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Life was simple once and can be simple once again.

For us lucky ones who had a protected childhood with caring parents and a lack of want, life was simple. Happiness and fulfilment were ours on a regular basis and opportunities were there for the taking.

Once out of the cocoon of childhood and into real life, complications seemed to arrive with each step of the journey. Although life’s afterglow has arrived for me, connections to those more complicated times hang on.

Those connections are seen in the collection of things from our lives that we keep gathered around us. For me this is in the form of books long ago read or technically out of date, records of my past professional accomplishments in the form of technical and management papers given, products of my professional career that I am proud of, and coveted pieces of a multitude of hobbies that have excited me in the past.

So comes the simplification part and I’m tackling it with a vengeance. The old things that surround me and take up space must go. The printed material will not be looked at again by anyone but me. I no longer need to pull out evidence of my engineering prowess or my management successes—I have no plans to use these to market myself any longer. Good grief, there are some of them I can no longer understand. As for the hobbies I had in the past, they really were retreats—ways of fulfilling my need to build things with my hands or activities in which I could hide away from the busyness of my life at that moment. I don’t want to hide away with my hobbies anymore.

Those books, documents, and physical things have been flying out of the house over the past year and that purge will continue. This seems almost like a ‘rite of passage’ into the next stage of my life. Initially, I found it difficult to decide what I wasn’t going to do anymore, but now that I’ve jumped that hurdle, this liberation feels good.



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