I like to think of myself as a simple person, or perhaps more accurately a person of simple needs. I think I have few possessions: a meager collection of clothes, comfortable shoes, ten plates, about twenty cobalt blue glasses, a bike I seldom (never) ride, and my Nature-mobile, a Honda Element covered in “Life is Good” and “Sleeps with Dogs” stickers.
I reckon I have several collections of sorts. My most important possession is my library, where I have hundreds of books, mostly on Jewish or spiritual topics, but with a few other odds and ends tossed in that I drag around for sentimental reasons. I have a healthy collection of “Life is Good” t-shirts, and oddly, a collection of bowls. I like bowls, tiny ones, odd shaped ones, and large ones. I don’t know why.
But as simple or modest as I would like to think of myself – a Thoreau-ian type who could self entertain in a cabin in the woods for months and months, I have to admit to a surprising (to me) aspect about myself: my possession of techno gadgets.
Surprising because I believe (could it be a self-limiting belief?) that I am a techno dinosaur. Yet, I am having a love affair with my Kindle and go into withdraw if it is not in my eyesight. I “lent” it to my beloved to read a book I recommended, stoically picking up a hardback book to read while he read my Kindle. (Actually I bought it for him for a Valentine’s present, but confiscated it between the moment of unwrapping it and delivery to him.) After a few moments of reading, he said it made him too nervous to read from my Kindle since he could sense my energy pull on it. So I got him the hard copy of the book in question. I understood what he meant. Even though I was indeed reading a hard bound book, I do believe that my third eye never left the Kindle.
I love my Blackberry too since it translates phone messages into words for me and delivers email. I used to love my ipod but somehow, I haven’t been in a music mood of late. I can’t drive the car without XM radio (but my car is now indeed capable of bypassing the majority of Starbucks.) And of course, there is my laptop.
Now if I had an iphone, I could probably get by with just my laptop – but AT&T doesn’t work in my ‘hood, which explains the number of people out on the street in front of their homes and apartments shouting into their cool iphones, “can you hear me now?”
Thoreau-ian vs. Techno? Well, I have given up hairdressers, shoring my own locks with a 1980’s Flow-bee, and trim my own nails with my teeth if I have lost track of my file. It is rare that I go to a restaurant – and rarer that I go to a nice restaurant. I can still travel for a week out of a backpack, and if I wore make-up, it can be applied in three minutes.
When I was downsizing awhile back, I was decluttering my former closets, yes plural, and discovered over 80 bras, many with the tags still attached. Obviously, I thought to myself, I have only one chest – why the need for so many bras. The answer is quite simple. I am from the 60’s hippie braless generation and have never found these suspension systems very comfortable. I think the number was indicative of my quest for the perfect bra and my impatience for trying things on in stores. I now have two bras: one to wear and one to be cycled through the wash. Life is getting simpler.
I am also a purse jones. If I used my purses, this might make sense because I am always schlepping something somewhere. But anyone who has witnessed my comings and goings can attest to the pack mule look as I carry all my stuff and coffee mug in my arms and teeth, forgetting to fetch a purse for the mission. Again, I downsized my purses, but still have more than I need. And when I walk past purses at any bazaar, I still need to talk myself down. I only failed once in the last two years – I bought a slime green Baggallini purse in which to carry my Kindle, which has yet to happen.
I should probably close this line of thought with the words of the great and infamous Pop-eye: “I yam what I yam.” Does it make any difference if I perceive my life to be simple and it isn’t? Naw. But in this day of mindless consumerism, my quest is still to downsize and to be able to live simple, simply and lean. And to never ever travel with more than one small bag which I can carry myself. Ever. (An old 60’s hang up – to be able to tote ones own stuff – literally and figuratively, because: I am what I am.)