Simple Bounty

m&m

 

Bounty is good things that are given or provided freely and in large amounts, according to Merriam-Webster. When I think of the word bounty, I think of bountiful, a word often heard around Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think we forget what a bountiful amount of possessions we have. And what an abundance of blessings.

I don’t want to go all Green Acres or anything, but I really have felt the need for simplicity lately. Kim John Payne , author of Simplicity Parenting, describes the four pillars of excess as having too much stuff, too many choices, too much information and too much speed.

I experience at least three of the four pillars of excess on a weekly basis. Just one trip to Target puts me face-to-face with too much stuff and too many choices.

I can’t seem to totally transform my closet into a model of a capsule wardrobe, so I still battle with too many choices there, also. I love the idea of narrowing down my apparel to a selection of 37 fabulous pieces. But there are problems. Like, when you plan to wear the white top but your only clean undergarment is dark blue. Then there are all your sleeveless dresses that require a little sweater – for protection when the indoors feels like winter and to hide your flapping upper arms. I know it’s doable, it just takes time to get simplified.

Too much information is a sneaky excess. It assaults me every time I open my laptop. Ten Ways to….How to Do Whatever in Six Easy Steps… The Best…Wait Until You See What They Look Like Now… If I google a word, I will get a definition, the book, the movie, and the urban slang option.

One pillar of excess that I don’t really have to deal with is speed, except when I’m running really late. I do not jog. I love my slow cooker. I slowly savor my peanut M & Ms.

What I think I’m learning is that to really appreciate the bounty of blessings, I need to sort through the abundance of excesses in my life. The busyness of life can be like blinders, keeping us from seeing what is really around us. It may sound like a paradox, but paring down can actually increase the bounty of your life.

A Little Less Tech

 

deer1

Oak Mountain – Pelham, Alabama – November, 2015

 

Way back in 1954, E.B. White had this to say when speaking of Henry David Thoreau:

“In our uneasy season, when all men unconsciously seek a retreat from a world that has got almost completely out of hand, his house in the Concord woods is a haven. In our culture of gadgetry and the multiplicity of conveniences his cry, ‘Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!’ has the insistence of a fire alarm.”

Oh, if Thoreau could only see us now! Talk about a culture of gadgetry! Yesterday, one of my students told me he was tired because he was up late.

“Homework?”  I asked, though that was purely wishful thinking.

“I was texting,” he replied.

I wonder what Thoreau would have thought  if he’d seen an irobot self-propelled vacuum cleaner. Or a Keurig. Or a Kindle.

I am not advocating for a house in the Concord woods, though a nice little woodsy retreat would be nice. And I don’t think we need to live like the Amish. But, I do think we could all do with a little less tech and a little slower pace.