ca • reared

  1. reared to pursue a career as a primary objective in life.
  2. duped or screwed by a career, or by the pursuit of a career.

Appreciating Simplicity

February 10, 2011 | File under: Advice and Lessons

I used to have a very stressful job. I was a lawyer. Each day was a battle. Against adversaries. Against difficult supervisors. Against myself, battling the dread I felt towards my work. I was in a constant defensive state, preparing myself for the next awful assignment, the next unpleasant phone call, the next mean email.

To cope with the stress of my job, I sought refuge in simple things. Coming home to enjoy a slow dinner with my husband. Going for runs and listening to the repetitive sounds of my feet and breath while appreciating the beautiful sights around me. Wrapping myself in a blanket and knitting stitch after stitch, watching it become a scarf. And, oddly enough, standing in front of a sink full of dishes, swishing away food remnants with almond-scented bubbles. With these actions, I claimed small victories in my daily battles.

Thankfully, that stressful time in my life has ended, and I’ve begun a new, and considerably less defined, chapter in my life. Instead of the dread I used to feel, I face each new day with excitement and appreciation. I find even more fulfillment in those simple things I used to cling on to for dear life, knowing now that activities such as washing the dishes and cooking a healthy meal for my husband and me contributes to our overall quality of life, which has definitely improved since I left my job as a lawyer.

So while some people dread tackling a pile of greasy pans and streaked dishes (without a dishwasher, I might add), I am ever grateful for that time each day, knowing the dishes will not order me into the office on a weekend or compose an email in all caps. As I stand there, I mostly space out as my hands handle the repetitive work, my mind jumping from one thing to another. Is it weird that I have never obtained the same calmness of mind through yoga as I do in my purple dish gloves?

There is a lovely little book that is full of wonderful reflections on simplicity called Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life, and this one quote resonates with me deeply:

“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”
—Thomas More

Comments

  • for occasionally sgnurpilg on quality/design for clothes though I am glad as a guy, I don’t need a lot of items (I keep an eagle eye out for mens clothing store sales, paying retail for these items isn’t in the budget).As for house design, I’m into Mission style furniture with stark Japanese accents (think Frank Lloyd Wright). For the last two years, I’ve been trying to preserve cherry blossoms from my backyard tree without success; I may have to stick with my current pussy willows if it doesn’t work out this springtime (or purchase fake blossoms but that violates the snapshot of nature principle that I admire in Japanese arrangements).

    DannyelleAugust 21st, 2012

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