Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Less is More

Losing everything this summer has left me with more than enough lessons to last me a lifetime ... the greatest one being, "less is more." Yes, in another lifetime my mother gave me a cookbook entitled as such in anticipation of my marriage and impending wifelike responsibilities. That cookbook saw me through four kids and 20 years of marriage, and then saw the kids and me through many more years.

But the lesson was something I only grasped in part. You bet your life I could feed six people with one chicken for two nights and still make bone broth for later, but was that chicken soup part of my soul? Nope.

This summer I lived out of a TSA approved carry on containing two pair of black pants, two black t-shirts, two white t-shirts, a black sweater, a white sweater, a pair of flip flops and a pair of black flats. I did have two pair of earrings and a bracelet. For six weeks. And ironically, I didn't get tired of ANY of the items although I did long for a place to call my own.

And now I'm in it ... with a bed, a couch, four stools and a coffee table. "Less is More" in spades. I've been living this way for four months now, having celebrated the holiday season with various combinations of my offspring and their spouses/significant others. Would I like to have more belongings? Yes. Do I NEED more? Ok, yes. I was blessed to receive a financial gift two days ago that will allow me to purchase a dining room table. Being a researcher by nature I knew exactly what I both needed AND wanted and lo and behold, one became available at a local business for a price I can afford!! Now THIS is chronically living ... being able to meet a need in a manner of my choosing: purchasing wisely and from a local business. So, as we speak, somewhere in the midwest a shaker style cherry table is being built with my name on it, figuratively speaking of course. It's small enough to fit into my modest living quarters yet contains two self storing leaves that will enlarge it enough to hold my sons, their spouses/significant others, and myself.

I Am Thrilled.

Yet today, as I passed through the empty space I call "The Room" I realized that once a table is in there there will be less empty space ... space I've grown to love, if only because it allows me uninterrupted views of my fields.

So day by day I adjust again ... first to loss and now to rebuilding. A bed here, a couch there, and soon a table.

Health wise things have been much the same. Lyme treatment left me unable to swallow w/out great pain and so I backed off only to realize other symptoms returned with friends. I'm in a quandary ... do I damage some systems in order to help others? Do I play favorites with organs and body parts? If I think too much I can work myself into a snit of existential despair, sending me running for Netflix where I watch World War II documentaries ... not exactly an antidote!

I decided on a middle ground ... to go back to a familiar treatment and to do further research into various alternatives. I'm into Day Two and although none of the disturbing symptoms have abated I am reminded how much I enjoyed the three weeks of not living by medical alarms going off reminding me of what to take when, and being able to sleep when sleep came. At the moment I'm feeling a bit like one of the North Korean gymnasts I watched in a documentary this afternoon ... working for the greater good but hating it every step of the way.

At least today.

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