when less is more

Today I learned that a former doctor of mine died June this year. He was younger than me. When I needed to consult him, we spent more time talking about riding our bicycles and the over-the-top pressure of our respective jobs than my current ailment. When last I spoke with him, he had reduced his work days to three a week to enable him to get more rest and fun time in his life. Perhaps he left his plan to ‘live a slower life’ too late. I do not know what killed him, but tonight I mourn a good man. I thought him a good doctor as well, despite my attempting to hit him when he reminded me – some three years ago – that I would soon be 60. (I write of this incident in ‘Kiwi on the Camino: A Walk that Changed My Life’.)
Once again I am reminded about why I have changed my life style and pared back to having fewer possessions. It is important to me that I take the time to breathe, to chew my food, to move as much as possible at a human pace, and to smell the air around me when I am in clean, green spaces. I am taking to heart Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s thought of “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” For my former doctor, he stripped away some of the stressors in his life, he was attempting to live with less money, less exhaustion, looking for a life that suited him better, but now it is too late.
Less is more, simplicity is more manageable than complexity. It is a myth that it is possible to multi-task. I am choosing to live my life more slowly despite the current pressure post publication of my first book. I am still holding on to the principles of pilgrimage in my ordinary, every-day life.

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