Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simplicity is not that Simple

Do you ever feel that the world is banging you over the head with a message? That has been happening to me lately.

It started quietly after Hurricane Katrina. There were piles of stuff everywhere. We saw all of the stuff from people’s homes on the news. There were piles of stuff all over the city that we were all able to donate to those who had lost all of their stuff.
The TV show ‘Clean House’ was on TV – people with loads and loads of STUFF, making their lives miserable.

With this sort of message all over the television, it is no wonder that there are those around the globe that think Americans are disgusting. I see this stuff and I think we are disgusting. Consumerism run amok.

As a result a few links have been caught my eye on Twitter as of late are about simplifying. These are a few of my favorites:

Project 333 – The point is to break your wardrobe down to 33 pieces that you were for 3 months. I might be able to do this – Its worth a shot – mine might be more like 40 but I think the spirit is still there. ….no one needs to trip over a pile of clothes in the morning only to decide they have nothing to wear. AND you don’t have to count your PJs and unmentionables in the 33..(WOOT! Honest I sleep in that pashmina)

100 Thing Challenge – Trying to pare your belongings down to 100 items. Things not included are:
• Stuff that’s shared between him and other family members. (Good, I can just see me asking princess to give up her flatiron so that I can have another purse)
• Non-personal stuff, like dishes, cleaning supplies, etc. (thank goodness! I really don’t want to give up something shiny so that I can have an assortment of frying pans)
• Books. (YAY!!!!)
• Tools.
• Collections count as one item. (is jewelry a collection? Is wardrobe a collection?..I hope so)

Tiny Houses - very cute, I love them –They are affordable and a great idea to reduce your footprint and live simply…but where are the closets? Where do you put your Christmas decorations during the off season? Where does the washer and dryer go?

The Burning House - if your house was on fire what would you take with you? Contributors take a picture of those things and post to this site. It’s a thought provoking idea. What would you save?

My electric company sent me reusable shopping bags. Great idea – but I haven’t developed the habit of taking them with me yet. It’s not that I don’t want to do my part for the environment – I use those horrific light bulbs that ruin your eyesight, but it is difficult to change from being a poster child for consumerism to something else. Maybe I will just follow my mother and Buddah’s advice and think moderation in everything.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love You Forever, Like You for Always

BFF – Best Friends Forever – who doesn’t have that written in a yearbook somewhere? It is a lovely, though a bit of a naive sentiment. Friends come and go out of our lives over the years. With facebook now, we can at least connect and send out happy wishes and look at pictures of graduations and births of our one time BFFs. Or even give a shout out when you remember something you did together. This sort of connecting is great, I honestly feel that I have connections with some family, who I may have gone the rest of my life without talking to again were it not for facebook.

I spent some time looking at a couple Facebook memorial walls today. These are walls put up when someone dies so that family and friends can share memories and pay respects. As I was reading messages about two young boys taken away too soon a year ago, I wiped my tears, and it struck me, the amazing part is what happens after the funeral. Ongoing wall posts – “I had a dream about you”, “ I miss you” “We talked about you today” and my favorite kind “Hey dude you won’t believe this but…”

How incredible is it that we now have a tangible way to reach out and say “HEY Guess what”. Instead of a whispered word on the wind to our loved ones, laughs and memories are still shared. These kids live on in a way. Long after the flowers have wilted and the tears have dried – they can be an active part of our lives. …Though I think I would still recommend reaching out and saying “Hey Guess what? I still love you" when our friends can write back.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hatpin or Linchpin?

Author Seth Godin wrote about being a linchpin. Linchpins are thought leaders and influencers. Being a linchpin is a good thing as they keep the wheels from flying off. But I think of myself as more of a hat pin.

A hat pin:
Stays on top of things
Without it a hat could get lost
Can be decorative or utilitarian depending on the circumstances

In the early 1900, laws were passed in the US limiting the length of hatpins. There was a fear that they would be used as a weapon by suffragettes.

Yes – I am a hatpin – Just as important as a linchpin, doing basically the same job – yet somehow under-estimated and fear inducing at the same time.