Today’s resolution: Simplicity in time of decrease

18 Oct

Over the past 2 1/2 years, my life has become both simpler and more complex because of the economic downturn — complex because I must be ever more resourceful and creative to earn a living and simpler, too, for the same reason but also because a decrease in fortune requires me to strip my life down to essentials. It’s not always easy or desirable, but I try to make it work. Most days, it does. And it’s good.

This passage from I Ching, or Book of Changes, resonates on this first cold rain of fall as I pass through my time of decrease:

“Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretense. If a time of scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner strength for future undertakings. …

“One must draw on the strength of the inner attitude to compensate for what is lacking in externals; then the power of the content makes up for the simplicity of form.”

Cold rain at Lake No. 1, North Little Rock, (2011/RO)




2 Responses to “Today’s resolution: Simplicity in time of decrease”

  1. Jan October 19, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Once again, you seem to be right on track with something I’m currently going through. It really is both stressful and exhilarating to have to pare down, let go of, do without. Not having the extra income to splurge on the grandkids every time we go somewhere together has forced me to think harder to find free ways to enjoy life with them — and they actually end up having more fun. In so many ways, I think that for me, having less money has been about not being able to take shortcuts — a painful lesson that I’m nevertheless grateful to be learning. Love the photo of the fall rain; it’s perfect with the quote.

    • Rhonda October 19, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you, Jan, for sharing this with me. I’m very touched by your words and I’m heartened that you are finding bounty in having less. Over the past two years, I’ve learned not to want things, to make do with what I have, to find fun activities that cost nothing but a little money for gas. You know how I loved to shop… well, no more recreational shopping for me. But I don’t miss it. I’m saving not only money, but time!

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