A Simple Life

rootBy Carrie Root

I call myself a minimalist. And I find it very hard work in the United States to remain one. Daily I fight a losing battle, trying to rid myself of things I don’t want or need. Still, life at home seems to pile “stuff” up, leaving me feeling overwhelmed with too many things and too little time.

Almost as soon as I arrived in Italy, I realized that these few weeks were going to be simpler in many ways. I oooed and awed with my flat-mate over details in the design of our temporary home. A drying rack for our dishes was built into the kitchen cabinet, allowing wet dishes to drip straight down into the sink below. The tiny refrigerator fits perfectly in the cabinet under the counter, just the right size for a few days of provisions. I felt like Goldilocks, trying everything out only to discover it was “just right.”

Time in Cagli is also simple. I have been here for two weeks now and I have not yet seen a single Cagli resident look rushed. They work in the morning, rest in the early afternoon, and head back to work until early evening. I think somehow these people have attained the perfect notion of the “right” amount of stuff and the “right” amount of time.

Even if I did bring back this minimalist lifestyle to the United States, I am skeptical that it would be easy to maintain. When you are surrounded by the rush of time and the pressure to consume, it is downright stressful to go against the grain of mainstream culture. I’m honestly not sure it can be done. But I love this simple life and I will envy it when I return home. And maybe I’ll find a few ways to bring my dream of a “just right” home to life.

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