A few weeks ago I made a comment that I have a few bookshelves full of books on simplicity and downsizing. I re-read many of them on a regular basis to remind me of my goal to remain as free as possible from things that don't add to the quality and enjoyment of my life.
Rightly so, a reader noted it seems somewhat ironic to have lots of books on simplicity. I hadn't thought it in those terms, but he (was it you, Tom?) had pointed out a rather obvious fact: you don't cut back by accumulating books on cutting back.
I counted: I have 35 books in that category. Well, that is just silly. And, to the larger point of this post: we often do things that upon refection are unhelpful or counterproductive.
Let me offer a few examples. See if any resonate with you:
1. We too often hurt the very relationship we claim is most important to us.
2. We buy something because of an emotional response rather than true need or a well thought out purchase.
3. We don't take the time to eat well and exercise and then complain about how unfair it is that our bodies fail us as we age.
4. We don't like where or how we live but don't change even when we can.
5. We put off until tomorrow, knowing full well tomorrow isn't guaranteed to us.
I guess the answer to these contradictions is we are human. We make silly, dumb, even downright dangerous decisions at times. Our heart or hormones get in the way of our brain.
That reality isn't going to change. The best we can do is to regularly review what we are doing and where we are on our journey. Then, we leave things alone or make adjustments to get back on track.
The "appropriate" ending to this post would be that I gave away most of those 35 books. The actual ending is I haven't touched them and don't plan to. I still find value in them. But, I don't plan on adding to the collection. Is that a step in the right direction?