Simplifying, Lazy or Agoraphobic?

Slowing down and simplifying have been “trending” in the past few years. (When did “trend” become a verb?) Numerous articles, books and magazines are available to help people slow down and live more simply.

Even though it may seem contradictory, despite my over-scheduled radical retirement and my more recent decision to do it if it’s something I want to do, I have always stopped to smell the roses. My phone is full of pictures of flowers, leaves, bird houses, flowing water and the like that I have snapped on walks.

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4-17 2

4-17 1




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I love going out with my granddaughter and stopping to pick rain lilies or observe a dead possum in the street.

rain lilies

rain lilies




Chloe was fascinated with this, so I took the photo and then called 311 for dead animal pickup

Chloe was fascinated with this, so I took the photo and then called 311 for dead animal pickup










So I embrace the movement to slow down and simplify—without need of books and magazines.

But since my pharmaceutical and therapeutic epiphany, I am slowing and simplifying even more. I schedule fewer events. After many years of attending the Austin International Poetry Festival, I skipped this year. The third annual Mom Prom is coming up. For the first one, I wore my 15-year-old hot pink wedding dress, and soon after the party gave it, and the dyed-to-match shoes, away. Last year those women of a certain age in their 40-year-old bridesmaids’ dresses seemed pathetic with their flabby backs and silly headwear. Have I also lost my sense of whimsy? Maybe, but I’m skipping it this year (and since it’s for a cause I totally support, Planned Parenthood, I made a contribution).

My friend Lissa looks mah-velous, but my dress should have been left in the 90s. I had already ditched the shoes by then.

My friend Lissa looks mah-velous, but my dress should have been left in the 90s. I had already ditched the shoes by then.

This is my dilemma: am I slowing because I prefer savoring all that I do; because I am calmer for my family; because it reduces my stress levels not to have something scheduled nearly every day? Or am I getting lazy? I love not dashing off to an appointment or engagement unless it’s necessary or desirable. (I still go to choir practice, and I will attend a bridal shower this week for one of the women from my Montevideo “posse.” )

Another reason I go out less is the hassle of dealing with traffic, parking, and overcrowded Austin  events.

Could this be a symptom of agoraphobia? Between staying home and going out, my default is staying home. Using my granny obligations as an excuse, I skip things I might otherwise do. After I take Chloe home from church on Sundays I burrow into our nest to read the Sunday paper, watch (recorded) CBS Sunday Morning and fix a nice meal.

It may be a factor of age. A friend says we become more attached to home as we get older, and I absolutely love being at home. After a busy weekend I look forward to Monday and a perfectly ordinary day: working out, doing laundry, sweeping, writing or working on a creative project, practicing music, studying French, reading, preparing meals, maybe watching TV or a movie in the evening. If every day were like that I might get bored, but right now I am deeply happy with things as they are. I guess I’ll go with the “simple” explanation. Or accept being a little lazy, a bit agoraphobic—for now.


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