Some thoughts on simplicity
As I sit at my kitchen table I am being entertained by a blue bird splashing about in the bird bath. He’s squawking, dunking his head, flapping his wings and just having a gay old time. Moments later, he flies away. Where does he go? Certainly not to a palatial estate with all the trappings of most people I know and yet he was so gleefully content in that little bird bath. He made me smile and think back to my first apartment.
You’ve heard this all-to-familiar- story, haven’t you? People reminiscing about the first place they occupied after leaving the nest, so to speak. It’s typically with a fondness that can’t be mustered when talking about their current 3,000# home with all the responsibilities attached. That first apartment was small, the heater didn’t work, a window stuck but it was awesome because you’d come home from work, drop some stuff off, change your clothes and you were off again to meet friends for drinks or go on a date or go to your folks’ house for dinner. There wasn’t anything that needed to be ’done’ at home. No lawn to mow, no caulking to repair, no fence to reinforce, no carpet to rip up.
Why, then, do we acquire all this responsibility over the years? Do we just mindlessly float through life, ticking boxes that those before us have ticked, figuring that must be the right path if so many others have taken it? How do we end up on that well-worn path? Do we just set the dial of life on auto pilot and let forces beyond our control push us forward?
That’s more or less what I did until about 10 years ago. I suppose I’d really have to go farther back, about the time when my good friend’s first child starting walking. I had so many collectibles and was constantly putting them up for fear they’d be broken until one day I decided it just wasn’t worth it. I’d rather have a clear space for Samantha (and then my nephew, Riley, who came along just two weeks later) to play than concern myself with inanimate objects being damaged.
I can not begin to express the sheer joy that infused me giving things away. But, then, I’ve mentioned that several times in this blog. I cleared enough space that the lawyer’s bookcase housing all my knick knacks was promptly donated. Just the act of doing that opened the flood gates for me. I used to spend a good hour or more every Saturday taking my collectibles out of that four-tiered case, dusting them, dusting the shelves, dusting the glass fronts and then putting everything back. Wow, the freedom of not having to do that anymore was inspiring.
I then tackled the books that filled a three-tiered book shelf and, once we’d determined most of them served no real purpose, we sold a few, gave most of them away and were able to donate the book shelf, as well. After that, I ‘discovered’ my library, my husband followed suit soon afterwards (Wow, he had no idea the plethora of zombie books he could get his hands on) and the world of reading has opened up exponentially for both of us. The library houses so many more books than we’d ever want to and we can return them to the library when we’re finished with them. I love that! (To be continued…)