Where do you live?


“So, where do you live?” I asked.
“I live at work,” she replied with a laugh.
"Ohhh," I said, trying to keep my nose from crinkling. Most people, of course, name a neighborhood. No doubt that's what I expected. Her answer got me thinking, though. 

Yes, it's where we kick off our shoes and sleep. But an address...I don't think it's meant to be the center of our existence.
So where do you live?
Wherever you are.

Can you see through your stuff?


A new book. Earrings. Shirts. Shoes.
Each one came into my house in a single bag and with a simple motion. It felt harmless, this slow trickle of purchases and products. Every so often, I’d get a wild hare, open the armoire door and toss little heaps on the floor of things worn once or twice, the dollar signs adding up in my head. Then with a sigh, I’d forgive myself. Load the clothes in boxes. And remind myself of the good in all this: donating to those in need.
And that part is true. Repurposing is a beautiful thing. Waste not, right?
But what about want not?
My husband lived in a small flat in London early in his career. He had two roommates, no closet and wore suits to work every day. The other night, as he neatly hung 12 dry-cleaned shirts among a dozen others, he turned to me and said, “You know, in London, I used to be jealous of Chris.” I pictured his roommate and raised an eyebrow, wondering where this was going.
“He had five shirts. One for each day of the week. No more.”
To most, the American way seems enviable. Twenty-four shirts. Choices. Abundance. But what we forget—in that moment before the cash register cha-chings—is that overabundance crowds more than our homes. It crowds our lives too.
When we surround ourselves with too much, we block our line of sight to who we are. The first house built on a mountain has a clear picture of the valley. The treetops. The wildflowers. The sky. But build house upon house on every side, and, suddenly, the view is entirely different. It is cluttered. Obscured.

A simple abode.

We are not fancy people. We eat spaghetti. Wash our own cars. And laugh at shows like “The Office” and “30 Rock” on TV.