Saturday, June 12, 2010


as you can see, i've decided to simplify my blog a bit. i'm actually still trying to simplify my life. i feel a great call to do this...and recent circumstances in my life that i first saw as negative have actually been an invitation to action to me.

don't get me wrong, overall everything is fine. i'm still in st. louis, and just finished up my written exams. in three weeks, i'll have taken oral exams, and will hopefully be a certified montessori teacher!

but when i get home, i'm going to attempt to move to a smaller place, possibly even with a good friend of mine. i'm looking for cheaper rent, and you know when you always get rid of the STUFF that follows you. i can get rid of even more STUFF. definitely. i'm looking for a more down-to-earth neighborhood. i'll either have one bedroom or two (hopefully two even if they're small, so i can set up my own craft area). i want a space to experiment with gardening.

that's all, really. it's a good opportunity for me to do this. i'm tempted also to not even bother selling some of the more higher-quality stuff i have, like pretty winter coats i never wear, or dvd's. thinking of freecycling them, giving out the good karma. i've begun thinking it's nuts to collect dvd's. mine literally sit there for months, and just collect dust. i mean, they're all my favorite movies, but i NEVER watch them. what's the point? i thought of this yesterday when i passed some movies i'd "love to have on dvd" in the store ... and immediately forgot the "need" to have them once i'd walked past. hm.

i will not compromise on my books. never. :-) and of these, you can imagine how many i have ...

i just don't want nearly so much STUFF.

i'm also, sadly, thinking of giving two of my three cats to good homes. it's nearly impossible to keep up with all the maintenance their destructive natures (including having accidents everywhere/puking hairballs). but if it doesn't make me sound too bad, i'm really looking forward to having just my original cat with me again (i'm sure she is, too!). i love them...but don't cats adapt well no matter who they're with? i'm not sure. i could use some soothing words on this one.

simplification feels like a cleansing in a pure stream.

moving is not simple, but neither is setting up a classroom from scratch, so why not get both over with at the same time?

i hope this will be a place i can stay for the next (at least) three years i'll be in louisville.

i've loved my amazing dream of an apartment but for various reasons i won't get into here, it's time to move on.

a little wistful, but my calling is strong. simplify, it says. keep only what's important. save on rent. maybe enjoy the constant company of a friend. have a space for a tiny garden and a tiny place to air dry your clothes. revel in the "not needing." remember how lucky you are. you have food and water. you have clothes to wear, and a place to sleep, a roof over your head. you are healthy. you are free.

there are millions -- MILLIONS -- of people in the world who do not have these rights.

I'd also like to set up a dedicated space for daily yoga and meditation in my new place. That call is also strong.

I might even sell my TV altogether. I wonder if I can live without rented movies in the winter.

just some thoughts as I sit here during a cleansing thunderstorm in my pretty, spartan room in st. louis that has everything i need, and no more.

enjoy your weekend with all the rich blessings that simplicity has bestowed upon you.


  1. What awesome post Karen. Very inspiring. You seem to have a very clear idea of what you want your life to be and how you want to live it - which I'm sure is the first step to making it a reality. I've become very good in recent years in releasing my stuff (I donate) and have been able to teach that to my girls. I'm very proud of them for giving their stuff knowing it will be loved by someone else. Not a lot of children seem to be able to do this. It's hard I know. In the last few months I have even started to let go of my books - like you something I never thought I'd do - but once I started it's gotten easier and easier. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I think you're one amazing and inspirational lady.


  2. thanks, libby. words i need. you are too kind. and might i say i love reading your blog and drawing inspiration from how you live, too...even from all the way across the world!

  3. Love your "Peace" music, Karen! Aaaahhh, that was nice while I was reading your last 3 posts.

    Your plans sound wonderful, as always. I'm always looking around here looking to see what I can cull as well. We have inherited a few DVD's from people, but I own very few and happily use Netflix. If you did Netflix, you can stream movies on your computer for free as well as play the ones you get from them. Then you could still have your movies without a TV!

    About your kitties. Well, we have 3 too and I know they are work. I have mixed feelings about this issue. If I'm being completely honest, my first response - and one I tell people regularly (and especially now, since we volunteer at a shelter)- is that not enough people really think through the realities of owning a pet and give them up too easily. This is not to say that I have never done it, because I did when I was 21, I think. I didn't have money to get her spayed... she was always in heat because of it... but really, it was just my ignorance and, frankly lack of responsibility. That, and no one had told me, either, what the real realities of keeping a pet are: food, vet bills, puke cleanup (for dogs AND cats and regularly too), litter, litter clean-up, furniture/carpet destruction, knocking over things, etc. etc. I don't know that I'll ever have 3 cats again, but I also won't be rid of them until they die. It's just this sort of commitment I have with myself and... the animals, really. Keeping them is the harder part, but to me, it is the growing part - the mature choice that teaches me. It teaches me to think through my decisions a bit more before I step into something that will require something of me.

    So, that was my deep-truth answer. I also know the kind of person you are - or rather think I do from your words here. Your heart is a good one for sure. I guess if you're planning to give them up, I would just suggest that your potential adopters visit their adoptees a few times so they can really get to know the cats, but more importantly, so the cats can get to know and befriend them. Then they won't be so shocked and confused. Ideally, the cats would be able to visit their new house a time or two with you before they go to live there permanently. It's a little more work, but that would be how I would handle it if you do go with that decision.

    I know you asked for gentle words and I hope these were. I hope they were helpful in some way and, you know, the decision is, of course, ultimately yours and I'll never know either way what you do!! And even if you do find those kitties new homes, I would not think less of you. I'm just saying this to let you know that my words are just an opinion and please don't feel judged by it either way! :)

    Hope you're having a great weekend!