Embracing Simplicity

It’s an on-going process, isn’t it? Complications creep back in, and I’m reminded that the way to keep my life uncluttered and simple-focused is to live an engaged life, and to make mindful decisions. These aren’t made once or twice, these are made every day, as they come up.

We don’t buy a lot of things that our media pushes upon us to by. We don’t have TV, so the watching of programs that we do is a mindful decision when it happens, and we aren’t bombarded with images of the things we’re supposed to want. Our non-household running purchases tend toward things like books, and offerings for our gods, and sometimes extra clothes, but I count clothing as part of household running. The most non-mindful, impulse purchasing we do is when it comes to food, and we don’t stick closely to the food budget, and that for me is a struggle (because we’re mindful in all these other areas, and food is so much a reward for me for things like, going to my day job, or making it through the week, or I just feel badly, and so I deserve X)

Beth’s hobbies, interests, and second part time job all requires stuff, so we do purchase (mindfully!) there as well. Me? I write. I’m a writer. Aside from software that I may want (I’m still eyeballing Scrivener. Anyone here use it or have feedback on it?), and aside from needing a working computer I don’t really require stuff. Yeah, I knit, and that requires stuff, so there’s that. But beyond that? Not so much — and I like that. I’m not a stuff person. I like the simple.

I’ve gone back and forth, for years now, about setting my wardrobe up so that it’s all sort of uniform. I already do this for the day job, but I want to do it across the board. Why? Simplicity’s sake. Yes, I’ll admit, I want something about my style of dress that says, at least to me, “Nun.” I wish, very much, that I had available to me, some signal that could announce that to other people, not so much so that they’d recognize me but, honestly, so that there would be a short cut method of signaling “Not interested over much in pop culture or in the secular world.” I get that already, a little, with my veiling, but I want it a bit more. Beyond that? I want to not have to think about putting my clothing together, and the idea of wearing virtually the same thing every day brings with it a certain sense of liberation.

I’ve always been a jeans and tee shirt kind of gal. I cultivated a preference for skirts, because I loved the idea of them and I was never comfortable wearing them because they seemed to stand out, and one of my things in life is to not refrain from doing things because of fear of other people’s opinions. In most areas of my life, I do not care what people who are not my family think of me, providing that they do not impact my life in any way. (I’m not saying we should not care about people who might hold power of employment over us; I have not come across that so it’s not yet a factor in my decision making, but at the same time I’ve always lived north of our great Bible Belt) so it was important to me to root out that inhibitory fear. Wearing skirts nearly exclusively for years helped with that. There’s also a level of modest-attire, but I’m currently exploring that concept in my head (is it ‘modesty’ per se? Do I want to even use that word, with the history of patriarchal control over the womens coloring it so? I like, for me, the sort of form-free-ness in skirts that you don’t get with pants, but maybe that’s more a desire for a barrier between myself and the public sphere than actual modesty). There’s also a small part of feed-back from Poseidon, and with me, He certainly has a dresses and skirts preference. I’ve started trying to pick that a part. (In my view, the Gods are not “from” the historical cultures that worshipped them — Poseidon isn’t exactly Hellenic, He is a god, He is beyond our human cultures, even if they do, in turn, influence Him) How much of that seeming preference is His own personal taste? How much is influenced from the cultures He interacted with for so long? How much of that is an understanding of human textile history and the sexes? (For those curious, I’ve tentatively arrived at the idea that simple dressing removes my concerns from ‘fashion’ (as much as I’ve ever been concerned about fashion) and takes me one step further away from strictly human concerns to embrace more general ‘we are all animals” concerns. Poseidon is compassionate, and He cares about humanity, but not more or less than He cares about other creatures, and one step further along that path is one step closer to Him, in my view.)

Lately I’ve gotten lazy about it (skirts are work! They require leggings, and they’re harder to find in the thrift stores at my size, and jeans are more rugged) but I’m also at a point where we need to increase our wardrobe, soon. I have not purchased any non-work related clothing in years. And so I’m thinking, again, about how to simplify it, how to bring in a sort of standard same-ness. I’m not sure how it’s going to look, exactly, but I think I’m finally at that point of being willing to just go with it. We’ll see.


6 thoughts on “Embracing Simplicity

  1. I use Scrivener for writing, and really enjoy it. I like that it has an auto-save feature–that way I don’t take a break from writing and then go through the “oh crap did I hit the save button or not?” panic. It’s great for organizing notes for stories as well.

  2. If it ever comes up, let me know if I can help make or alter clothing for you. I’ve done a fair bit of custom work for people and it’d be an honor and pleasure to help create a dedicated wardrobe. And the women in this state that dress modestly for religious reasons often wear jeans under their dresses. It’s totally A Thing.

  3. I’m struggling with the concept of modesty right now. The Roman concept of female modesty/purity was very toxic. I don’t want that. But at the same time I want something like that, but put on the table under my own terms. Also, I want bloomers and calico skirts.

  4. (pardon the lateness of the response, I’m catching up on rss.)

    You said you wished you had a visual way to say, “Not interested over much in pop culture or in the secular world.” American culture, at least, has ways available. Mostly involving dressing “conservatively.” Think in terms of Amish or Mennonite clothing, as an extreme.

    Light versions of this could be as simple as muted colors and high collars (“buttoned up”), maybe with long sleeves. While jeans are great and convenient, denim equals casual almost everywhere. You might think instead about work pants like those made by Dickies, which are a twill. They’re not formal by any means, but slightly less casual than denim. And in these times, that may as well be formal.

    And of course, the obvious and expected thing would be for you to look to Naval uniforms for inspiration.

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