Friday, May 22, 2009

The Art of Shrinkage

We are slowly, slowly emerging from an Age of Extravagance in which a relentless quest for status and perfection ruled supreme. 
(Las Vegas Strip, 2009)

McMansions. Hummers. "It" bags. Truffle burgers. Gold-flecked cocktails. Super-sized everything. Many of us lived beyond our means in one way or another. It was a glamorous rollercoaster ride and we rode it until it all came to a crashing halt.

And halt it did.

So here's what I've been wondering lately...

Can we learn to be happy with less?
(Monk making soup, Lhasa, Tibet, 2007)

Can we go back to keeping it simple?
(Grilled acorn squash, olive oil, salt. End of story.)

Can we remember to inhale the moment?
(My uncle Johan and aunt Kirsten, Norway, 2008)

Can we not be so hard on ourselves?
(Yosemite, 2008)

Can we honor the beauty of the ephemeral?
(Rishikesh, India, 2007)

Can we be happy in our skins?
(My dad, 77 years young, Alaska, 2006)

Can we teach our children to find pleasure in non-Wii-related pursuits?
(Luca's tower of fun, 2009)

Can we spend time together instead of money?
(Home, 2009)

Can we aim for one moment of joy in every day?
(Last day of school, 2008)

I'm ready to give it a try. Who's in?

(If you want to learn more about walking the walk, click HERE.)

32 comments:

pve design said...

count little ole me in.
always looking for more fun, more for less.
pve

pve design said...

that book is in my stack!

mary said...

I'm in ....that's why I'm loving every minute of my life in an old church in the Wisconsin countryside. I am putting in my huge organic veggie, fruit and herb garden. I think the biggest moment for me was when I bought the asparagus roots and was told I wouldn't have any for three years. Ten years ago I would have said "forget that!".

I LOVE the Yosemite photo !

Happy long weekend

Mrs. Blandings said...

I hope the change is real - I fear it's just a pause. But I'm completely on board. And ready for summer.

C.T. said...

I'm IN!!....uhhm...yes....well, does Timorous Beasties wallpaper count as a status thing?? Cuz, than I have to wait till next month with the I'm IN!!

Tavarua said...

Excellent Post - Love it - I'm in...

"My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best."
— Winston S. Churchill

Style Court said...

I'm in.

Clarity said...

Charming and true, IN. I had a reflection blog too today, must be something in the Summer air.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Yes We Can!!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

PVE: Of COURSE you have that book. I would expect nothing less from you!

Mary: If I ever find myself in Wisconsin in three years, I will be stopping by for some home-grown asparagus. You can bet on it!

Mrs. Blandings, C.T., Tavarua, Style Court, Clarity, Pamela Terry: So glad you're glad you're coming along for the ride... xx :)

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

I have been into less for years now. Moving, after my divorce, from a LARGE home, eventually landing in my 1,200 square foot, 1899 farmhouse in the midst of a beautiful river town of about 14,000 residents right outside of Chicago.

Simpler and a lot less to clean!!

lean lean lean

BTW - Your Dad cannot possibly be that old?

handsome and bold

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Susan: I know, my dad ROCKS!! He turns 81 tomorrow. In March, he raced in the Birkebeiner in Norway (35 miles, cross-country) and won his age group! I can only pray I have half his genes...:)

Prairie Girl Studio said...

yup, i'm in ...

we were never a family to go out 'on the town' and spend money on entertainment ~ we liked to create our own! for a while when our boys were little we used to have 'king of the hill day' on sundays ... whoever was 'king of the hill' got to choose the type of supper, movie, game or activity for the afternoon and we all shared whatever was their fancy ~ it was simple and lovely (yes, mom and dad had their days, too!)

remember, it's the pauses in music that give it life ... and can take your breath away
prairiegirl

Bart Boehlert said...

GENIUS post.
Holy shit, I hope I look like that when I'm 77.
BB

royalapothic said...

count me in, and could you please tell me how to grill squash!! :-)

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Isn't that precisely the lesson we are all meant to learn from all this?. Has any one else noticed how the stuff we thought would make us happier rarely does? We have everything we need to be happy within us. no more stuff! great post Lisa!

VictoriaArt said...

Yes, count me in, I love the simple things in live...being together, having fun together, support each other and enjoy all the small and big occasions in life!
PS: I just posted on glamour... (with a twist)

;) Victoria

L.B. said...

Thanks for this timely call to awakening - this has to be our path, collectively, if we are going to survive as a species; the excesses, self-centeredness do more than hurt our pocketbooks, the environment - far worse, such behavior damages our very souls.

The Cape House said...

I love this post. So beautiful, and with a great message.

A Super Dilettante said...

Wonderful ideas..thought provoking! My dance card is free! So, I'd love to join you.

kickitupanotch said...

I'm relishing the challenge. It meshes with where I am personally today...picking my priorities and trying to be more involved and empathetic with those I know and love and others who are just part of the human community. It will be interesting to see the longterm effects. Thanks for your thought-provoking post. Enjoyed the photos.

julia shea said...

Lisa, Im having trouble getting past how good looking your Dad is, BUT I have just ordered this book from Amazon because of your post, thank you!

Françoise said...

Because I entirely trust Pamela's judgement, I just discovered your blog via "The House of Edward".

Yes, yes, count me in! I have started already.

firefly said...

It's so easy to get caught up, want more, want "better" whatever that is. Before we know it, we're stressed out because we're deep in debt and owner of a bunch of stuff...I recently donated a lot of my stuff, and highly recommend it. It's very liberating. Indeed, less is more.

btw, your dad is hawt. :]

Suzy said...

Sounds like a great idea!

Molly Jean said...

thanks for this post! i think the recession will ultimately serve to teach us something BUT the wonderful thing about blogging is that loveliness & inspiration are free & plentiful in good times & bad (thank goodness)!

janis said...

I'm in...I never left. Beautiful post, so well said.

Denise said...

purely a digression, but thought you might be interested in this article, which is mostly a rehash on quick skim but illustrates amazing staying power of Bloomsbury. Enjoying your blog!

http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2009-03/Manners.html

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Denise: So funny. Another blogger sent me the same link! And I hadn't read the article, so thank you for thinking of me! xx

home before dark said...

Love the concept, not wild about "shrinkage" to express a thoughtful life that says yes to self-made happiness and no to commercially generated needs. I like the idea of contentment, the pleasures of solitude and the joy of small moments. Lovely post.

Joslyn said...

oh yes, i am so, so in...

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