Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mental Margarita for July 31, 2008

As I started saying in the Mental Margarita email, I am now seeing more strongly the connection between simplifying my life and having the space to see and appreciate simplicity in life, and therefore in my photography. I think this is one of those "Well, duh," insights, but sometimes the most profound ones in life are, right?

I don't want to get smug about how I've simplified. In our culture, the pull is towards acquiring and having more. Towards being busy and always on the go. The more in demand you are, the busier you are, the more worthy you must be. So I am realizing I need to watch this tendency in myself and make sure I'm staying true to what works for me. The longer we're here in one place, with lots of people here we know and love, the more stuff that goes on our calendars. Even though my life in Phoenix was filled with rewarding things, it was still filled. I will not live that way again.

This Time magazine article about the "100 Things Challenge" got me thinking about being more radical about the process of simplifying. When we left AZ, we released about 95% of our stuff. We then moved nine times over the course of two and a half years -- all furnished places. Until now. We are "settled" again. I use quotes because I now have a very different take on what that means. Although we recently acquired enough household goods and furniture to live comfortably in our little home, I don't feel as weighted down by it all as once I did. I am clear we could sell it all again and go. And the house we're in is half the size of the one we had in Phoenix. And it feels right to us.

(As a professional organizer for 12 years, I saw again and again the downside of homes with lots of storage: lots of saving. A small space forces you to be more choosy.)

How are you simplifying life? Or is this even a process you're interested in?

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