When I retired from the 9-5 world two years ago, my intent was to simplify every area of my life. Unfortunately, I have done just the opposite…still collecting complicated toys which are continually breaking, and agreeing to do tasks that no longer interest me.
As Autumn makes itself felt across the nation and another season of life passes into memory, I’m reassessing things once again. Maybe I can get it right this time.
I just finished reading Ellen Gilchrist’s book entitled “The Age of Miracles” which served to underline how miserably I’ve failed at simplification. The good news is it’s never too late to back up and start over. Unlike most of us who launch lofty resolutions in the New Year, Gilchrist celebrates summer’s end every year by “resimplifying.”
She throws away her papers and everything in her house that she hasn’t used in the previous two years. Celebrating simplicity, she wrote:
“I have plenty of fears, dumb habits and insidious little prejudices I could pitch into the files of autumn. The 6-year old named William has a campground in his back yard with a ring of stones for building files. Sometimes his parents let him cook his dinner there. The next time I see smoke I will write down some stupid things I keep doing and take the paper over and burn it in his fire.”
I read somewhere it’s not the tragedies that kill us; it’s the messes. Maybe by simplifying we can get rid of the messes that crowd and clog our lives and prevent good things from flowing in.