Today this arrived. I am desperate to start reading but instead it is sitting on the table next to me as I write. Tempting me. However, I have decreed that I will not even open the cover (though I can hold it and feel it) until I have done at least half of today’s list. That includes writing today’s blog post.
Has anybody else noticed the slight contradiction yet? I have a new book, a new thing, a new possession. Yet the possession in question is a guide to simplifying my life; a guide to reducing the things and the stuff which clutters and suffocates.
I am a reasonably sensible, well educated woman who took on board the refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle mantra long before it was considered normal let alone essential. I turned into my mother at an early age; keeping the plastic bags that magazines and catalogues came through the post in, carefully storing yoghurt pots for the seedlings and cutting up plastic milk bottles to make seed markers. I never bought dusters I just cut up old sweat shirts and I could make a roasting joint last for up to three meals plus sandwiches (roast, shepherd’s pie and stovies since you ask). I have never actually cut the toes out of my children’s crepe soled start-rite shoes to turn them into summer play sandals however. There were some depths to which I would not go. Yes, reader, I wore such sandals for playing outside when I was a little girl. It was the sixties, I think she can be forgiven.
I have a collection of household books and life simplification books that would not disgrace a small public library. Why? I really doubt I am going to find anything totally new in this book, yet I can’t wait to curl up with it. What is going on?
What I think is going on is confirmation. I can read this book and I will feel good because even if I’m not doing all of it, I will be doing some of it and I will have thought about doing some of the rest. It’s the feel good factor. I am a good person.
I don’t think the same applies to other genres. I also have substantial collections of gardening books, cookery books, knitting/sewing/craft books. I have books on organisation (from homes to minds) and a vast array of books on self sufficiency from keeping hens to how to survive Armageddon. Another corner of my library houses books on the desert fathers, monasticism and meditation.
All of these offer me something new. I know that I will learn new skills, tricks and develop new ideas every time I pick them up. I am not so arrogant as to say that this particular book will teach me nothing, but put another way – I probably don’t really need it and the irony is in purchasing it I am committing the fist sin by not refusing something I don’t need.
But I do know I am going to love it and love transcends everything.