"I can't believe that..." said my 14 year old son who loves to talk about (and sometimes ridicule) the old days in which I was raised: Record albums and 45's. 50 cents an hour babysitting gigs. Getting off your seat to change the 10 channels on the black and white TV. Packs of teenagers sitting out on a porch talking or making crank phone calls. Summer drives across country and camping. Typewriters. Carbon paper. Encyclopedias.
Things were simpler when compared to today. It's true. And time and technology and life move on, forward, progress, future, tomorrow, next.
What I notice is how unbalanced it all feels when we are not in control of or aware of the choices we make, and our lives become overwhelmed...not of our own design. It is not my interest to keep the future from happening or necessarily trying to define how the future should unfold; my interest is in being mindful of how I choose to participate in it unfolding. I work hard to make the decision to participate, or not, in service to the simplicity and ease I need in my life. It's when I lose sight of the fact I have choice that I begin to flail, feel overwhelmed, act less skillfully on my own behalf.
My life, and keeping it simple, is a work in progress:
- Simplicity of a home-based business: My laptop computer, a cell phone, the Internet, and a well-equipped home office allow me to do business anywhere in the world at anytime, raise my son in real time, and have a work and life balance that enhances me. It is easy to overwork though. Setting boundaries can be a challenge.
- Simplicity of staying in touch with friends, family, and colleagues: I have joined 3 social/business networking web sites (only 3!) and I find they take up more time maintaining and less time really being engaged with the people on them. There is a passivity to it all.
- Simplicity of less stuff: We gave up our second car and are saving a lot of money. And yet, even one car is a lot to maintain (the airbag warning light has been on for three days requiring a visit to the mechanic). And Boston public transportation can be unreliable. I'd like to use a boat and yet the owning of a boat feels out of the question. I love my home and property; there is a difference between gardening and yard work. Love the ocean view from my decks; a 50 year old deck has collapsed from rotted wood. Ugh!
- Simplicity of service: I have volunteered to serve on an advisory board of a non-profit organization and managing the details of membership on this board is more time consuming than my service to the organization itself.
Simplicity... keep it simple...ease.