Take a walk around your life periodically and try to remove what is taking up time and space that no longer serves you.

Over the years there have been books that have attempted to persuade the culture to simplify their lives. As consumerism has engulfed our lives, it appears that the adage “less is more” is becoming more of a dinosaur mentality. However, there is always the possibility of a resurgence and voila “Tiny Houses” have appeared and become a part of the Home and Garden TV station.
I must admit I was intrigued by the premise. I have lived in my home for over thirty five years and as I age I become more and more overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have collected. My home is not huge but it does take diligence to have it look the way I want it too. Yes, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my abode. My yard has become analogous to an arboretum. The irony is that it is a Zen garden that reflects simplicity but need a lot of work to look simple.
Many of my peers are feeling the pressure of having to be the concierge of their homes and we have talked over and over about downsizing. But, how do you go from spaciousness to hardly any space especially if you feel somewhat claustrophobic when you walk into your closet? The Tiny Houses have very limited space so that collecting “stuff” would be difficult, unless you camp outside and simply go into the house to visit your “stuff”. I am constantly amazed at the segments that show a family of four that has decided to live in a 350 foot space. The sleeping arrangements are usually a loft that is accessed by a ladder and there is barely any head room. I average at least two trips to the bathroom a night, so I would probably end up with several concussions. In addition I would have to get up and down the ladder. This could be catastrophic!
I realize this arrangement could work for some people but keep in mind that your habits follow you. A Tiny House can get stuffed too. However, can we begin to simplify our lives so that we do not feel overwhelmed? A lot of our lifestyles have become occluded with a myriad of tasks, time suckers, and busyness that is simply filling a void. Yes, life is more complex, gadgets are rampant, and we are surrounded by noise that clutters our mind more than our stuff.
Take a walk around your life periodically and try to remove what is taking up time and space that no longer serves you. Try to find a place that is fairly quiet, particularly in nature. Spend some time with individuals who are not contentious with whom you feel peaceful. Find humor whenever you can and move toward embracing absurdity. Seeing the absurd just might stop you from buying something you will eventually include in a yard sale.

“Publish or Perish”

I have loved delving into research about a myriad of mind/body issues. It fascinates me on how much wisdom is contained in our biology. To imagine that each cell in the body is like the pilot of a plane knowing instinctively how to navigate through good and bad developments is fascinating. However, over the last several years a lot of research has been done for research sake. The academic metaphor, “Publish or Perish” has driven some researchers to spend time and money on subject matter that I feel is often mundane and foolish.

Take the example of a major institution of learning that spent millions of dollars on how long it took for men to use the rest room vs. women. Did anyone really gain anything from that other than verifying what most women already know. My friends and I have complained often about the fact the women’s rest rooms should be have more toilets. It’s a big duh! Why didn’t these folks just interview some women walking around a mall? Then they could save the money for something that was more relevant, like cancer.

How about the one where they shock some mice and leave others alone when they’re trying to eat based on trying to figure out how to stop people from overeating. Really! I would be as thin as a rail if the refrigerator did that every time I opened it. But I would eventually find a way around it.. I would just hose down the refrigerator until the sparks diminished and then go in for the kill, preferably salami.

Now the reason I started all this rant. This morning I was reading USA Today weekend edition, and lo and behold on page one was an article called “ Not Fit to be tied: Study unravels mystery of weak knots.  Scientific evidence is now clear : We tie our shoelaces wrong.” It seems that America has an epidemic of untied shoes that can be blamed in part on faulty shoe-tying techniques. This is according to “rigorous” experiments in a newly published study. The question I beg to ask is how do they get this information. Did they have rabid squirrels attacking people’s shoes? Did they make people walk on a bed of nails? No, it’s the foot’s repeated impact against the swinging leg that causes the lace’s free ends to whip around and gradually slide out of the knot. Whew! Now my life can go on.

I don’t remember any body in my family or my friends walking around constantly trying to tie their shoelaces because the knots slipped. Maybe their legs didn’t swing. Dangling laces have also become very cool for whatever reason with young people. I’m sure they’re also a big hit with orthopedic surgeons. But here’s my prescription for shoelace slippage, free no charge, no research. How about double knotting?