Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Simplifying Life Through Your Relationship With Socks

Katherine McIntyre, whom I have never met but who's blog I subscribe to and enjoy reading has a great post on socks.

Yes, socks. It's not really about socks of course, but it's a great metaphor. It seems her husband Ryan (disclosure: Ryan is an investor in my company ClickCaster) is really into cool and funky socks, has a big collection and loves em.

Katherine, however, doesn't do overly well at matching them up. So, he went with black socks. Nothing else. Throw the rest away. And this brings me to a theme I'm noticing in my own life. Actually a couple of them.

Simplicity & Dematerialization.

I want a simpler life. I just do. I'm down to one low maintenance high milage car.. a Toyota (fill it up less! simpler.. smaller carbon footprint and all that hippie stuff).

I've been doing the black socks only for years now. I even do just one brand (Wilson).. so they ALWAYs match. Same with cloths. I have winter (all black, just pick a top/bottom and go) and summer (khaki pants, short sleeve cotton shirts, all go will with khaki.. just pick a top/bottom.. go).

Simple is good.

Dematerializing is part of this. I've had the garage full of cars; multiple houses, etc. etc. It's fun for awhile, but man.. you don't own that stuff.. it owns you. So I'm really doing the dematerialization thing.

As noted: I'm down to one car. I put my house on the market last week and I'm looking for a simple studio apt/condo with a bed/computer and shower and nothing else.

Now, I'm a single guy not in a relationship (also by choice, and that's another whole layer of simplification I won't go into here) and you can't do this kind of thing if you're married, and especially if your married with kids at home. I know that. And I know it seems weird.

But it's really not. Interestingly, This has zero to do with things like money, religion or political beliefs. There is no deep metaphysical motivation here. I've got money, I don't need to sell this stuff. I just really want to.

I don't want to worry about it. I don't want to insure it and count it and keep an eye on it and make sure someone else doesn't get it from me when I'm not looking and.... and.. and... you get the idea.

Don't get me wrong, I still like money... It's an extremely useful tool, but for me it's more of an abstract construct that you apply to things or situations to get things done. Money=good. It's the owning of the stuff part of our consumer culture just doesn't do it for me anymore. Stuff=not so good.

So, I know I'm extreme this way, but I want to say to Katherine and Ryan regarding the embracing of 'only black socks'... Most cool. It's your first step to a simpler life.


Anonymous said...

Clearly, I have a complicated life. My socks for athletic activities are pretty much all the same. My socks for other wear are all hand-knit and definitely NOT plain. They take special handling even (no dryers for them!).
However, I generally agree with your simplification goals. I'm starting gently ... after all the spouse and kids are not ready for austerity ... but I'm slowly purging the STUFF (donating most to organizations that can let those who actually need some of it get at it -- I figure that's better than landfilling it all).
I do manage to simply pitch any sock whose mate has been missing for more than three tours of the laundry cycle....

Scott Converse said...

I started a separate blog on this. It's at:

An excellent read from an ex-evangelical.

  As you know, I once was an evangelical megachurch pastor and my pastoral career stretched over many years. Eventually, I could no longer t...