Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Simplicity or Multiplicity?





More from Gift From The Sea: "Life today in America is based on the premise of ever-widening circles of contact and communication. It involves not only family demands, but community demands, national demands, international demands on the good citizen, through social and cultural pressures, through newspapers, magazines, radio programs, political drives, charitable appeals, and so on. My mind reels with it. What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. It puts the trapeze artist to shame. Look at us.

We run a tight rope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head.

This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of. It leads not to unification but to fragmentation. It does not bring grace, it destroys the soul. And this is not only true of my life. I am forced to conclude, it is the life of millions of women in America. I stress America, because today, the American woman more than any other has the privilege of choosing such a life.

Woman in large parts of the civilized world has been forced back by war, by poverty, by collapse, by the sheer struggle to survive, into a smaller circle of immediate time and space, immediate family life, immediate problems of existence. The American woman is still relatively free to choose the wider life."

She really knows how to nail a problem, doesn't she? I'm truly glad that we American women have choices, but for me, I have to choose simplicity. When I widen my circle too much, I get fragmented and frazzled. None of my pieces are beneficial to anyone. If I want to be whole, I must have a simple life, and that mostly means staying at home.

Ever since school has been out and I've been able to stay home more, the difference has been amazing! I'm much calmer and can actually complete a thought. Maybe I even get to write it down in a journal or blog post. This is the way I need/want to live.
I'm going to spend July and the first two weeks of August getting my heels dug in so that when school starts I can hang on to this way of life.

And to think Anne wrote her book BEFORE the internet and social media were invented. I wonder what her book would say if it were written now?

11 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

So true. And the busy, fragmented life makes no one happier or more content or gives time to ponder.

Have a happy Fourth with your family.

Pom Pom said...

I know! Our mothers fought it as the expectation to do, do, do began (after World War II). It's so good to stay at home, where the home fires can be tended.

Heather said...

That is one of my favorite books. I am always careful not to 'over do' my days. I will get physically sick if I over schedule myself. Happy Fourth of July.

wayside wanderer said...

I need to read this book. And here is a quote that I had copied in my mouse from another blog I just read. I emailed it to myself. :) It goes well with what you have quoted.

"We simplify, not just to be less busy, even though we may be right to pursue that. Rather, we simplify to remove distractions from our pursuit of Christ. WE prune activities from our lives, not only to get organized, but also that our devotion to Christ and service for His kingdom will be more fruitful. We simplify, not merely to save time, but to eliminate hindrances to the time we devote to knowing Christ. All the reasons we simplify should eventually lead us to Jesus Christ." ~Donald S. Whitney

debbie bailey said...

I love all your comments, and Wayside Wanderer, I'm in TOTAL agreement with the quote you posted. I'm going to put that in a prominent place and try to never forget it.

Angie Mohr said...

Very true! That's exactly how I feel. Focusing my life on home makes me feel centered and makes me a better writer, wife, and mother.

Angela said...

I need to read this. Keeping centered is a challenge. At this point in my life, even staying at home does not give me too much simplicity--five teenagers, aging parents, church, etc. I truly do not like to be over scheduled, but sometimes I also have to find a simplicity in allowing myself to be inconvenienced without resentment.

debbie bailey said...

Angie, you'd love it! I love your comment about your simplicity is being inconvenienced without resentment. I have a really hard time with that. I'll have to say that I love this season of my life much more than the one you're in now. It was much too hard, and I only had four teenagers at one time! Bless your heart!

Gumbo Lily said...

I have so often felt rather "out of it" because I really love to be home and not to always be going. I don't think I'm anti-social, but some might think so because I choose to be at home and close to the family and grands. I'm very busy at home and I like that. It's where my heart is.

M.K. said...

What a good post, Debbie!. You know, I came over here and read this, immediately after spending about 15 minutes scrolling through my news feed on Google Reader -- skipping around from this disaster to that one, this crisis to that worry to another chaos. Your post was immediate relaxation to my brain :) Why is it so hard to remember this truth? Thanks.

angeljoy said...

Simplicity always seems to be the art of balance, for me. Sometimes, it's less the balance of daily life, and more the balance of me. Of who I am as a wife, mother, business owner, and creative expressionist. :) Many times, I'm too much mother and not enough wife, and I'm always too much of the first three and never enough of the latter.