Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…

…so said Leonardo Da Vinci.   This is my theme for today’s post.  I thought it would be an  appropriate one since it’s  the day before Black Friday when everyone will be hitting the stores (at the oddest hours), seeking out ‘stuff’ simply because it’s cheap and it satisfies an inate desire to collect new things. 

Leonardo Da Vinci says, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

I’m loving simpler things.  The $20 coffeemaker makes coffee just about as tasty as the $100 model( I know because my expensive one died and as an act of total desperation, I pulled a cheapo Procter Silex out of the garage to brew a pot).  The simpler something  is, the more I love it.  I had an appliance repairman over this past Monday to fix my oven.  Just making conversation, I asked him if the overly expensive appliance models are really better than the cheaper models.  His answer to me was, “KIS- Keep It Simple”.    He told me it’s better to go simple when it comes to appliances (he also revealed to me his light hearted philosphy of marriage…”A happy wife is a happy life.”  Now, there’s a guy with advise you can trust!)   I don’t like gadgets or cars that have all kinds of bells and whistles-never have.  Complicated stuff  just causes me to glaze over with confusion and makes me need a guy to figure it all out.

The other day Glen Beck said that with this economy and the world the way it is that we should all learn to live within our means.  (It’s not like I need Glen to tell me this, I already knew it.  His words just caused me to think more because he hit me at a time when simplicity is really turning me on.  So, in my reality, this advise was very timely.) We should learn something from our grandparents who lived through the Great Depression.  Remember these: Don’t over spend.  Be more frugal in general.  SAVE your money.  Live within your means and that translates into buying a house you can afford.  I was a bit amazed hearing these words from someone on television.  Normally I’m used to the folks on TV encouraging and cajoling me to spend. Spend. SPEND.

I have a serious desire to get back to what’s really important.  Focus on family, friends and a simple home that’s comfortable and affordable, and doing things that are enjoyably inexpensive.   Just have what you need.  Don’t be over indulgent this holiday season.   Supress your desire to acquire

I am considering  handmade gifts this year-I enjoy being creative and have the time. 

I find simple ways to keep busy.  I love to read.  Have inexpensive ‘pot luck’ get togethers with friends and play cards or board games and share a meal together where everyone brings something to eat.  Are there other activities you can think of that fall into the simple category?

I have received so much joy from my new puppy Xander.  He makes my heart so happy.  He is truly a simple pleasure.

simple pleasure=Golden Retriever companion

I really want to start (and finish) my “Sketchbook Project” moleskine journal and send it in so I can participate in this really neat contribution to the art world.  The deadline is Jan 4th to get it in.  I just have to priortize and make it happen.

As a part of my ongoing interest in simplicity, I’d like to walk my dogs more.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that is something I harp on myself about, and continually fail.  I think this is so important, and I just can’t seem to commit to doing this on a daily basis.  What is it gonna take to get myself to cooperate?  Sometimes I find I cause myself all kinds of needless guilt because I don’t keep my promises to myself and I continue to ignore doing what I know is good for me.

Consider a new tradition-A Christmas Jar.  Here’s where to go to read about that.  Start an empty jar from spaghetti sauce or whatever and begin filling it up with spare change.  When Christmas eve comes, find someone who you know is in need this holiday season and give it to them, either annonymously or by presenting it to them.  I think it’s a lovely way to get kids involved in doing something for folks less fortunate and its a simple way to teach them the spirit of giving.

I have been reading The Diary of Ann Frank, and I am thoroughly enjoying it, although, I know I won’t be able to get through it without shedding a few tears.  It breaks my heart that something like this happened to so many people.  Ann and her family left their home to go into hiding with as many clothes as they could wear on their bodies, in the middle of July.  They couldn’t be seen carrying  suitcases.  Can you imagine how hot that must have been for them?   They left their belongings, only bringing what they could carry in backpacks and satchels.  They also left behind Ann’s beloved cat, knowing they’d never see her again.  (I found that excerpt particularily heartwrenching  because it affected Ann so much and she wrote about it with such emotion). When I read things like this, it makes me realize how little people can do without and still live relatively happy lives.  Even in their ‘Secret Annex’ the Frank family was still able to laugh and enjoy life as much as possible despite their meager existance and constant fear of being captured and sent away to a concentration camp.

 Is life richer when you don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’ bogging you down?  It’s certainly something to think about. 

This leads me to one last thing.  I do want a ‘book reader’ device for Christmas.  I can’t help it.  I have my eye on a Nook from Barnes and Noble.  Does this little sweet thing imbue the characteristics of simplicity?  I think so.  I can have all my books in one spot, portable and neatly stored in my device.  This means I can clean up my book stacks and pare down my living space.   I like this idea.  How about you?

This glorious little device is a way to simplify my life.

Got anything to add to my simple little post?  Let me know.  Talk to me….honest-it’s that simple.

3 thoughts on “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…”

  1. Em, you are spot on. I agree with everything you said. I have been so fortunate in my life that sometimes I do take things for granted. I love Glenn Beck, he has such great insight. Have a great holiday season and by all means treat yourself to that book thingy.


  2. Em, Great post today! I’ve shared your link with my FB friends, of which you are one. I’m feeling rather smug today, sitting at home while SO MANY are out there on Black Friday “vying to buy”. I was against the kindle type devices until you mentioned how great it would be to get rid of so many books and have them all in the device….that’s a good way to think about it. As for me, there is just something about the page turning and the smell of real books and passing your favorite ones on to your friends that I just don’t think I could do without.
    Good luck in your dog walking quest. I always feel guilt because I can’t walk both of mine together unless my husband is with me and I’d like to take the big one out for a long walk by myself, but then feel guilty leaving the smaller one behind, so I end up sitting at home and not even just walking by myself.


  3. Thanks for this post! Living simply…I think my library obsession qualifies!
    I know just what you mean about your puppy! My little dog Abby brings us such joy and is spoiled rotten!
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!


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