Friday, March 23, 2007

On Community and Simplicity

In the beginning, I conceived the Seven Things Project as a community effort, something I would do along with other people who were trying to make similar simplifying efforts. Toward that end, I created a ring, and also set up a link list on the right side of this page of people who were participating (some of whom did not join the ring). [One thing I've learned? I suck at updating my template.] I also invited people to leave comments on my Saturday Sevens to let the rest of us know if they had a Saturday Seven up.

I have to say that it has been enormously encouraging for me personally to have you readers out there, keeping up with my journey and struggles, and making helpful comments. It keeps me going, it keeps me honest. I really think this simplicity thing is so much harder to do alone. Without community, I think it is much easier to lapse into discouragement and despair (if the struggle feels too great) or smugness, pride, and looking down on others (if the effort feels "successful"). Alone, it is too easy to either give up or to feel elite and self-congratulatory. Community, if it is supportive, encouraging, nurturing, and honest, provides the corrective towards the tendencies in either direction.

I've noticed lately that I have a new influx of readers, and new people joining the ring. I think it's time to take new steps towards making this conversation more communal. I'm going to remove the link list on the right because: a) I can't seem to keep it current; and b) not everyone on the list does the Seven Things (those blogs will remain in the ring, though, unless they choose otherwise - though I have removed blogs from the ring that either don't have the code or have disappeared entirely). Instead, I'm going to start doing Mr. Linky every Saturday. That way, if you are doing a Saturday Seven, you can sign Mr. Linky and everyone else can see that your list is up, and can go check it out. I should've thought of this a long time ago, but I'm slow on things like this. It only recently occurred to me to try it, and it is far easier than I thought it would be.

As for me, I'm out of town right now and won't be doing my Saturday Seven tomorrow. I am going on retreat this afternoon through next Thursday, at Green Bough House of Prayer in central Georgia. Simplicity is a big focus there (it is a part of their Rule of Life, which I took vows to live in my own life seven years ago). So I hope to get renewed energy and focus for my journey towards simplicity.

Anyway, since I will be offline for the next several days (just in time for Global Shut Down Day, which is tomorrow!), I'm going to go ahead and put Mr. Linky up today. If and when you have your Saturday Seven posted (or really, any musings about simplicity, decluttering, letting go), please add your link. I'll check back in after I return next Thursday.


Blogger Ellen said...

Dear Earthchick - thanks for taking all the time with this project. I find your posts are much more indepth than anything I've attempted with my Saturday Seven. I'm not sure I'm ready for that amount of introspection but I really enjoy your writings. I'm the one who told Brenday Dayne at Cast On about you and I hope her podcast mention is helping spread the word. Enjoy your time away!

5:29 PM  

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