{via under the carolina moon}

time and again i come back to simplicity. i'm terrible at simplicity. peter will tell you. terr-i-ble. i like the idea of it, but i don't like it in practice. with certain things i'm perfectly happy with simple. with others though. not so much.

i always think of it this way: life would be so much simpler if i only had one pair of shoes, or a uniform to wear. it takes the thought process out of getting dressed for the day. and every time my very next thought, always and immediately, is this: BORING! that may be simpler, but it would also be horrible.

i like deciding what to wear each day. i like choosing which book i'm going to read, and which meal i'm going to make for dinner. i like having choices. however, i do see the importance of constantly paring down. too many choices can quickly overwhelm and paralyze me.

i oscillate back and forth between the two extremes. i go from "ugh, there's too much to do and take care of and worry about, we should just live in a tiny house in the woods." [okay, this stage doesn't last for long. like, maybe 2 minutes. and i never tell peter when i'm in this stage because that's something he would actually do.]

then i make the jump to "okay, maybe not a tiny house in the woods, but we do have too much stuff and we need to purge because it's kind of overwhelming sometimes when i open the cabinet, or the closet, and things just fall out on me..." [this stage lasts for a little bit longer. generally until i start to go through things, and then come to the realization that i actually do need everything i have, except for maybe two things that i actually put in the pile for goodwill. (btw - "need" is not used in the strictest sense here...)]

so, after i go through this stage i decide "we just need to move to a bigger house. it would be so nice to have a dedicated space for everything. 'and honey, we don't actually have to fill the space, we can just have space. wouldn't that be nice?'" [during this stage peter generally looks at me like i'm crazy, reminds me of the many many things that we'd like to do in our life that require us to *not* have an astronomical mortgage, and usually adds something a bit sarcastic about the "not filling up the space" thing. because that would actually happen. (sometimes i think he knows me too well.)]

see, i'm terrible at simplicity. i always find a way out of it.

i'm not a hoarder, per se, but i am a perfectionist.

what does that have to do with anything? well, let me explain. i feel as though i need to have the perfect tool, or piece in order to do something. it drives me nuts to wear an outfit if i don't think it's as good as it could be. i'm not talking about designer pieces or anything, but if i can picture the perfect shoes for an outfit in my head, and they are not in my closet, i don't want to wear the outfit.

if a recipe calls for putting the quiche into a quiche dish and i only have a pie plate, and i have to make it in the pie plate, it bothers me. [full disclosure: i recently bought a ceramic quiche dish because of this...]

see what i mean?

having had peter in my life for the past eleven[-ish] years has certainly helped to calm this phenomenon, but it still exists.

am i going to read this book again? probably not. but i might! and then what happens? i get mad at myself for giving it away.

yes, i was raised with the tendency to follow the adage: "it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it." which is why my bags were as heavy as bricks when i went on trips. i tried to pack my entire room into a duffel bag for the weekend.

and moving into my dorm in college. LORD, have mercy.

but i digress.

i like the idea of simplicity, but i also like having exactly what i need [or want...]. and often these two ideas do not exactly match up.

but as i get older i realize that life is all about balance. constantly refining, reordering, reprioritizing.

it's like trying to hold yourself in a plank position for your whole life. those infinitesimally small variations in balance will throw you off if you don't keep them in check. you have to come back, and reset. time and again.


and recognize that the most important things are usually the simple things.

something keane understands well. *wink*

and i'm out...


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