Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reducing Life Static

There are many blogs on minimalism and simplification.  It is a real movement for sure.  Broadly speaking, the movement to reduce the clutter of life in all its iterations is a desire probably born from our consumer culture where the "cult of big, better, more" is still fully in charge.

My own journey to reduce what I call "life static" has been ongoing for years and feels like it is finally picking up steam today.  It is time for some observations on my current efforts to calm my world down - especially when a big responsibility and focus of life has recently disappeared.

It started quietly when I needed to thin out the inherited stuff from the death of a grandmother-in-law and a mother-in-law during the mid 1990s.  Next came the "newly-adult-children-returning-home chapter," so space was made for them.  In mid 2000s my mom moved in with her stuff.  Although I decluttered and decluttered and decluttered over the last 20 years, the stuff continued to increase like rabbits.  I never got ahead.  I just stayed even.  Now the adult children are fully independent, all older adults have passed away, and my decluttering efforts seem to be making a difference.

It continues to astound me, however, at the volume of stuff that has passed through my hands in the last 20 years.  I don't remember one single thing that left this house.  Not one single thing. That understanding underlines emphatically just how little we really need to be happy.  Decluttering creates a feeling of lightness, almost like a drug high.

It is trite but true - less is more.

While decluttering is a big part of my efforts, it is but one small part of my life static picture.

Time is precious - more precious to me now than when I was 30.  It is human nature to think there is plenty of time left to do what you want, but no one has a promise of more time than the current moment.  I used to think I would return to work in a fun part time job when mom was gone - now she is gone - no job for me.  No, no, no!  (see a previous post on The Power of No.)  I suspect all retired folks worry about money and if it will last. I am no different. But I would rather adopt a frugal life style than fill my free hours with a job to gain a pay check.  Time is precious.  Time is the goal ... not money.

Travel was always on my radar - especially after retirement.  But now my husband is not comfortable with his external environment.  His vision is very very compromised now - what little he has.  And I find I don't miss travel.  I love my home and my life.  I don't need to seek out ways to escape from it like I did when I worked.  It is an interesting evolution I would never have predicted.

I dream of less living space.  I love my townhouse.  All 2,000 feet of it has served me well in raising a family, supporting elderly relatives and giving children a safety net while they established themselves in the world.  But my current dream is less house.  And less will definitely be more if this dream is ever achieved.  More on that topic another time.

Busyness is way reduced.  My "to do" lists still get made, but some days they are never looked at.  Thank goodness there is always tomorrow (hopefully there is tomorrow, but if not, will the "to-dos" really matter all that much to me?)  And thank goodness for "to do" lists, because once something is on the list I know that it will eventually get done (if there is a tomorrow - but if not - oh well.)

Time to think and dream have filled the vacuum left by my mom's death.  Wow, what a concept - time to think.  That still blows my mind.

My "20 years and 20 goals blog theme" born years ago is now down to a "20 years and 2 goals blog theme":  (1) keep fit and healthy, and (2) enjoy living every minute. How's that for symplifying!  Even if my mind starts to fail me like mom's did, I should be able to keep track of 2 goals!!

So that is the wrap up for Reducing Life Static.

Someday I might even get good enough at this simplifying thingy
 to get this whole post down to one sentence!!! 

(ok, maybe not.)


  1. Great attitude, terrific goals. Reduce life static....I like it.

  2. Wonderful formula for happiness as we age -- accepting and embracing what is. An inspiring post! I love the concept of reducing life static!


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