Harder to define and do.
Simplicity can mean many things to many people.
I’m fascinated by complexity + chaos + patterns … and how I can simplify them to communicate with others.
Social media appears complex and chaotic … and it can be.
Information Technology is complex.
Organisational development is complex.
Learning & Performance is complex.
Community development is complex.
Research & evaluation is complex.
Good writing is complex.
Communicating and planning with groups of people is complex.
Deciding what’s important in your life right now is complex.
[ you’re welcome to download my free Life Dreaming workbook … it has some useful questions].
And … all these things have been a part of my work and life.
That’s when the art of simplicity is needed … making the complex appear accessible and understandable.
I’ve been doing that (making the complex a bit more comprehensible) with clients for over 25 years … and loving it.
I adore learning something new … being scared by the (seemingly) huge amount of information … and step by step … getting a handle on the key concepts and skills.
And then … sharing it with people.
I’m fascinated and interested in many things … a list waaaaay to long to put here.
And I love seeing how one thing I love might affect another thing I love.
Take the Citroen 2cv (please please send me one for my birthday).
I have been taking my toy 2cv to meetings about my SKIL2 design … my mantra is … beauty + practicality + affordability … like the 2cv … designed to an essential core.
When I’m designing the SKIL2 space I constantly ask myself … is this essential to the core purpose? I’m building a kind of 2CV … not a bmw.
Over the last few years I have been interested in alternative building methods (cob particularly) and building my own home one day.
I’ve copied a pile of sites and books to a Sustainable Building & Living Page at the top of this blog.
I have a dream of creating a few really small retreats … one for me … and a couple for friends & selected strangers who need some space and peace.
I’m hoping Mags will be on the land next door with the animal rescue retreat.
Coco on the day Mags found her abandoned
Coco & Indi cat … now in Athens Georgia with Derek & Lynda
Boysie and Patsy cat
John Joe … he’s a great guy … the zen dog of the pack
My retreat people can visit her animals and give them good homes … fair exchange.
I’ve always loved design and how space can be utilised.
And as I have very little money and a mortgage is out of the question … small, sustainable and simple make a lot of sense.
I did some research a while ago on Small House Design.
There are a whole bunch of people designing, building and living in small houses … really small spaces … often for economic reasons … sometimes for environmental ones.
Here are a few interesting sites/blogs:
- Tumbleweed Tiny House Company – Jay Shafer is seen as one of the founding ideas/action people when it comes to small houses.
- Tiny House Blog
- Resources for Life
- Constructing a Simpler Life
- Small Living Journal
- This Tiny House
- Coming unmoored … living in a tiny floating home
In previous generations many Irish families lived in small cottages.
During the Boom … we saw huge huge places being built … some are beautiful while others are a postule on the landscape … and many of them are empty.
When I do design doodles for the home I want to build … I try and keep it as small and simple as possible … almost one open living space that can be ‘separated’ by plants, moving screens & sheer falls of material.
I showed the drawings to my brother Marc and he made my shower/wash room a little bigger by adding a private outside courtyard … he said that simple was fine but I was allowed to have some space!
Simplicity to me is a kind of paring back to your life essentials … whatever they may be.
Simplicity to me means living life to my core values ... being as authentic as I can … taking time to appreciate what I have and not be too bothered about what I don’t have.
Simplicity is not easy.
Having very little money has been useful to me in defining elements of simplicity in my life – food, fuel, shelter, broadband, champagne.
But it’s not about money.
With or without money … there are things that are essential to my life … the values I live by … the love I feel for my family and friends … the deep affection I feel for the community and town I now live in … always learning and taking risks … having a chat and a laugh with people …
Simplicity is a complex thing.
As I read back on this post I realised that the core of simplicity to me is being able to answer this question
What is essential to my life?
I think I’ll just ponder on it for a few days.