Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Simplicity and serenity

Thanks to everyone who has responded to the blog lately.

We are continuing to sort through stuff in our house and are actually making progress towards getting organized. The house is starting to look good! And it feels better already to be traveling lighter.

Roger and I filled three trash bags last night with give-away clothes. I would say that was crazy, but in this culture, a mere three bags probably rates as the essence of simple living. We also put a bunch of wool sweaters into two plastic vacuum bags I bought. You literally vacuum out the air and they shrink up. We will bring these to Barnesville to store.

As we proceed through this move, I'm trying not do everything pell mell. While initially I had thought of trying --of course!! -- to pack in as much freelance work as I could before I moved, to make as much money "while I could," I've hit unusual walls on several stories that have blocked me from moving forward with them. My deepest sense has been that I should see the walls as there for a reason, and focus my energies on the move. I feel at very much at peace with that in my inner core but there is the outward core that says, but, but, but we need ... money, money, money. I'm trying to ignore that nervous chatter and stay in the center. Put first the kingdom ...How much money do we "need?"

Someone once said haste is of the devil and someone else said haste IS the devil. While possibly overstated for effect, both statements have the ring of truth to me. I feel sad looking back over the past decade that our children's lives have been so hurried. Rushing has been normal for them. To put this in context, we are family that has tried hard to limit activities and be attuned to simplicity, but we've still gotten caught in the vortex. If I had it to do over again, I would have and do a lot less with much more thoughtfulness and deliberation.

It would be wonderful to live calmer lives in Barnesville, but much of the simplicity from which serenity springs is interior, as Thomas Kelly write in Testament of Devotion. He taught in Hawaii before World War II, when the island was an isolated, slow-moving, tropical paradise (maybe a little like Barnesville without the cold weather?). He thought he'd achieve a calm life there, but alas, brought his own baggage along.

Where you live can influence the pace of your life, or so I have to believe after hearing the many Midwesteners who move here mention how emotionally cold and fast-paced this area is. On the other hand, like Thomas Kelly, I also have to believe the serene life comes out of a core that intentionally seeks that rhythm.

On that note, I have to hurry to end this so I can hop in the shower so I can pick up Sophie from a sleepover so she can tend to the dogs she is housesitting for so we can both get to an appointment so I can get back home and out the door again to buy touch- up paint for my front door ....

But I will try to do all of this with serenity!

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