Thursday, January 07, 2010

Less is More

I snapped this picture on a beautiful day in December when the temperatures didn't seem as threatening as they do today at the Gables Apartments near our condo tower. Dripping faucets inside apartments seems like overkill if you leave your heat on...what? Our condo has been set for the heat to come on if the temperature at the thermostat reaches 60F. I think anyway. That hasn't happened yet but the current cold front may make it happend. The temp has been dropping since I got up this morning and seems to have settled just below freezing. With temperatures, at a certain point less is not more. But this summer during the days and days of 100F plus temps any drop was welcome.

There are other times that less is more, though. Covering some news stories, for example. Eating, drinking.

Also: stocking up. It seems like a good idea to people. They are walking through Costco and they think, yeah, I could eat that many (pick one) nuts, chips, ounces of cheese, etc. But sometimes it's good to not stock up too much and just eat what you have around. When the weather turns bad, people strip the stores of food and water. How long do they think they might be stranded. Don't most of us have enough cans of chili to get through a crisis?

I once was the owner of two beat-up VW Beetles. Somehow we got the idea that having a 'spare' car would relieve the times that we had one car in the shop. (Our other car was a rotary engine Mazda. Remember those.) But. It was a pain. It expanded the times one car needed some work by 50 percent and there was insurance, license, inspection. More trouble than it was worth. And you had to have a place to park 'em, too.

Now, sometimes it's reasonable to stock up on stuff. It's best to have enough underwear, socks and blue jeans to get past the next wash day and enough dishes to fill a dishwasher before you have to run it. But lots of other things, you know, you don't need so much of really. And stockpiling is a really bad idea. You really only need a certain number of pairs of shoes or T-Shirts (but those things multiply, don't they?). You only need a few watches (um, do people even use them any more or just tell time with their cell phones?).

But most of the complications of our life? They are from having too many things going, too many duties, too many households to manage, too much of things we should have never gotten into. From letting too many people grab your time. I've spent my retirement looking for things to do but, at the same time, jettisoning responsibilities and stuff. Some responsibilities are pesky, though, and grow and grow and there is nothing you can do to make them all that much simpler.

But...if I'd made a New Year's Resolution it would have been to remember 'less is more' and to try as hard as I can to simplify things in my life.

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