Wednesday, March 31, 2010

“Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity!

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

“…We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

The past week has been spent doing some deep spring cleaning. When I do this, I become very frustrated because I have more things than I have space. I am still attempting to cram a houseful of stuff into a much smaller townhome. Each year I peel off another layer of “treasures” and move them on to other homes, but there are still way too many layers remaining. And I find myself fighting a battle within.

One part of me whines and wishes we had never “downsized”. All of my stuff is too important to get rid of. I need these things yet there isn’t proper space to keep them here.  The other part of me struggles to defend the simple life. Cast it all away; make it a deep religious experience this self tells me. Rise above your stuff. It’s a fierce battle that rages within me. No wonder I hate to spring-clean!

I know I need to accept some middle ground here and I will before the month is over. There will be bags of stuff to give away and there will be treasures to repack and reshelf. And a sense of calm will return. But the war is far from over. There will be more battles.

The problem, as defined by Charles Foster in The Sacred Journey, is this: “To a terrifying extent, we are simply lists of the things we own. Our dependence on them is so complete that we have come to have no existence apart from them.”

And that isn’t the way I want it.



  1. Yes, yes, yes. I have to agree with you! I, too, am still, forever it seems, clearing out. How did all this STUFF get here? Why? What was I thinking?

    Is it our age or is it our frustration with society?

  2. Love that true it is.

  3. Can related to both quotes (Thoreau's and Foster's)....

    I'd hate to think that I am simply a list of the things I own.

    No wonder the writer of Hebrews talked about the things that so easily beset us! Oi vey.

    I wonder how tight I'm holding on to stuff.. maybe I should ask Him to let me see how He sees me and stuff...... might be quite the eye opener!

    BTW, I'm really enjoying my visit to your site -- first time today -- and to scroll through your postings of quotes. I love quotes so it was lovely to find a whole treasure chest full!

  4. As you can tell, Brenda, I love quotes too!

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments!!