Gratitude for a Simplified Life
I’ve come down with a summer cold, quite suddenly, first one in years. It’s the kind with the raging sore throat and earache and a malaise just this side of the flu. I can putter around the house for about fifteen minutes, then become one with the sofa for three hours. Various teas with honey and lemon are my mainstay, interspersed with club soda. Lactose-free ice cream is a godsend, as is a batch of homemade yogurt. I’m writing this from the living room sofa, which faces a nice big window and a quiet downtown street. The room itself is pleasantly simple and airy, with an absolute minimum of clutter. The rest of the rooms are like that, too. And it’s hit me how grateful I am that it is like this–clean, simple, and soothing to be in even when I feel like s**t.
I remember one time years ago when I was sick and the kitchen was overwhelming–piles of dirty dishes and pots and pans, no clean glasses or cups, fridge jam-packed with useless stuff. I just broke down and cried and cursed my life–I wasn’t earning enough to have a housekeeper or a nanny. I had clients who wanted their services yesterday and subcontractors I couldn’t trust–time really was money and I was losing it with every day I was sick. But, hey, tough cookies–go get dressed, grab something at a drive-thru, and stand out in the heat, the cold, the rain, whatever (I had a landscape design company), take charge of chauvinist crews and smile and sound coherent to the client. This went on for fifteen years. And all along I really wanted to do what I am doing today, which is writing and painting and just being alive. I just didn’t think I could make a living for myself and my son that way back then, so I didn’t really try. And what money I earned I spent on a lot of stuff to assuage the stress.
It’s so different now. It’s taking less and less effort to get the stuff under control, there’s no recreational/neurotic shopping, my husband is with the program, my grown son learned from my mistakes, and there’s time and space to live a humane life. Just thinking about this makes me feel a lot better
Check out my other blog: Minimalist Cooking