Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple joy of family....

I don't know what is universal to share - but as a personal note I just want to say how very much I love my family. Everyone is gathering - everyone is happy to see each other. We're crowding into a 2-bedroom apartment, eschewing the opportunity to have some sleep across the street at a hotel, because no one wants to be separate. So out comes the air mattress and extra sheets for the couch!!

With togetherness our agenda, it matters little what we plan "to do". "Doing" is so very secondary to "being". The doing will include (of course) cooking and eating, waiting for the next to arrive, followed by some surprises in the stockings and one gift for/from each (drew names this year).

In wishing you a Merry Christmas, I don't choose to be politically correct in my language because the holiday is about love, by whatever construct one defines it. Setting aside time to be together creates a holiday of tremendous magnitude. Simply joyous.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Simple is as simple does...

Joe and I were up until 2 a.m. working a jigsaw and gabbing. Lesson observed: in the jigsaw puzzle of life, if you take care of the obvious, the inscrutible becomes less so.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simply city....

So now we live in the city. I can tell because it's never dark and never quiet. There's a sense that whatever "IT" is, it's never done - always in process. I've been varying degrees of sick with a cold for the last month, and struggling to understand what's kicking my usually robust immune system. My conclusion is what I just mentioned - not yet finding my sense of accomplishment.

Of course, country living is no different. One season's tasks roll right into the next season's responsibilities and round and round it goes. But at least there are touch-points in that lifestyle where you feel - DONE! Perhaps that's why everyone local feels compelled to share the number of quarts and pints they canned during harvest time. Something done, counted, put away. In the winter, the driveway is shovelled/not shovelled. It may not last long, but there is a moment when that chore is DONE. Pruning...DONE. Planting...DONE. Over time, those moments of accomplishment can get swallowed up in a sense of circular repetition, but they are there and you grasp them!

My new job is developmental - building a new business. Orders received give that momentary feeling - DONE! But worrying about the nebulous task of identifying and meeting shifting market needs, risking stale merchandise vs amply stocking for immediate needs, etc.... Not yet much sense of DONE at work.

At home --- what can I say!! To get a sense of DONE, I need to break it into smaller portions. But to find a place for the bikes means finding shelving for CDs so library bookshelf can move to a spot already occupied by items needing to be shifted somewhere else once that somewhere else is created...~~~

When it comes right down to it, my sense of accomplishment may need to be completely separate. Knit a scarf - DONE! Put together a jigsaw puzzle - DONE! Sew a bed skirt - DONE! Perhaps, for the sake of my immune system, I should complicate life a little by adding in small finite tasks which have beginnings with ends in sight.

Maybe MORE is the new LESS, when it's all said and done.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Self-Deception

We recently made the choice to complicate our lives and move to the city. Ironically, to do so, we had to undergo a huge process of simplification. After 15 years in the same large house with 2-story barn, we had accumulated a large quanitity of the detritus from postponed decision-making and a fair amount of self-deception. After grueling days of multiple garage sales, dozens of trips to drop items off at the Goodwill, multiple loads of tonnage to the recycling center, we spent 2 days loading a 26' Penzke truck to the brim and moved into our 2-bedroom apartment overlooking the city. No more yard to mow or rake. No more snow to shovel. No more self-deception. Our newest acquisition was the humbling awareness that simplicity is actually hard work. It requires honesty, courage and boldness as well as persistent endeavor. Quiet retreat from the challenges at hand is no substitute for the joy of accomplishing true simplicity.