It tells us in magazines, brochures, products, Eastern philosophies, siestas, naps, and high tea.

It tells us to find better ways, cheaper and easier ways to get things done and to relax.  We are encouraged to simplify.  Keep it simple. Real Simple, like the magazine title.

The Zen of Python says simple is better than complex.  (Yes, I know I’m quoting programming principle.)

Feng Shui principles teach that a cluttered house is a symptom of a cluttered mind. 

So I try.  I try to have only what I need, and to use that thing up before I look to replace it.  And sometimes I feel like I’m succeeding until I’m reminded that I over-complicate things like itineraries for vacations.  Or the realization that I analyze every situation from every point of view before I can let something go.

Simplicity.  The universe’s signs and messages surround us.  It is what I strive for.  That and something else…something more…

Minimalist.  Aah.  A word that makes me sigh in relief.  If a thing doesn’t have a practical use, I don’t need it.  Chatchke, knick knack, décor; words with unnecessary letters for things taking up unnecessary space.  Ironic that my cat is named Schmitter – with as many letters as possible to spell her name. 

But is simplicity the same thing as sacrifice?  Am I sacrificing important things for the sake of less things to clean?  Are the hardwood floors bare for a reason?  Are there no houseplants for a reason?  Have I gone too far in my quest to meet our familial needs (less dust to reduce asthma attacks and no plants because kitty eats them, even plastic ones)? 

I am oft made fun of, to the point where I’ve deduced that I must be bohemian, since I don’t have color coded themes from room to room to preserve flow; I don’t have matching sets of furniture, choosing instead to buy what I like when I like it.  I like old things, like my revered 60’s kitchen table.  My family argues that I would have more TV’s “if I could”.  Well, “I could”, but I wouldn’t and I don’t.  And I won’t.  I disagree with TV’s in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedrooms.  The kitchen is for cooking and eating, the bedrooms are for sleeping.  One TV teaches the art of compromise, not appeasement.  

The only time I question myself is when someone new is about to enter my house, my sanctuary.  Then I wonder if I’m off my rocker.  Then I wonder if I’m a pretentious mis-matched wannabe without knowing what it is I want to be.

Maybe I’ve gone too far and oversimplified my house, in effect stripping the place bare, because a neighbor once came in and said ‘it’s a wonder you can find anything for a garage sale”.  I don’t invite her inside anymore, but I think that I have everything I need, it’s just not out in the open.  Remembering back to a once-beloved apartment in Oakland, someone asked me once if I ‘have it bare on purpose’.  I’m sure I said, “yes”. But I remember being surprised at his statement, and then wondering if he was right. 

I just wonder if I’m on the right path.

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