Friday, January 18, 2013



I guess I've been "downsizing" my life for the last ten years or so.  I've found that I really don't need to dress in the latest fashion, own a larger home, drive a late model car, or go "above and beyond" to try and impress people in any way.

I suspect that comes naturally with age, at least if you've acquired enough wisdom to know that the "superficial" never makes one happy.  I feel sorry for those who can't imagine the idea of downsizing.  It frees up your heart and mind from things that are ultimately irrelevant to your happiness.

Downsizing seems to be a continuing process and takes many forms.  The last shock to my system was the last Presidential election.  I was shocked by the outcome of that election and seriously disappointed in that vast group of Americans who voted "self interest", having made John Kennedy's old "ask not what your country can do for you"....moot.

So now I've had to downsize my expectations about America's future.   Haven't watched Fox or ranted at MSNBC for months.   I've learned to largely ignore politicians and their speeches and the political "militants" on both sides of the political spectrum.

Still, I believe millions of Americans still carry that undying sense of optimism about what tomorrow may bring.  I'm no different, but now my future plans have been "downsized" to more humble hopes and dreams.   Oh sure, I still fall back to swinging my rusty lance and charging at windmills once in awhile, but thankfully not as often.

 Even as I write this, we, here in Phoenix, are dealing with a cold wave that is nightly killing off my beautiful Yellow Bell and Lantana and my basil and pepper plants.  Yet, I am already planning for my spring garden.  Should I seed my tomatoes this year..or should I "quick start" by planting seedlings.  What kinds are best able to withstand the summer and produce something for a summer dinner.  When am I due for feeding my citrus trees?  After the frost how much will I need to prune the damaged plantings so that my summer yard will again bloom with Yellow Bell and Lantana and Bottle Brush?  I seem to be "downsizing" to those things that I have some measure of control over.

So, I still have dreams and hopes...they're just smaller, less ambitious, less worldly.  I was homeless once, for a few about downsizing!...that was the ultimate in downsizing.  By contrast I am now living the life of luxury in a thousand square feet of house and hearth.

I've now "downsized" my expectations about the things that make me happy; finding a good read, discovering a new singer..or  a new song that makes the heart and soul to soar, admire a talented young painter, or just rejoicing that I now have time to really listen to the song of a meadowlark on a spring morning.

I've found that "less" is indeed so much more.

1 comment:

  1. The simplicity of a downsized life is a pleasure in itself. The worries of a few years ago, having to meet a weekly payroll, the huge bills of a construction business now closed as result of the huge slump in Cali, has greatly simplified my life. I miss the pace sometimes but I enjoy the time I now have to read your columns and an occasional newspaper. I think I'll go for a walk now...