October 18, 2010


I had a blog post I was almost done with that I lost when the power blinked. Damn squirrels....

I had a girls' trip recently and saw a wooden vase that I fell in love with. Spare, turned from a solid piece of some exotic wood and inset with a piece of organically shaped turquoise where an imperfection had made a divot- it was something that I really admired. It was simple, handmade and done well. And I couldn't have it.

Sure, I had the money. Sure, I would have to bust my ass to get it on the plane without checking luggage (it was sorta big). But there was no way I could do it. I just didn't have a place in my exceedingly complicated life for it.

My home is full of oddities. Pre-Incan pottery? Check. Large fossils? Check. Neo-classical etchings? Quadruple check. Mummy mask (yes, real)? Check. And then there are all the other smaller oddities of alabaster, and wood, and silver, and pewter and things I'd rather not say including a pile of human molars (not mine).

My home may be interesting, but it is crowded. It is not a place to that gives one respite despite it's dark corners, large leather surfaces, rich colors, 63 degree ambient temperature or piles of books. It is a place of confusion- of both identity and placement- of needless consumerism or collections. It is more of a place of my husband than me.

I want light. I want more modern and spare. Fewer surfaces crowded with coolness and more devoid of the drama of competing ideas and times. I want a haven from the sheer madness which fills my working life.

I also want a new house. Not something needing 10 grand worth the new windows and that doesn't subject me to losing my entire Fall to the whims of the local university's football schedule.

I want quiet streets and no frat boy party houses. I want a place my dog is safe from wildlife and drunk drivers speeding down our streets. I want a place that would be good for kids. Not a place where they know how to avoid broken bottles and drunk footballers by the age of three like a veteran stripper in a dive bar.

This need for a less complex life is not new. It started a few years ago when I started reading about an upsurge in the Minimalist movement after 9-11. Folks who got back to basics and down sized. Who realized that they were working away their lives for naught. Having a big time job with big time hours and stress in order to have lots of neat shit and a big house and big car made little sense in terms of what made a quality life.

People and relationships did.

So these folks jumped off a cliff and made difficult choices. They changed up their routines, dumped the jobs that were killing their health and their relationships and went smaller. Some went as far as to get into micro-housing and others went rural, escaping the ruts of urban dwelling.

Me? I started cooking with fewer and fresher ingredients. I didn't have to have BAM! in every dish. I mastered the art of soup. It was simple, inexpensive and good for the soul. A day of making stock from scratch was worth the finished product. A few fresh vegetables and a pinch of salt and pepper were all that were really needed for a soul-satisfying meal. It's just after time, it became less satisfying.

I need more.

I need more of less.

I am looking for a different job. Not necessarily occupation, but job. Not one where I literally hate each day I wake up.

My trip was awesome in that way. I quickly figured out I missed the spouse unit and dog and couldn't wait to get back to get on with conception. I just didn't miss the job. My job sucks and though I am generally quite good at what I do, it sucks to fall into the game of making decisions for others because it carries over when I interact with my friends.

I find myself not being as supportive of my husband and pals as I should (i.e. just shutting the fuck up). I instead fall back on the safe place of telling people what to do or how they should do it. I am, in a sense, the worst backseat driver/know-it-all. I know it offends a few. Hell, it offends me that I do it. I just do it out a of a sense of constant care-taking. My way of showing caring is to be ham-handed as all git out instead of strictly cheerleader and the occasional voice of reason as a good friend, spouse, person should. It's a horrible side effect of what I do for a living. And it's yet another reason for me to job search.

So, in the coming months, I will be looking to make a change. A massive change or two. Not only with the conception thing which doesn't feel so massive to me, but in changing what has become, unwittingly, my identity. I have no business telling others how to live their lives when I am obviously doing a piss poor job of it in very personal regards.

I want a more spartan life with fewer responsibilities and less clutter. I think losing that baggage will make me more adept at the things that DO matter. It will also making the housecleaning a lot less time consuming....