less is more… or the fine art of overkill

We’ve all heard the old adage “less is more”… whether it’s regarding decorating a home, accessorizing an outfit, putting on make up, or simply in the execution of modern visual art & design.

I’m a minimalist by nature. Never been a fan of knick-knacks, bric-a-brac or pattywhacks (I actually have no idea what a pattywhack is). But to me it’s all clutter. I’m not a scrap-booker… I don’t want to decoupage, bejewel or bedazzle anything. I like clean lines, solid colors and museum-style displays. And I’m a bit of a clean freak.

Maybe it’s my ADD tendencies (I’m highly distractable) or the fact that much of my work is spent in a fairly loud and chaotic environment… but cleanliness, organization and simplicity are extremely attractive to me and help center me after a busy weekend at work.

This weekend, we’re in Atlanta, GA (we as in Women of Faith and World Vision). Here, at the Phillips Arena they are very enthusiastic in their decor and motif. I mean seriously, there’s really not a square inch left uncovered. Flashing lights, 20 ft plasma screens, larger than life sports figures, 40 foot kites hanging from the ceiling, sports flags, team banners, streaming CNN news tickers, 4 tv monitors wrapped around every pole down every aisle, a Jack Daniel’s sign the size of my front yard, and 5 digital clocks ticking off the minutes in Moscow, Paris, Atlanta, Tokyo and Los Angeles. Not to mention the giant assorted Disney-esque 3D food items such as 4ft french fries, 3ft umbrella drinks, and a 5ft dancing jalapeño wearing a sombrero that hover above our heads – all threatening to come to life if we just buy their $7.00 Cocoa-Colas. All of this is visible just from my booth. Portal 8, Section 112.

Overkill. Over-stimulus. Over-saturation. I’m pretty sure the brain will just shut down when it becomes too much. I’m convinced of that… because it’s happening to me right now as I peer out over my table.

Less is more. I believe that. Simplicity and moderation allow you to fully enjoy that which you are engaging… whether a thing, a moment, or a person. You can focus, dwell, absorb. You can hear, ponder, process. You can retain, remember, relish.

You get the picture. We live in a land of excess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wanting to chide our great country at all. I’m humbled that I get to live in a place that offers choices in abundance. That I don’t wonder if I’m going to eat… just what I’m going to eat. What am I in the mood for? What if it’s not in the cupboards? We’ll just go get it! Simple as that….

But all this overkill… all this more is more I’m surrounded by this weekend… has just got me thinking about the simpler things in life. How I long to sit in the sand on a deserted beach where the only sounds are waves crashing against the shore and seagulls… well, seagulling (what is it they do?).

So take a few moments today and enjoy something simple. If your life and heart are filled with clutter and business… make sure you give yourself a place to be quiet. Maybe it’s just a quiet escape to the porch for morning coffee… listening to the sounds of your neighborhood. Or a hot bubble bath. Or if you have the luxury to escape to a beach or the mountains… give yourself that gift. It puts everything else in perspective.


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