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As I grow into older age, I value and cultivate simplicity much more than I used to.

Right now, we have a dumpster sitting in our driveway; we are throwing out “stuff” that we no longer need, haven’t used in ages, or hasn’t been reclaimed by kids (they’re 32 to 38 now). My husband is better at this than I am. We’ve had some disagreements already, and the rusty old thing is not a quarter full yet, so I imagine further disputes will ensue. He usually wins, often because he’s right. Why is it so hard to let things go?

I think women more than men tend to hold on to things because of sentimental value. In fact, I suspect that sometimes, if I could see an object with untainted eyes and memory, I would realize how useless, ugly, or old it is. I see some things how they used to be, or how much they meant to me at a certain time in my life.

Simplifying isn’t just getting rid of possessions, though. I find I want a less complicated life. I’ve begun that mental and emotional weeding out process, letting little things slip away more. I don’t have time for petty arguments, gossiping, and arguing for the sake of being right. I’m focusing more on the emotional and spiritual content of my life. Simplicity is a state of mind. Family has become more important as I age, especially now that there’s a new generation to observe and care for and about. The satisfaction of seeing the family tree branch out is an affirmation that life goes on and on, and we contributed something to it.

Simplicity also means getting rid of pretensions and fears, too. The older I get the more comfortable I feel in my own skin. I am prepared to be myself, without feeling like I have to try to impress others, pretend to be someone I’m not, or hide my flaws. It’s kind of like that old saying, “If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said to someone.”