My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I often struggle with the title of this blog...."Overhaul. My year of Transition from Cluttered to Simple Living." What does that really mean? Did I really believe that it would only take a year to get my house in order? What kind of clutter am I talking about? What am I so dissatisfied with? What do I feel needs change. Why now?

When looking for a title for my kayak painting, my dad re-introduced me to a quote from "Ulysses".. by Alfred Lord Tennyson, written in 1833 and published in 1842. Ulysses longs to return to the sea. He is aging and he longs for more fulfillment... to make the best of the rest of his life.

...that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Like Ulysses, I long for more. My journey is a journey within. What is it I seek? What makes me happy? What makes me feel fulfilled? What causes me pain?

When my last child left home, I was faced with the questions, "What now" and "what lies ahead?" One half of my life was involved in mothering. A "mother" is how I defined myself. The void created by their absence cried out to be filled. With what? Heavens...I did not even know myself! How could I possibly know what would make me happy?

Over the past several years, I have started to discover those things that bring me great joy. What are they? Sunday night dinners with calls from my kids....grandkids who snuggle in my arms...a paddle....a paint brush in my hand...a visit from a friend....a community of friends.

What is it I seek? Peace and simplicity. Peace and Simplicity.

How do I reach that place of peace..simplicity? I am learning. The less cluttered my home, the more peaceful it is.. The less contact I have with those who are easily offended and perpetually fault finding...the more peaceful my heart is. When I search my soul and strive to practice the Virtues, I am on the road to contentment and peace. When I strive to live in a world with as little impact as possible, I have found simplicity, and thereby I have found peace.

My journey is is yours. What is it that you are looking for?

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  1. Re your blog title...just take off the words "my year of" or "year of"
    Have a great celebration weekend.

  2. Simpicity and peace come from within...never outside of oneself.......
    I think Christine has a great idea about your blog title. Have a great weekend...:-) Hugs

  3. I was intrigued by the title of your blog, because it seems we are all in some state of "overhaul" and I think you done right by just taking off the limitation of a year. Well done. I am also looking for simplicity, which seems to be happening quite without trying, now that I am living in retirement. I have made a schedule for myself, and it seems good to me.

  4. I will also be living in retirement very soon. Looking forward to having a simple life.

  5. You did it Wendy..just noticed you deleted the limitation.

  6. Yes... because really, there are no limits other than what we impose upon ourselves. Thanks, Chris.

  7. Yes, I agree with the others that commented..we are all always in transition and we all seek simplicity.
    My retirement has caused me to notice what is really important...others in my life, my family, and spending time with them in love.

  8. Someone once said to me when I was struggling with something, 'How would you eat an elephant?' Well, yes, if I wasn't a vegetarian and if I even did want to eat an elephant, then it would be a bit at a time. You say much that I identify with, and well done you for doing it, you're an inspiration. I have difficulty though jettisoning kindly the people who criticise, scorn, offend etc... But keeping still and quiet seems to work.