More, more, more! That seems to be all around us. Excess. Too much. After the craze of holiday gift-giving has passed, I thought we should revisit this post about lessening clutter. Access is still available to this FREE BOOK, Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America, edited by John DeGraaf. It’s free, and it’s electronic, so it won’t take up any space!
Why can’t I be satisfied (or at the very least, appreciate) all that I have already have and all that I have already accomplished? Can I not see the value in what I am already doing? Do I really need more patterned tights when I live in FL and rarely wear the ones I already have?! AAAHHHH!!!
Cecile Andrews’ chapter in the aforementioned book called, “The Simple Solution,” helped give me a little perspective. So much so that I thought I needed to write about it. The message of MORE is all around us. It is the American, consumerist, whatever-you-want-to-call-it, way! She says, “It’s hard to switch to a more leisurely life with the constant pressure to hurry up. I went to a copy shop one day and there was a huge poster on the wall that said, “Do More!”…Then I realized that it’s the basic American creed—it’s the message we get all the time.” And, boy, isn’t that the truth?
Just today, my Weight Watcher’s e-mail tip-o-the-day was MOVE MORE! Seriously. I can’t get away from it. Maybe now, though, that I am tuned into the messages (and advertising slogans) blaring in my ear, I can begin to separate them from my own value, my own interior monologue….
I am enough. I have enough. Breathe. There’s space for appreciation. Gratitude. Breathe.
Her chapter goes on to talk about the “Simplicity Movement,” and its basic theory of live on less so you can WORK less. She says a simplistic life is an “examined life, a life in which we live deliberately.” This concept, live on less to work less, has been a powerful and immediate solution to many people’s work-life balance issues. What can you do without to make room for what you desire most?
Andrews also points out some of the obstacles, such as marketing executives who have caught on to the movement and use “simplicity” in advertising to help you simply acquire more ( er…Nike?)! Andrews challenges readers to take back their lives through simplicity, in order to live fully and joyfully.
I like the sound of that.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
P.S. Feeling like I am “enough” is a constant challenge for me. While I understand that a drive for perfection and accomplishment can push us into greatness, it can also completely disrupt our ability to live a life in balance. As I continue to research and develop solutions for other people, I am faced with the reality that–while I live with purpose and intent–I am not always in control. We can design a path for ourselves but we cannot always foresee the outcome. The key, for me, is reminding myself that just because things may not be as I expected, doesn’t mean that I am in the wrong place. When those feelings crop up, I have to ask myself: Enough of what? Compared to who?