Counting time in a ‘simple deluxe’ life

Counting time in a ‘simple deluxe’ life

I saw a quote the other day that went something like, “If you’re always wanting to be somewhere else, you’ll never be happy with where you are,” and while I don’t disagree, I had to stop and dissect the words. I’ve calmly gathered up the frayed edges of my simple life and laid them bare in my mind, and what I want more of is “simple deluxe.”

I was content to be where I was when I was younger, and nothing in the world could have made me want to uproot. But I told George this morning that my soul seems to be longing for an extra oomph, kind of like when you splurge and order pecans on a sundae instead of crushed peanuts — just a little bit more.

“It’s like we’re counting time, aren’t we?” George said. And immediately I knew that was it. Throughout this past difficult year, we’ve been counting the grains of sand in our own personal hourglass, waiting for the next disruption to arrive. I don’t want to be sitting on my couch for the next 10 years waiting to see what malady may strike us down flat.

I’ve been dreaming of tables I want to sit down at. I want to pull out a chair and place it in front of a window that holds some sort of vista with swaying jungley trees and a light breeze caressing my face. Maybe it will hold mountain views and tiny block homes with dark plumes of smoke rising from small cooking fires.

I want the simplicity I crave here at home, but in new locations for part of the time — nonslip, colorful rugs, a handmade coffee mug, sturdy frying pans that make dippy eggs, a fork whose heft feels good in my hand. I want different scents outside my window: bougainvillea, ripe fruit, smoky fires.

I don’t know the exact location; I just know I want it. I want to gather things I love and arrange them in a new-to-me home. I want to hold a garage sale on foreign soil. I want to meander the markets and write about what I see. I want to taste new flavors on my tongue, something so new and raw that to describe it would be absurd. I want to live inside those flavors and show them to the world in a serviceable sundress and comfortable sandals.

I’m tired of saying it and not doing it because the world — or the idea of its constraints — holds me back. I am not the world; I am, and we are us. The world will tell us money, jobs and security are more important than tipping your toe over the edge. But I think that time is a construct, and I am done counting time. I do not want to know the shape and edges of it any longer. I want to bend it to my will, like a black hole that exists in space, the mysteries of it so complex we cannot fathom what it holds.

May 26 brings us 33 years of marriage this week. I looked up the traditional gift that goes with this particular set of years, and it tells me it’s the amethyst. It is known as the all-purpose stone and seems to protect from the anxiety that life gives us. If only there were a stone that takes away the anxiety and cares of life, but I like thinking that maybe holding a beautiful purple quartz in my hand, warming it to my touch, could do the trick. We all believe in crazier things like knocking on wood or throwing salt over our shoulders. Warm stones and positive thoughts are good omens for the next step in the precarious cycle of life.

Next steps. I like that phrase because it’s not counting time; it’s doing something despite of it. Time won’t be stopped, and I know that, but we can do small things with big confidence if we begin the process. Once we begin, we won’t notice the grains of sand so much and will start living just a little bit more.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load