It was during the later 1990’s when I remember seeing the shelves of local bookstores begin to fill up with books on voluntary simplicity. At the time, I was too busy raising my two young sons to pay much attention to the contemporary writing on the topic, but I was aware of the fact that my own life was not getting any simpler. I didn’t buy the books and I didn’t simplify my life in the “10 Easy Steps” prescribed by countless authors on the topic. My experience with “downsizing” was much more expedient – and much more familiar to many Americans than the courses of action outlined in the self-help literature. It went something like this.
“A few months ago I warned you that my key performance measures indicate your failure to step up to the plate and think outside the box. I asked you to drink from the fire hose, start leveraging your core competencies, and get on the same page with the paradigm shift that you’ve thus far failed to recognize in this marriage.
“In response to your poor performance, I’ve stepped up my own customer relationship marketing efforts. The feedback from brain dumps with my colleagues has resulted in a decision to redeploy you in favor of a new, highly scalable enterprise solution. Trust me. What I’m talking about is a win-win, organically derived value proposition.
“As of today, your role in this marriage has been outsourced. No need to circle back to me on this one. We’re taking the conversation offline for good. You’ve been downsized. Got it?”
Okay, so I’m paraphrasing a bit, but my former business/marriage partner has a penchant for the corporate-speak buzzword mumbo jumbo that makes me cringe. Whatever the exact words were, I was given the matrimonial pink slip.
I’ve since done a bit of research on the prescribed techniques for simplifying one’s life. A quick review of the index in “The Simple Living Guide” yields results for “dating” and “romance,” but I couldn’t find a chapter on “divorce”. Post-marital acrimony may not be good subject matter for selling books on how to achieve the joys of a simple life, but I’m living proof that it’s a highly effective method for shedding a few pounds. After handing over the balance of my bank accounts to a lawyer, I found myself nearly broke and very much homeless. Life immediately became simplified (in the material sense). All it took was the stroke of a judge’s pen.
After the edict was issued from management (family court), I packed my personal belongings in a cardboard box and made my way to the front door – “redeployment” complete and ready for the next adventure.
To read more of Kevin’s small home adventures, visit his blog, “Building Gypsy Rose .”