“Never own more than you can carry in both hands at a dead run.” ― Robert Heinlein
The quest to simplify is often a process of one step forward, two steps back. Eliminating things shouldn’t be so very complicated. Accumulating stuff shouldn’t be so very easy. It’s the eternal wrestling match of what to keep and what to get rid of. Even now I’m considering why I used “very” in the second and third sentence of this very paragraph. Simplicity seems so easy to reach for if we could get past all the complicated in our lives.
My bride and I talk of downsizing one day. As with everything, it’s more complicated than talk. The questions of where and when and what. And with each question, the place we currently reside looks a bit better than it did before. And so spaces are cleared, things are moved out, other things are moved in. It’s a game really; a sleight of hand performed on the same plot of land with the world spinning around us. The characters come and go but the stuff remains.
We ought to be better editors. We ought to consider what is most essential in our moment and focus entirely on that. Knowing that the game will change, and what seems most important now may seem trivial when it does, is a good way to measure the essential. When everything eventually goes away, as it inevitably will, what will we hold on to until the last? This is our simply essential. Everything else is just stuff.