Keep a Clearer Vision of the Simpler Things in Life.
“No objects of value…are worth risking the priceless experience of waking up one more day” – Jack Smith
Last night was spent in long, deeply personal conversation with my dearest friend Noah about his recent eviction which resulted in his loss of some furniture and possessions which were so important and even sentimental in their value to him. We talked about all the “stuff” I move with each time I changed locations, relationships and lives. Sadly, my friend lost some treasures, partly because his friends, who committed their help or use of their vehicle, simply didn’t show.
During my own experience with eviction more than five years ago, I was frantic to get everything out and safely into the moving truck before the Constable would arrive to “lock us out”, leaving behind whatever wasn’t out when the deadline arrived. I was fortunate to have been able to get every single possession out and into the moving truck. Most everything I own has a story; Nana’s silverware she received from her parents as a wedding gift in 1939, the crystal stemware Nana’s parents received on their wedding date some 25 years earlier in Poland, artwork and furniture all associated with family or a close friend.
Preparing for an in-state move soon to Tucson, I have once again evaluated the possessions I still plan on hauling around. Pared down significantly, I am realizing there were things I simply didn’t have to have, or that there were others who I knew could make better use of a certain item.
Every now and then, it’s a good thing to strip life down at least closer to the essentials, maybe even the bare necessities. It opens our eyes to the opportunity to see the world anew and with a fresh start.
In the past, I wasn’t ready nor was I prepared to take extreme measures or act impulsively to realize the validity, the importance of being in touch with the simple things in life. I have learned however, when one becomes too involved with “Big Boy Toys”, luxuries, or “things” that give to a busier or more stressful life, we are buffering ourselves against reality and exist and not live.
The early morning sunrise, a walk with the dogs, reading the morning paper, watching the evening news and to bed right after, the taste of Trish’s Lasagna brought on her last visit, the smell of a barbecue on my patio, and a beautiful full moon – these are the most simple gifts of life that add texture and bring genuine thrill to life. What many of us in this world need is the wonder and joy that comes with a simpler, healthier life. I am tired – finally tired of turmoil and clutter. I’m going to have a much clearer vision with the simple things in life.
- When In Doubt Simplify (zenhabits.net)
- How to Simplify Your Life in 10 Steps (workawesome.com)
- 2011: Simplify (thehappyhousewife.com)
- living with clutter when it’s not yours (ask.metafilter.com)
The only time I’ve ever paid attention to whether I was born under Chinese Astrology’s Year of the Rat, Year of the Pig, or the Monkey has been while waiting recently for my dinner in a local Chinese restaurant, reading the animal’s names and corresponding New Year dates only to find myself ruminating why my dinner wasn’t served in twenty minutes!
I’m learning only the beginnings of this complex astrology, and so far know that:
There are 12 animal representations, associated with a branch (of which there apparently is no English translation). Each animal and its associated branch are aligned with a New Year date. As I scan my place mat for my birth year of 1961, I discover I was born in the year of the Ox! Further reading tells me that we are in the “Year of the Rabbit” until February 3, 2011 after which time it will be the year of the Dragon.
Lately, with my fascination for the Zodiac and my own daily horoscope, I thought I might try expanding beyond and see what my outlook may be like for 2011 according to the Chinese Astrology.
The Year of the Metal Rabbit should bring progress and expansion. The Metal element exerts a beneficial influence on Water, which is this sign’s element. Last year certainly was a bumpy ride. There may still be a few obstacles in 2011, but there’ll be ten favorable months to look forward to, and only two not-so-favorable months. Being the typical Ox, one needs to work on being more flexible and less stubborn. Compromise is the mentor of teaching how to bend with the wind. A tough and powerful creature, the Ox might butt heads with others if forceful about being right. Borrow some creativity and gentleness from the Rabbit. Raise expectations, and practice diplomacy to get what the Ox wants.
While things should stay steady on the home front, there could be a few challenging moments in the land of love. The Rabbit is strong and stubborn like the Ox, so relationships might feel strained. When dealing with other strong personalities it may be wise to show one’s soft and sensitive side to everyone, including loved ones. Harmony and order will be important this year. Work on communication skills and heal any rifts with estranged friends or family.
A typical Ox might be a bit of a foodie. 2011 is a good time to restore balance to your digestive system and make sure you’re eating healthy. If there are any long-standing health issues, it’s time to discuss them from a holistic approach. A sensible diet is one piece of the puzzle, but consideration of the other factors that encourage balance and wellness. Exercise. Relaxation. Meditation. Laughter. Make sure life holds equal parts of each or the Ox could burn out quickly.
As the element of our year, Metal also rules several months in 2011, including the Ox. There will be several Triple Metal days — where the element of the year, month, and day all match — which could make for some incredible luck where money is concerned. Jump at the opportunities in favorable months but exercise caution in the unfavorable ones. More than anything, it is one’s Oxen diligence that will reap the most rewards. Avoid any get-rich-quick schemes and instead just let your talents bring in prosperity.
None of what I’ve discovered so far is really difficult to digest. For me personally, things have gotten out of hand lately and I do need to slow down a bit and check-in on those priorities. That stress level that had a hard time waiting for dinner needs things to be simpler; making sure what’s necessary is getting done without overextending one’s self.
- “Year of the Rabbit” and related posts (thediscerningbrute.com)
- Your Fortune for The Year 2011-part One (socyberty.com)
- A New Year rolls in (boston.com)
- Photos: The world rings in 2011 (news.nationalpost.com)
“The best rule of friendship is to keep your heart a little softer than your head.” — Source unknown
Today I feel alone, afraid and confused. I feel as if every action I take is the wrong one. I feel every word that is uttered from my mouth is the wrong one. My self-confidence is zero. I feel unfulfilled in a large part of my life. I’m not sure yet what to do about all of this. When I look at my psychosocial plate in front of me, it is fuller than fat Aunt Lucy’s on Thanksgiving. I want my life to be normal; not some kind of existential, phenomenally cosmic experience or one of extreme wealth and luxury. Just give me a peaceful, happy and fulfilling life; one in which I feel safe, respected and loved. One in which I can trust that my experiences, perceptions and feelings are real and authentic.
I wish I could say that I have that now. But I can’t honestly say that I do. In my relationships with my close friends, I feel out of synch. Our communications are as though we are each speaking a language unknown to the other. I don’t want to be alone, or without my friends, but I feel as though each day puts us further apart, and not closer together or more connected.
Much is going on around me and I find myself being distracted with each frame of each drama that is being played out in front of me. I want to try to help every lost soul I see. There is one in particular I’d like to reach out to and help. I just can’t take him on as a project now. I need to be simplifying my life and not complicating it. I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth; I know that I want to make the most of it, however long that may be. I guess what I’m going to do today is take some time alone and prioritize that ugly mess that is on fat Aunt Lucy’s plate, and just go from there.
- Are You Enjoying The Company of Friends? (itakeoffthemask.com)
- Shaving Cream and Heart Attacks and Learning When To Fear (themillions.com)