Wednesday, May 16, 2007

simplicity; and when to give it up

Some friends of ours, a couple who live in Arizona, were here for dinner on Mon. night and I got a lesson in living simply. They simply don't buy stuff unless it is for their basic needs or is of spiritual/moving significance... or is that very ocassional movie or Starbucks latte (they aren't puritans!). They don't include a lot in the above categories. truly. They talked about how having less really does make more room for the good stuff, that it just comes when needed.

They got me thinking about simplifying, yet again. I am not a huge consumer but I do love a scrapbooking supply sale, JJill clothes, books... I only get the JJill stuff when it's on super clearance, once or twice a year, a few things. The art/craft stuff - more often. But I get 90% of our books from the library. We spend most of our money on quality food. But yes, of course I could simplify, a lot! My house could probably use more than 27 more "27 Flings" (idea from Flea Lady to walk through your house with a bag, picking up 27 things to throw away).

Before I overcomplicate... - a story:

Here's where my thoughts about living more simply led us while talking in the car yesterday.

ME (after referring to our friends' lifestyle that we'd heard about the night before) : "So, If you had to simplify your life to the absolutely, positively, MOST important stuff, the essentials, what would you have in your life?"

JESSE: You and Papa and Gillen and Tuki..

ME: We will be with you as long as you can stand us; longer. I mean which of your things, no animals or people?

So as I drove, these are the lists that evolved, in the order in which they said them (for once, I wrote something down right away):

GILLEN: Bike, skateboard, bike helmet, skateboard helmet, fishing pole, bait, hook, canoe, drift wood to hang fish on if it's big, the book "Swordbird" (he's reading it now), Music- U2, Red Hot (he said Hot Red) Chili Peppers, the "Exorcist" song (we have it on a Halloween scary music CD), Aaron (he forgot he couldn't include people), an RV (!)

JESSE: Towel, pillow, YuGiOh cards, Pokemom cards, "Harry Potter" books, "Series of Unfortunate Events" books, Garfield books, sleeping bag, tent, Monopoly, the game of ship, hybrid car, mansion "with solar powered electricity".

So they lost track of simplifying, by the end. I believe they are good lists. Children should have grandiose dreams, should BE grandiose. I learned that a long time ago from a very wise man and that thought came back to me after listening to them. May they be filled with their own grandiosity, filled to overflowing! And I'll just model simplicity... in those areas where it's simple.


DP said...

He's got 1 helmet for his bike and then a different one for the skateboard? Not sure I buy into the simplify concept, but if need be that could be a way, ditch one of the helmets. When I was a kid I had an oversized football helmet for all such needs.

Also I'm surprised neither said anything about video games. That has spiritual significance.

Madeline said...

I think the helmet overkill factor was for me (he never wants to wear his ONE helmet for either sport). I was shocked that they didn't include video games. I asked jesse just now why he didn't include them. He said, "video games are not the best things in life." DP, I have to agree with him. But I also know we are wanting in the coolest games... We're trading what we have this week.

Kaat said...

Kids have such strange ideas about "properties" and "necessities". My 21 month old, just started forging the concept of "it's Amie's". She says it about new words that she learns (indeed, they *are* now hers), and cars and clouds. For the latter she looks deeply into my skeptical face and then goes: "noooooh," like she was only joking.
If she understood about necessities. I think she would say Mama, Baba, and her Bears. I wish I could aks her and track her answer over time...
Katrien at