Tag Archives: My Life

Simplification = Life Multiplied

15 Apr

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away”

 – Antione De Saint-Exupery

I’ve been giving alot of thought to simplifying my life recently.  Being unemployed and feeling so overwhelmed with things.  Things to do, things to buy, things to trip over.  I went through my closet last week as I do on probably a semi yearly basis to clean things out….but for some reason this time it doesn’t seem like enough.  I can’t wait to have a minute to get in there again.  More gone. More gone.  I’ve also done a re-evaluation of things that I really need or use.  Since I’m not using the couch….it’s up on craigslist.  Other things have come off the walls and out of closets in preparation for photographing and listing as well.  The second computer, and the tv will probably go too since they are doing little more than taking up space. 

The biggest challenge then is my office clutter.  I need one massive organizing, shredding session.  I already was able to reduce the amount of files I need to keep by half.  That means the cats can stop playing jungle gym on the hanging file display, that’s outta here too. 

We’ll see what else get’s jostled in the game of less Simplifyis more.  A couple of sites that have helped me look at things a lot differently are:

Unclutterer  (Tips on less is more, productivity, etc.  Pretty much addicted to this right now!)

LifeHacker (An oldy, but a goody…you may not use all the tips and it’s more productivity based, but when they get it right, they really get it right!

43 Folders (I used to be much more of a loyal follower of this blog….but only time to follow so many.  Great for the basics and organizing it all.)

Real Simple (The magazine that makes life simple has a website that does the same!)

Multiple computer crashes have also prompted me to move more and more to online based EVERYTHING!  (Writing this from the library right now where I will then look up budget laptops to replace the one that’s in peices all over M’s apartment. (sigh) There goes that extra cash from the couch!

Anyway…if you know of any great sites, books or tips for uncluttering and simplifying I’d love to hear them.


For Kevin

20 Jan

It’s still quiet in the bustling lodge. Most the skiers and rowdy snowboarders are off enjoying the morning runs and working up an appetite for the mediocre burgers and extravagantly priced pizza and fries.

The smell of the precooked burgers seems to circle around the edges of the great wooden edifice before finally settling I imagine in the impressive rafters high above my head.

I’m trying to resist the urge to put my gloves back on. It makes typing difficult and I’m taking quite a bit of pride in my somewhat macho chic image distinguishing me from the valley girl teens and preteens whining on their cell phones and to their school mates about mostly the distrust and angst they hold for the rest of the world, their jobs, schools, parents, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends. They seem to trust truly no one that is not themselves.

God I remember that paranoid, must impress at all costs anxious miserable period of my life. A period that was far prolonged by a hodgepodge of possible complications to my natural development, hardly worth mentioning at this point, because they don’t tell you all that much about who I am now.

There are a few others like me. Trying to act like we are too good for skiing. Typing away frantically on their laptops, heads buried in books or paperwork. But I’m comfortable in this group. Almost….I may be the only one watching CNN on my Ipod.

I think the people watching is the best bit about it for me. I’m most fascinated by the lonely souls who never seem to look from their books or get a single visit from their ski prone friends or family all day.

The mustached man with glasses trying desperately to get comfortable in the rustic pine seat and his whole body focused on the Nora Roberts book in his hands. I’ve never met a man who read Nora Roberts.

Across the table from him a figure in a red ski jacket is sprawled upper body across the table sound asleep. The mustached man never glances his way, so I guess them to be strangers.

Next to me is more of a kindred spirit. A gentleman in his mid forties, slight middle eastern or Indian accent, and a happy disposition. He was as excited as me to find a computer plug in, but now his phone won’t get a signal as a modem and I feel bad for giving him false hope.

He looks around like me. Notices things. Takes it all in, and at the same time seems content with who he is. No need to be wearing $200 snow pants just to sit around the lodge or impress a soul. He has been kind enough to watch my admittedly large cache of items while I’ve taken restroom breaks and grabbed coffee or protein drinks.

More to follow……


24 Jun

This weekend has given me the opportunity to do alot of thinking about what I want out of life.  After realizing I’ve not been fulfilled working simply to get by and my yearning for travel and cultural understanding has gone unfed, I’ve made the decision to spend 4 to 6 weeks next year volunteering in India.  I decided to do the volunteer program after deciding I wanted more than just the cursory tourist experience.  The task of finding the best program is still a bit daunting, but I’m confident that the decision at least is the right one. 

 In preparation for the trip I will be learning Hindi, one of many national languages of India, including English. I’ve already began to fall in love with the beautiful Devarangari script.  Allthough speaking Hindi is in no way a requirement for any of the programs, I feel it will give me a better opportunity to understand the people I am working to help and their needs and desires.

 My goal is to do a trip a year, to different countries or areas and to become a global advocate and public speaker for global issues when I return in my spare time.  It’s also something I hope to incorporate seamlessly into my writing.

 I just feel the sting of how easily we as Americans, sit within our four walls and are so disconnected from the world at large, the suffering that is taking place is so easy to push out of our minds.  I feel the need to do something to address that.

 Why India?  I’m not exactly sure where my fascination with India began, but it has not diminished over the years that I have been aware of it.  The opportunities I’ve had to meet natives of India and hear their stories have been fascinating.  And these have been the lucky ones.  The well off ones who have come to the US.  Within their stories are horrors of sexual inequality and social systems that make helping their own people difficult.  But for many in India hunger, unemployment, and an inate sense of an inability to help oneself are commonplace. 

