My friend Kelly Fineman has been downsizing in preparation for moving to a smaller home, and she has been posting regularly about the process. Somehow, so many of us, even if we're not wealthy, have accumulated "stuff" that we would now like to get rid of. Or at least reduce. The McMansion trend, and the storage-rental spaces that have been popping up everywhere, suggest that many of us have more physical baggage than we used to.
has been posting about the plans, decisions, and emotions that
accompany the streamlining process. So I was already thinking about this
when I read in Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea: "To
ask how little, not how much, can I get along with. To say--is it
necessary?--when I am tempted to add one more accumulation to my life
Lindbergh is talking not only about physical stuff here, but
about time-related stuff: the activities and obligations that fill our
days. I really like what she says here because it reflects my experience
"The solution for me, surely, is neither in total
renunciation of the world, nor in total acceptance of it. I must find a
balance somewhere, or an alternating rhythm between these two extremes, a
swinging of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between
retreat and return. In my periods of retreat, perhaps I can learn
something to carry back into my worldly life."