252 ways to complicate your life

June 14th, 2008

I can remember years ago when a certain magazine debuted. I was kind of stumped. Four hundred glossy pages of advice and ads on how to live a simple life? Twelve times a year? I could think of one way to really simplify that. And in that spirit, I offer this post so that you can have the sheer pleasure of ignoring it.

Simplifying your life? It’s not so simple, according to these 18 ways.

Feeling productive? Phooey. Why not kill time reading these 8 ways to save time.

Need to exercise? Wait! First build up your motivation these 31 ways.

Losing weight? Don’t start without digesting these 80 ways to lose weight.

Going on vacation? Don’t leave the house before you read the 7 sites you must check out before checking out.

Making a decision? Don’t do that! Just decide to read 13 ways to make a decision.

Getting stressed? Stress even more over these 6 ways to de-stress.

Watch too much TV? Surf these 9 ways to go back and watch some more.

Exhausted by all the advice? Stay awake even longer reading these 10 tips on how to sleep.

Still breathing? Hold your breath until you read these 5 reasons to monitor your breathing.

Are you even still alive? Take your pulse with this easy 39-point checklist on how to live.

Feeling better? What a waste! Think hard about the 8 reasons not to be an optimist.

Have I shot myself in the foot with these good-natured jabs? Wish I’d consulted these 10 simple ways to keep from messing up my life.

Now what should I title this post? Wise up and read how to lure readers by palming off useless information, time-wasters, drivel and common sense in 8 compelling ways.


  1. Yikes! I’m too simple for all this simplicity!

    Comment by Mama Zen — June 15, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  2. self-help. there it is. so funny. thanks, karen.

    Comment by Holly Lash — June 15, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  3. And I thought I was the only person who thought Real Simple was not Real, at least it bears no relation to my Real Life! Anonymous in Mpls

    Comment by Anonymous — June 15, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

  4. ha ha ha…

    Comment by Mika — June 15, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  5. Magazines like that feed off that insecurity that I just don’t know what I’m doing and if I were half as smart as the writers within its pages, all would be well. Then there are the magazines that convince me I am plain at best but probably truly unattractive because I can’t afford blah-blah facials and la-di-da clothes and would rather read a real book than exercise.

    Apparently I am not simple, glamourous, cosmopolitan, or living. O! I do have a fair dose of vanity…

    I’m going to stop. Any tips on how to stop?

    Comment by marta — June 16, 2008 @ 1:42 am

  6. this post just made me LOL! definitely puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it? i mean, if we spent as much time *living* our lives as we do trying to *simplify* our lives….wow, imagine.

    Comment by Phyllis Sommer — June 16, 2008 @ 2:21 am

  7. Excellent post.

    Comment by Kristin H. — June 16, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

  8. I love that you did the math. Too bad you don’t have Digg set up so I can digg this easily. : )

    Comment by Shawn — June 16, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  9. The problem I have with real simple magazine is how expensive it is to be simple.

    I never knew simplicity was a luxury item.

    But I do think people get pretty darn confused and can’t see their own lives in perspective, thus this impulse to look to “experts” to help them figure out who they are and how to be that who.

    Plus, it’s hard work to be a real, thoughtful you, and there must be some secrets to doing it, somewhere. Right? Right? 😉

    Comment by Rowena — June 16, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  10. LOL! Now that scared me!

    Comment by Catherine — June 16, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  11. Kirtsy.

    Comment by Shawn — June 16, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

  12. You make me laugh and laugh and laugh.
    I somehow needed this today, as I sit among unpacked suitcases and lists out of hand and wanting anything, anything but to know there is nothing to do but do what there is to do.
    Humor helps.

    Comment by bella — June 18, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  13. What a long list of sites to check out in order to save time and energy and money so that I can have more time to read how to simplify. Funny – and sad.

    Comment by GailNHB — June 18, 2008 @ 2:12 am

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