Monday, December 31, 2012

Less Is More

I won't even pretend. You exhaust me with your yearly tributes to the Roman god, Janus, a.k.a. New Year's resolutions. I am now strictly avoiding all articles and blogs that tell who has vowed to write two novels this year, start three different blogs to help writers, artists, entrepreneurs (take your pick), run five miles every day, develop 25% more products to sell, market to four more media outlets than they currently are, re-do their kitchen and/or bathroom and be the one to solve the current deadlock dilemma at work.

All of those things are well and good, but if I try to do any more than I am currently doing, I'm pretty sure my head will explode in a little blue, powdery puff of smoke. There are so many more things I want to do, so many more things I feel I should do, yet I have the distinct impression I am burying myself in my attempts to do more, more, more. I am buried under a mountain of more. More hectic, more projects, more stress.

At what point do I really understand that 'less is more'? I need to go to bed at 7 p.m. for a week and just read. I need to spend time in the woods and just listen. I need to sit and just breathe. I need a break from the chronic media barrage that is so loud it blocks out what is real. I need time to love and rest. I need less.

And before you say that I am turning 'less' into a resolution - I'm not. I may manage to do it, I may not. I'll be happy if I do; I won't feel guilty if I don't. But it's on my radar as something I need to keep tabs on.

I may send in my picture book to publishers with a nice query letter this year. I may pick up where I left off on my novel. I may concentrate more on writing than photography this year. And I may stop putting so much time into designing products for my Zazzle store. Or I may not. The important thing is that I don't have to pay tribute to Janus with my conscience.

If you are interested in the full David Orr quote, it is from his 1992 book Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World. The full quote is, "The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."  I have just taken a small snippet of his words in my image above, and obviously, the most impactful words in his full quote are that the world needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. This is a growing part of my career life and one I embrace.

Happy 2013.