I’m also fascinated by the religions and cultures of the different regions of India.  The history, colors, spices and fabrics as well as rituals and rites that are worlds apart from what we know here in the United States.

I hope to spend part of my time in Delhi and part of my time in rurul Dharamsala were I will also be exposed to the Tibetian culture as it is the home of the exiled government of Tibet and the Dalai Lhama. 

I’m not sure exactly when the trip will take place.  Things will have to be worked out with my job and fundraising.  But I’m hoping for sometime next summer.

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on this endeavor, and any suggestions or advice you might have for me.

Live Well!


No better feeling….

16 Jun

For the first time in weeks I have an entire weekend to do what I want.  Trust me the to do list has been building up and there are lots of things to choose from, but nothing that I must do this second, nothing that will loose a $100,000 account if it isn’t accomplished. 

There is absolutely no better feeling in the world than being able to actually choose what to do with your time.  I’ll admit it, I was spoiled for years….no job, free to read when I felt like it, write when I wanted, sleep when I chose.  I got surprisingly little done in those 5 years. 

But now that I have an extremely demanding job, everything is falling into perspective.  The important things float to the top and the time wasters, just sort of drift away to sea.  I was worried about losing some of my favorite activities….like naps…..but when it all comes into motion…my naps stay.  They are what keeps me sane and recharge my well worn batteries.  What really dissapears is things like celebrity magazines, television and playing till all hours of the night.  Yes I can still go watch Grey’s Anatomy on abc.com but I’m not a slave to a schedule.  Yes, I keep my satelite dvr subscription up so I can record a movie or history channel program now and then…but usually the tv is off.

Even my computer, which IS always on, is becoming more streamlined. No more lazy browsing for hours (unless it’s research for a writing project), no more belonging to 20 different yahoo groups.  I still work on designing my own sites, but I’m not in a rush.  When they get done, they get done.  If I’m not enjoying it, it’s time to switch to something else. 

And Books are starting to stack up around me again.  Still reading more than one at a time…but 4 not 12 and I’m much more selective.  Next weekend will be another cutting the fat weekend, selling all the books, dvds, clothes, etc that I will never touch. 

This weekend though, is about figuring out me.  Who I have become (heaven knows I’ve seen ALOT of transformation the last year), what I want and how to get there.  It’s about managing goals….figuring out how to communicate them, and helping people understand me and my needs.  I finally understand it’s okay to be selfish about some things.  It’s about finding my passions again and ways to be fullfilled.  It’s about being honest and learning I CAN HANDLE THIS!!!

I’m quite proud of myself actually.  But maybe that’s just because I had the nap!!


In Retrospect

13 Jan

You wonder how you got to this place where you are today.  How you became this person.  The pendulum swings higher and higher, and balance drifts away to sea.  More adventure, more excitement, more life you call.  And there is always someone there to heed, to pull you quite gracefully out onto the dancefloor, where the music never ends and you become a puppet on a string unable to stop dancing, no matter how blistered your feet have become.

What happened to the silence, you wonder.  Those moments of quiet reflection where you found yourself again and took a deep breath and stretched out like a cat until your bones were aligned in the right direction and you knew where you were going?

Surviving Thanksgiving, almost…

24 Nov

Yesterday, for the first time in thirty-five years my mother did not cook a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Don’t get me wrong, the full course of stuffing, ham, sweet potatoes and pies accompanied the traditional bird…but for the first time ever, my mother wasn’t in charge. 

What a fabulous idea.  I love my mother and her cooking, but she tends to get a bit overly stressed and perfectionistic around the holidays, so when my cousin offered to host this year’s festivities at her house we all sighed a collective “Yes!”

I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable Thanksgivings I can remember.  I’m sure a bit of that had something to do with the expensive wine being passed around.  But more, there was a relaxed atmosphere….for the first time I can remember at a family gathering I didn’t feel rushed, in the way, lazy, or out of place.  I just had a good time.

Until…I woke up this morning with a horrible cold or something that I think I got from  my um ex-boyfriend…well we don’t need to go into that either. 

It just seems whenever we have family in town, I manage to get sick.  Most people insist that I’m always sick, and I almost have to agree, except there was that one day last week….

Nano, is going down the drain….between being sick, family in town, getting ready for the holidays early so I’m not stressed. (ha, ho, ho).  Let’s see 5 days left and I still haven’t broken 30,000 words.  Not impossible I suppose, but with the packed schedule we have until my brother and his family leave on Tuesday, not likely.

But that’s okay.  I accomplished alot, and I found an entirely new direction for the plot to go that I wasn’t expecting, but which gives it a strong theme and spine.  I’m very excited, but it’s going to take some more research as well…so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy.

One last note. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I just want to mention, because I don’t do it often enough; how grateful I am for the excessess I have in my life.  Excesses of love, of understanding, of support, and of friendship.   Thank you to those of you who have helped to make me who I am today and have allowed me to be a part of your lives.  Because that’s all that really matters in the end.

What are you consuming?

4 Sep

What Are You Consuming

Or what is consuming you??


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