Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Simplify, Simplify!

Henry David Thoreau quotes:

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify."

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler."


Today was spent cleaning house, so to speak. My company is consolidating our real estate in an effort to cost-save, so we're moving out of our current ghost town of a building and starting next Monday we will be shacking up with some other departments in another building on this same campus. We're officially out of this building beginning tomorrow at noon, so I'm a bit tired from all the cleaning.

I didn't have too much stuff to pack or go through, thank goodness, especially considering I've been here almost 6 years. It helps that I work remotely a lot, whether at home or on the road. And, given that our work environment totally promotes flexibility, they encourage a paper-less office, which means virtually everything can be found online in some form or fashion.

However, I did find all sorts of random things that I wasn't expecting. I found a set of transparencies that had the very first presentation I ever gave here. And boy, do I remember being nervous! I was bright-eyed and eager to please, and I remember how naive and excited I was to make my mark and prove myself. Those were good times!

Then I also came across my very first training manual. It's for a class that every new hire has to take and I was looking at all the notes and details I wrote down. I had to laugh as I flipped through that book because 100% of that stuff I can do in my sleep now.

What was surprising was the ease in which I was able to toss such things. I tend to be a packrat and boy, am I such a sentimental mush. It was a moment of clarity. The moment was confirming what I already knew. My time here is up. This company was but a moment in my journey for me to learn and to grow, but now I am ready for something new. There's something better waiting for me. And I am full of hopeful expectancy. It's an awesome feeling I'm having these days. Can't you tell?

Going through all this stuff here, I was reminded of some things that happened the previous year. Last year we remodeled my mom's house and I took some time to go through all the years of things accumulated there. I had tons of things from gradeschool that I had forgotten about and just so many wonderful and some bittersweet memories there.

It was a turning point of sorts for me. I had always thought that at some point I'd return to my mom's house with my husband and children and together we'd go through all of "mom's stuff". It really hit me when I observed both my sisters sharing their momentos and memories with their husbands and children, and I didn't have that. So, alone with my memories and feelings, I purged. I took things one by one, recalled the memories and moments, then lovingly and intentionally, tossed some of those things away into the elusive abyss of my life memories. From that moment on, no one but me would know of those memories. It's a weird thing to realize, to know that certain memories and recollections will die only with you, never to be shared with anyone ever again.

I knew I was saying good-bye to something. I don't know how to articulate it, but I was ready. I was ready to embrace life as an adult. All this clutter, all this baggage, while wonderful in any right, I knew I held on too tightly to. What was, and what will be, will never be again, if that makes any sense. I also know in some way I was making peace with how I thought my life would turn out. Of course, I saved some of the more important things, but the rest of gone.


And now, with this office move, it got me to wondering again. It's time to focus once more on simplifying further in my personal matters. Last year on my to do/resolutions/goals list was to simplify my life and my lifestyle. I had every intention of purging and getting rid of current clutter back home in SF, which I was successful at until about mid-year. That's about the time when I was focusing a lot on social and personal relationships (just really spending time cultivating and maintaining good friendships, not necessarily dating). And I was also spending lots of time just enjoying life. Taking more hikes, biking more, taking on a new hobby, having more dinner parties, weekend trips and such. It's all about balance, right?

Going forward this year, I'm going to spend more time just simplifying further. Physical clutter really does have an effect on mental clutter. I'd have to vouch for those feng shui principles to some extent. I'm also going to spend more devotional time with God and really just letting his Word speak to me and to my life. I realized he's let me stray from him during the last few months, but I think my hurt in the last week was his gentle reminder that hope, faith, goodness and love begin and end with Him, and I was so caught up in life that I forgot that simple truth for a brief time.

Thanks again for reading this.

Blessing to all!

-Rambling Muse


“Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.”

Walden. “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For"


At 6:57 PM, Blogger Mandy said...

I've only been at my current job for a year but it would take a LOT to clear out my desk. it's a mess (law offices tend to use a ton of paper). I really do need to clear it out a little're right about the physical clutter/mental clutter...

At 11:43 PM, Blogger 'Zann said...

What a great post! I'm currently embarking on a HUGE project to declutter my house/life, documenting it one of my blogs. I'd love to put a link to this post of yours in one of my entries. May I?

I think it's very inspiring - the Thoreau quotes are perfect.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger 'Zann said...

P.S. I just read your Miami posts. That's my hometown- Coral Gables - the Biltmore Hotel and the Key Biscayne lighthouse both big landmarks in my memories. Nice to see the pics. Got transplanted to the Midwest at the age of 40 and haven't been back since, though.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Dobermann said...

I went through this simplify and change phase couple years ago. Well, it started bit over 3 years ago and I'm kind of still on my way. I changed lot of the way I live, gave up smoking, went back to studying and so on.

Sometimes even small chage is needed. For me it started when I did a clean up: got rid of old stuff and found lot of stuff I didn't know I even had.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger ramblingmuse said...

Hi 'zann,

I'm flattered you liked the post! :-) Feel free to link as you wish!

Those quotes are great, aren't they?

Florida was a great place to visit. Lots of great memories there. :-)

Good luck on your declutter project!


At 9:47 AM, Blogger Slacker Mom said...

I so agree with physical clutter affects mental clutter. I try and keep things as simple as possible, but it can be hard with the little ones, they come with their own stuff!!

I find it helpful to declutter a small area a day, or just do 15 minutes at a time, it's not so overwhelming then... I digress.

I too am slowly finding my way at this point in my life, I am happy to see you doing the same thing, this way I have someone else's journey to share in.


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