How do we begin to feel good about wanting less?Â The â€œLess is Moreâ€ branding is a phrase that actually first came out of a poem written by Robert Browning in 1855, â€œAndrea del Sartoâ€:
Who strive â€“ you donâ€™t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) â€“ so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.
and further embellished and adopted Â by Architect and furniture designer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.Â The term â€œminimalistâ€ is often applied colloquially to designate anything which is spare or stripped to its essentials.Â Of course, â€œessentialsâ€ being the operative word and that concept beingÂ VERY different for different people!!Â For a great many of us, the challenges of the last couple of years have been loss of perceived or real value of investments, or loss of jobs, or loss of homes, or loss of income, or loss of security and more.Â So, how do we â€œroll with the punchesâ€?
I read a quote on my Facebook feed:Â â€œIf a problem can be solved by moneyâ€¦itâ€™s not a problemâ€.Â Iâ€™m not sure I totally agree, but I â€œgrokâ€ the basic concept.Â If all it takes is money to solve the problem, how bad can it be?Â Well, Iâ€™d have to turn to clients that lost their homes to foreclosure or short sales to get a complete read on that sentiment.Â Because money or a job or an opportunity could have alleviated a great amount of stress and grief for those people and their families!Â But, none the less, the real estate market and the economy â€œis what it isâ€ and making lemonade out of lemons might be the next step.Â
You hear and read a lot about being â€œgratefulâ€.Â Who can argue with that?Â Of course, being grateful for what we have and appreciative of those things that really have true and authentic meaning in our lives is essential to happiness, health and well-being.Â But, maybe we add a more pragmatic approach and actually research what would really give our lives meaning and how can we accomplish these things for the least amount of money spent?Â Always in real estate Iâ€™ve encouraged buyers toÂ â€spend the least you can spend and still be happyâ€.Â There is a different â€œset pointâ€ for accomplishing that for each individual, for each family situation and for each station in life.Â Since the economic conditions have given us a set of challenges, we might as well have fun planning the solutions.
Check out the book on the weird and wild side of Portland in â€œFugitives and Refugeesâ€by Chuck Palahniuk and joinÂ him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist.Â There is also a web site pageÂ on www.about.com regarding the â€œTop 9 Free Things to do in Portlandâ€:Â Free Stuff.Â Iâ€™ve beenÂ recently enjoying spending some of myÂ free time in Forest Park (Â Forest ParkÂ ), at the waterfrontÂ and the Saturday Market ( Tourist inÂ PortlandÂ ) and have shared my photos and experiences in recent Blogs!Â And, then on www.uptake.com you can read about â€œPortland Oregon, Cheap and Free Things to Do & Attractionsâ€ at Cheap or Free .Â On the www.virtualtourist.com site you have a list of Portland Things to DoÂ .Â InÂ 2007, the New York Times described Portland as â€œa full-fledged dining destinationâ€ currently enjoying its â€œgolden age of dining and drinkingâ€.Â In an effort to do our part for the local economy without breaking our pocketbooks, you can visit www.urbandrinks.com for a list of Happy Hours and whatâ€™s included at the discounted price.Â Whatâ€™s your favorite Happy Hour and why?Â (Iâ€™m always looking for new ideas)!Â Or what are other free or inexpensive venues in the greater Portland area?Â Iâ€™m looking at this as an opportunity to get to â€œvisitâ€ my town like a tourist and â€œvacation in my own backyardâ€.
2008 was the first year on record when U.S. house sizes actually stopped growing. This shift is indicative of a trend toward greener and more economical living.Â Maybe we can enjoy this opportunity and make it good for us, good for the earth and good for our pocketbooks.Â We can get healthier by spending more time outdoors or springing for an inexpensive gym membership.Â We can shop in our own closets.Â We can watch for sales and clip coupons.Â We can carpool, walk or ride a bike.Â We can curtail our energy consumption.Â We can revel in the challenge rather than wallow in the disappointment?Â Wellâ€¦we can try anywayâ€¦.