In pursuit of perfection

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add,

but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Expudery, quoted in the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune


Over ten years ago, I decided to quit my job as a research assistant at a small economic consulting firm in Texas and become a teacher in Uzbekistan.  For my first year there, I was allowed two 50 lb suitcases and one carry-on.  The rest of the stuff I either lent to friends or put into storage.

When I arrived, only one of my two suitcases arrived with me.  Unfortunately, the airline I was traveled on was not known for its customer service, and claimed that if anything, my suitcase could have only weighed 8 kg, or less than 20 lbs (they reimbursed losses based upon the weight of the luggage).  Even then, I never got my money back.

But one thing I did get was a realization that sometimes in order to move forward in life, we don’t a catalog, but a trash bag.  I survived just fine with that one suitcase of items along with the things that were available, and when I returned two years later to the US, some of my friends or family would drag out boxes of things I had left with them that they didn’t want anymore, and honestly, half of the time I didn’t even remember possessing those items.  I didn’t want them either, so I got rid of them too.

What about you?  Do you have an easy or hard time getting rid of things?

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2 thoughts on “In pursuit of perfection

  1. I used to have a really hard time getting rid of stuff. I was so sentimentally attached to just about everything. Then, when my hubby & I moved about 9 years ago, I got rid of alot of stuff. It was very liberating. Since then, I’ve improved even more. We live a very simple life. Not only have we found freedom but the less “stuff” you have, the less you have to clean and take care of. That gives us time to really focus on what’s important… God, each other, our son and little one on the way.

  2. Nancy,

    I love the simple life as well. It’s so true, when you get down to it, the most important things in life are not things, but relationships with others. These days, I much prefer a quiet evening in with my husband talking than a fancy night out on the town, or a walk to the farmer’s market and then the park with my boys.

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