Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Simple Living and Stuff

Winter wonderland...Snow on the mountains

When you venture outside you wind up in a silent, white, winter wonderland.   You can even hear the crunch of the snow under your boots.  And when you travel down into the valleys, it is even quieter, whiter and more beautiful.   I am going to get some pictures from the valleys before the snow melts because the sites are spectacular.   I only hope that I can do them justice.

Well, today's emphasis is Simple Living and believe me, there are times when I really desire a more simple life.   I imagine all of us have similar feelings at one time or another.

In the book "Simplicity Lessons" there are sets of questions and exercises to do following each lesson.    One set of exercises dealing with how physical objects fit into our lives asks the question 'why do we cherish items?'.  

This led me to thinking about the meaning of the word cherish.   Yes, I do have collections like books and items from my family that I want to keep.   I enjoy looking at them and thinking about the memories they represent.

But I really do not cherish them.   Maybe it's semantics, but cherish to me means far more that enjoyment.   I enjoy things but I cherish memories.   I enjoy pictures of my family but I cherish our relationships.   I really can't think of any single object that I own that I actually cherish.

So that got me to questioning why I hold onto things.  (And no, I am not advocating a minimalist style of life owning only 100 items unless that is what you really want to do.)  

I do enjoy things, but because we moved a couple times within the past couple years, I found that I can easily give up things that have no significant memory attached to them.   

At the same time, I do find that I really enjoy those things that I kept.  I also feel less stressed over my 'stuff'.  I also realize that I will be more discriminating about acquiring 'stuff' in the future.   But I do not think that I will every stop acquiring some 'stuff'.

I am always trying out new craft items, so that will not stop.   And I love my electronics, so that will probably not stop.   But at the same time, I find that I am quite comfortable with less of these things.   

As a matter of fact, when I had a large studio, crammed full of all sorts of creative resources...I spent less time and created less than when I had my smaller studio in our townhouse.   And now,  I have significantly less craft items and yet, I am creating more.   Go figure!

So where are you in your journey to a simpler life?   Have you arrived at a point where you feel comfortable with your 'stuff'?  Maybe you're at the beginning of your journey and wondering how to begin.   There are a lot of resources to help you get started.

I just picked up Wanda Urbanska's book "The Heart of Simple Living:  7 Paths to a Better Life" a few days ago.  Wanda Urbanska hosted a tv series on simple living for PBS stations.  I haven't read the book yet but I am looking forward to it.  I'll let you know about it later.

Remember this...

I'm having fun embellishing it with beads and buttons and other found objects.   Check in tomorrow and see how far I've come.   It's craft day, so stop by for some fun.

Thanks for visiting...

My Journey of Change...
I found as I was writing about simple living and stuff, that I needed to invest some time in thinking about a simple life as a single.   In some ways, I imagine that it will be easier with one instead of the give and take of a couple.  But that's not exactly comforting.

I also realize that part of that simple life includes my inner self.   Of course, right now all sorts of thoughts bombard my mind as I try to reorganize and think about change.  

I assume that things will settle down eventually but for the present, they are there to be experienced and dealt with rather than ignored and swept into a corner of my mind to be 'forgotten'.   I wonder, have other experienced this?