I just spent a relaxing hour by the subdivision pool, watching the bigger boys play and reading a little further in Gary Cross' An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America. If you like history and have an inherent suspicion that we have more junk than we need, this is a great read.

The book makes one think about what we have and why we got it. It's awakening questions in me about my own expectations in life. There seems to be some link between how much I have and how little I care about it. Cross quotes Simon Patten as writing "To have a high standard of living means to enjoy a pleasure intensely and to tire of it quickly."

Moving to Kansas City, for me, is partially about learning to be simply happy, or happy simply (whatever is grammatically correct here). It will mean giving some things up - not so much in possessions but in activity. The busy activity that I have relished for the past few years is going to shift...I'm sure the hours will be as long, but the focus will be more distinct. I'm looking forward to moving from being a floodlight to a laser. Time and simplicity will tell.

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