gave it away, too—but then I had no mandoline, and I felt stupid buying a replacement, so I didn’t. (It wasn’t a huge loss, because I don’t use a mandoline terribly often, but every time we had zucchini in the house I sure missed it.)
That’s not an isolated incident.
I’ve used a planner pad for years. I loved their basic planner, but I couldn’t always squeeze in everything I wanted to include on the page, so last year when it was time to reorder I “upgraded” to the biggest size they carry.
I thought bigger would be better, but it backfired. The executive size I thought I wanted is so big I can’t fit it in my purse, and a planner is only so effective—at least for me—if I can only look at it when I’m at home. Nowadays I’m writing my to-do lists—the kind that I carry with me—on tiny little index cards, or 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper.
I know I should just order another planner pad—the smaller one that I will actually use—but I haven’t yet, and it’s because a tiny part of me is wondering if there is a better option out there.
My maximizer nature can make me crazy. I’ve wasted so much time in my life rabbit-trailing to find the “best” option.
Some things in life are inherently complicated, but that doesn’t mean I need to make things more complicated than they need to be.
As we move into fall, my zucchini noodles were a sharp reminder that the simplest solution is often the best one. My goal for this season is to not needlessly complicate things: not clothes, or school, or kitchen gadgets, or personal planners.
I’m not much of a minimalist, but I’m tweaking Occam’s razor: for the day to day stuff, the simplest solution is probably the best.
Are you good at overcomplicating things? I’d love to hear your stories in comments.