| by Danielle Vincent

"Our life might be much simpler than we make it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I enjoy the simplicity and happiness of life, free from manufactured unhappiness and stress.

I review these quotes every day as part of a daily affirmation. Earlier this year, I discovered the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote as part of a Transcendentalist class I was taking (yes, I totally do study literature and enjoy shooting bb guns at targets).

I'm consistently amazed by how fucking complicated I make my own life for absolutely no reason. I get spun up on stress about new site visitors being down, even if our sales are up; whether we'll be able to afford the new barrels of oil we need in order to make the Winter's batches of soaps; the difference in price between 200 labels and 2,000 labels... I worry about bills that are two months away, at 2:30 in the morning when I can do absolutely nothing about them.

Small business ownership -- and life in general -- is a lot of this kind of thing, right?

I know I'm not alone in this. I have Facebook. I see the midnight posts about worry and insomnia.

But these are manufactured stresses.

I strive to be free from manufactured unhappiness and stress.

This does not mean that life is all sunshine and roses all the time

No. I don't mean to ignore real problems.

But site visitors? Number of Facebook followers we have? Engagement on Twitter? Bills that may or may not be due in two months? Do these really matter? No, they don't.

Health matters. Family matters. Friends matter. Life experiences matter.

Today, once again, I will strive to free myself from manufactured stress and live happily in gratitude for our incredible little business and our magnificent adventure of life.

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