Thursday, June 07, 2012

simplicity

Onward, the series continues.

My last entry bugged me for awhile but I had trouble figuring out why. Finally, I realized that it was because it was more of a list (and probably incomplete) than any sort of examination. Oh well. Perhaps it was one that's harder for me to pin down.

Anyhow... Today's is a good one, though one I won't spend a lot of time on because it's a variant on this Year's motto of "simplify" -- simplicity.

To me, simplicity is the opposite of mentally taxing. That's something that just works, that's the absence of stress, it's a calmness of being exactly what's needed and nothing more. It's not dumbed down, but it's also not veiled, hinted or obtuse. I realize that to get there is actually more work, but it's a place I want to be.

For me, simplicity is something I must fight for. That feels counter-intuitive, but when I simplify something, the victory is all the sweeter. One area I've made some headway is in the manner of stuff - the less I own, the less I need to store, keep track of, clean, etc. I have worked this year in areas of my life to reduce stuff. I have a ways to go, but I have done some purging of stuff in drawers, stuff on counters, clothes, etc.

An area I'm still struggling with is technological distractions - I might have a book to read but instead I'll play a video game. I've deleted a lot of apps off my devices, I've started using the iPad more than the laptop for lightweight tasks and the Kindle more than the iPad for reading. Multiple devices are still the antithesis and I do still regularly use my iPhone and iPad simultaneously in the morning while doing freestep on the wii. I've cut down on the number of feeds I read in Google Reader and deleted a bunch of outdated contacts and stopped going to some websites that are a time-suck for me. I've stopped watching some TV shows, even good ones, as a way to be more simple.

I had allowed three magazine subscriptions to lapse, but then two (Fast Company) came back with insane deals and a third (Architectural Digest) ended up offering my wife a free subscription, so I am in danger of enlarging my collection of unread magazines if I don't get serious.

I have a long ways to go in my pursuit of simplicity, but I've tasted enough to know it's well worth pursuing and the pursuit itself is rewarding.
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