Sara Whitman


Filed By Sara Whitman | December 06, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: simplicity, simplify your life, unnecessary weight

Simple. It's the mantra running through my head. Over and over. All I want is simple. A clean house, fewer things, fewer responsibilities. simplicity.gifTo turn the focus to relationships instead of the pile of bills on my desk.

My sister, the queen of stuff, has been getting rid of things left and right. Donating, tossing, whatever it takes to get rid of the truckloads of things she's gathered in her lifetime. Mind you, my sister at one point could have been on the television program about hoarders.

Easily. Now, not much remains of the former empire of gadgets, knick-knacks, and my personal favorite, some-day-I-will-fix-its.

I always feel this way when I'm in Downeast. I love the rhythm and quiet of no stuff. The shelves are lined with books. There is just enough kitchen gear to be able to cook most things. People laugh at me when I say I want to try and live an entire year there, to write about going back to another century.

I'm quite serious. I wouldn't do that to my kids. Unfortunately, the book has been written. "Drinking the Rain," by Alix Shulman. Fabulous book.

And it would get a tad cold in the winter.

Simple. While I was in Lisbon, the word kept bouncing around my psyche. Streets used for centuries upon centuries, a winding catacomb of houses and alleys still used a thousand years after being built.

A thousand years.

People make due with fewer choices of products, foodstuffs, clothes... it is what it is.

The Christmas commercial season ringing out calls for credit cards, glittering gift wraps and piles of packages. Makes me more than a little nutty on a good day, without this need to simplify.

I'm jealous of my sister's ability to shed a layer of unnecessary weight. For me, perhaps I need to focus on the emotional side of simplicity. Maybe this year of illness and death, of sadness and worry, has been a signpost for me. I could keep spinning in despair or I could choose a different direction.

Maybe I do have the ability, as my sister does. Just looks a little different.

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When we moved to DC, we came from a 2200 sq ft house with yard, basement and garage to a 650 sq ft apartment. Talk about downsizing and simplifying. My library became a bookshelf.

It killed me at the time, but I've also found it rather liberating.