Monday, October 13, 2014

When Less is More

    No doubt I am a minimalist.  In comparison to my senior generation, I think I am an anomaly.  I tend to want to minimize  things on my desk and be satisfied with lack of clutter in my basement, my tool bench and in general my surroundings.   To me having less is more satisfying.  In some ways that is strange since I grew up in a family with limited resources and often felt left out from  having things.  Perhaps this is maturing and really understanding that having things can also be a burden.
   The minimalist nature seems to play out in all things in my life.   A recent  home example is some landscaping rehabilitation at our home.   Over the period of 15 years or so since our home was built some of the landscaping grew in size to fully occupy the front of the house and even spill out onto the sidewalk.   Also some of the arborvitae required a ladder to access the tops for trimming.   After recognizing the problem it was obvious that many of the trees had to go.  See below for the before and after views.  Removal is now complete opening up the area and a modest amount of replanting is done.  Hopefully the careful selection of the new plantings will control the size.  And space will be available for annual flowers to add some color during the growing season.   To our eyes less will be more attractive.
   In the vein of less is more I can apply the same thought to skiing.  Carving a good turn is probably accomplished better with more subtle movements.   Finesse is likely better than trying to muscle your way down the mountain.
   Also another example of less is more.   For the the last two years we have owned a hybrid car - a Toyota Prius.   I like driving it in the "Eco" mode.   This means that I focus on gradual acceleration to the legal speed limit and try to anticipate red lights to minimize the amount of braking force needed.  This minimalist approach has produced an average 50 miles per gallon in 28,000 miles of driving.
    Although I am a minimalist advocate, maybe one can take it too far.   Probably some of the drivers around me are annoyed by my gradual acceleration when the light changes.  Maybe, the less or more that I need to work on in those situations is to be less annoying.  I guess the conclusion is that taking the minimalist notion to the extreme can be as bad as being a hoarder.
   And finally, I've written enough on this topic!




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