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Archive for the ‘Bookworm’ Category

Simple Life

My need to simplify has been mostly regarding our home and the stuff in it, but it’s also affected my blogging. I went from two blogs (plus domains) I was paying for to this one that is free. I’m getting rid of Flickr and I no longer have myspace or facebook or anything else. (I don’t think… things sometimes crop up that I’ve forgotten about but I want to now just post everything to this new little blog).

Remember how Andrea called me from her trip and announced she WAS GOING to live by the ocean when she got older? A couple days later I was reading an article that mentioned the children’s book Miss Rumphius, in which a little girl decides when she grows up she will do 3 things: travel to faraway places, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. It reminded me so much of Andrea that I bought it to give her when she got home.

After reading I realized it was just as much for me.

I looked up my old “life list” I’d written years ago (or “bucket list” as people call them now). I had 153 items on that list. How did Miss Rumphius have only three? And how did her three things seem more complete than my hundred fifty-three?

So I streamlined my list down to seven (being charmed by Miss Rumphius’ desire to make the world more beautiful, I had to add that):

  • travel as much as is possible
  • work at making and keeping true friends
  • remember God
  • be a good mother
  • stay in love with my husband
  • live in a quaint small town
  • and do something to make the world more beautiful

Sounds simple…

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I’ve been devouring this book:

It’s one of those books you get lost in – almost like an old house itself with hidden nooks and crannies – but this passage spoke to me:

We may sometimes be embarrassed by our zeal regarding our special possessions or see it as a sign of our base materialism, but the lofty philosopher William James insisted these valued things are nothing less than part of who we are.

and:

To the father of American psychology, the self is the “sum total of all that a man can call his” — not just his body and mind but also “his clothes, his house, his wife and children, ancestors and friends, his reputation and works, his lands and yacht and bank account. All these things give him the same emotions… not in the same degree for each, but in much the same way for all.”

What matters most to me in life is relationships. That belief just got a jolt of validation when Rodney called from work saying his boss’s wife was killed in a car accident this morning. Making sure things are right with those I love has got to be what life is all about.

Yet, I do find delight in living comfortably and with things (not just people) I adore. I’ve been on a bigtime house-purge and this is another book helping me along the way:

I want to actualize the desire to only own what we use and/or love. Why be bogged down by any of the rest?

I like to think I’d be just fine if my house burned down or flooded so long as my family came out alright. I think the biggest fear of that scenario comes from not knowing what all you have. “All my stuff! I’ve lost all my stuff!” If my house blew away right now I wouldn’t know most of what I lost because all the crap I never knew what to do with is stored away in plastic tubs and closets and forgotten. I don’t know what all I am living with. That’s just scary.

I want to live free of those fears. But truly purging is harder than I thought. Like I said, my goal is to get down to only what I use and/or love and completely getting there will be a process. Then I guess I’ll take pictures of it all or make a scrapbook or something of my beloved and most special things. Something to capture the reasons and the memories. I think that would make me feel freer if I lost it all. Guess I should keep the scrapbook off-site though, huh.

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