I am still jet lagged but I want to make sure and remember one important impression, even lesson. Simple can be good. We can say and do this in many ways. It happens when people choose to be picky/deliberate about a few things that are important but then being flexible about most everything else.
For example, one of our drivers was formerly a head chef. But he and his wife wanted to live in a particular small town. If you want to live in a small town, you might need to be ready to take most any job. The life is the ends that justifies the means.
Here is another example. We stayed at a small Inn owned by two art lovers. The place was cool and inspiring. It had other quirks and more than a few imperfections but was beautiful and felt oddly complete and right.
The grocery stores offer fewer options, but always a few interesting ones.
Life can be hard, but instead of trying to engineer all the hard out of it (strikes me that this would be the American approach, to tackle it all), they embrace it and build strength where it is most needed and important.
Simple works well. I am learning this lesson late but am glad I am learning it. If we choose what's important - if we obsess in the direction of our interests - then we can reduce a lot of stress and worry about things that don't matter - should not matter - can't be affected even if they do matter.
It's time to do fewer things and do them well. Really. I mean it. This is something we say but few of us do this well or are able to sell the idea at work. We should try harder and try again. I was talking to a leader a couple of weeks ago about this. He made some offhand comment about how doing fewer things well is a nice concept but a fairy tale. I assured him I was serious and made the case that it's the only thing that might really work - spreading our efforts so thin that there is no depth does not work and we know it.
I enjoyed Scotland a lot. I dig the vibe. The honest way of living and how each person sems driven by a couple of priorities, but not too many.