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Monday, November 26, 2012

lots and lots of ladybugs

I just watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Minou watched it too, and even P'tit Minou Un enjoyed it, to my surprise. If you're not familiar with the film, a lonely, recently divorced writer from San Francisco impulsively decides to buy and renovate an ancient Tuscan villa.

I really liked several of its themes, such as the belief in "signs", and the need to sometimes make impulsive decisions when they feel right. The main character wished for several things in her new home--a wedding, a family, a community. When she made the wish, she envisioned that she would be the one getting married and  having a baby. At the end of the movie, she realized that although that hadn't happened, in fact all her wishes had come true--though not in the way she first dreamed of.

There is another part of the movie I liked. As she searches for love and companionship, the main character is unhappy when it appears to elude her. An older friend tells her the story of searching for ladybugs as a child. She would search and search, without finding a single ladybug. When the young girl finally gave up and fell asleep, she woke up covered with ladybugs. Lots and lots of ladybugs, crawling all over her....just the thing she was searching for, when she finally stopped searching.

Where am I going with this? Sometimes, as an aspiring minimalist living a family life, there are frustrating spells of time. Suggestions of minimizing family possessions are met with howls of protest or solid resistance. So in quiet defeat (so dramatic, I know) I cease to think about it for awhile, taking a break from the downsizing process.

And then one day, my teenage son comes to me out of the blue and says "I don't want this piece of furniture anymore".

And then "These hooks" (which are consummate entryway clutter collectors) "remind me of preschool. Can't we take them out?"

And my husband and son say "This shoe box is ugly; let's get rid of it."

And to top it all off, my husband says "I don't think we need to keep that couch anymore."

And then I load said shoe box and piece of furniture up in the car, and drive them off to donate, hoping that someone can use them. And I enlist said son with the drill to remove the clutter-collecting hooks. The couch will stay a little longer, until after my mother-in-law's visit.
And I enjoy the new space...
Lots and lots of ladybugs.

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