Thursday, January 8, 2015


Minimalism, which has been in the news for the last decade, is relatively new to me. I've been more of a more is more kinda gal.

I like upholstering against the inevitable with stuff, and tittered politely when an acerbic old neighbor of mine in Pittsburgh used to say about the futility of possessions, "I've never seen hearse pulling a U-Haul. Hey, Elizabeth, want a lemon poppyseed cookie?"

But this is the year of deaccessioning. I want to focus on legacy. In a study published last year titled "Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century," researchers at U.C.L.A. observed 32 middle-class Los Angeles families and found that all of the mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the time they spent dealing with their belongings. 

What am I teaching my children (and doing to my telomeres) if I have a a ton of spatulas (okay, I don't literally have a ton, I have four) and Dutch ovens (three), and lighted makeup mirrors (two), but no spine? No guts, no kishkes.

I stand on the Pergo wood flooring of the house I rent on the campus of the private school where Husb. is a biology teacher, but what do I stand for? A mini chopper, perfect only for cilantro?

I have accumulated, like the accretions of the shell of a mollusk, a lot of things. But that's not the same as wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, my old neighbor! I found your blog through Sue sharing it. And I, in a spring cleaning feeling of New Years, went out and got the book you mention (for kindle, so as not to add another physical book) and enjoyed it, and said hmmm. And then I got rid of two bags of aspirational clothes.

    Hubby (Josh) and I have moved from Virginia to San Francisco, from 2 bedrooms and our own bathrooms and a den, to a one bedroom, one bath. Because rents out here are Bonkers. So - the downsizing commenced last summer. And yet even though I think we've pared down ever so much, I find that I continue to discard and winnow. Thank you for this encouragement. I do think I'm happier with less! (But I still have that blue and white hammock, and sometimes I think fondly of your kiddos swinging in it.) Happy New Year to you and all the family!