Category Archives: Not So Perfect Life

Simply Imperfect.

Wabi-Sabi Weekend: Haul Out the Holly (And Put It Away Again)

On Wabi-Sabi Weekends, I post excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House.

“He who knows he has enough is rich.” – Lao-tzu

Wabi-sabi’s complicated two-step of spacious but not stark, comforting but not cluttered, requires nurturing and refinement.

Slowly, over time, you pare down your possessions. You might live for years with three candles, a lamp and a bowl on a side table, then one day realize that removing the candles lets the lamp’s clean lines … Continue reading

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Wabi-Sabi Weekend: Christmas Ease

On Wabi-Sabi Weekends, I post excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House.

“After all, what is your hosts’ purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.”—P.J. O’Rourke

I wanted to give my kids the elaborate Christmas Eve memories that my mom had given my siblings and me. When I was growing up, we … Continue reading

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The Things We Avoid, Like Christmas and Cancer

“I want to do Christmasy stuff,” my friend Jenny texted me. “Keep me in the loop!”

“Ha ha, I don’t!” I texted back. “Maybe you will inspire me.”

I didn’t haul out the bins full of Christmas things last year because my kids spent the holiday at their dad’s house, where there’s plenty of Christmas going on. My kids weren’t happy with our undecked house, and I had no good answer when they asked what had happened to my Christmas … Continue reading

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Home-Brewed Beer for Christmas

In my dark winter

Lying ill, at last I ask

How fares my neighbor

–Basho

My Facebook friends’ well-intentioned reminders to be thankful last week annoyed the hell out of me. They have so much to be thankful for, and I’ve been stuck on the empty side of the half-glass. During this holiday of abundance—my first Christmas as a parent without a paycheck—I’ve been counting reasons to feel sorry for … Continue reading

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Sauca, Karma and Cleaning Mats with Carole King

I’m in a 10-month-long yoga teacher training. We’re studying anatomy, Sanskrit and sutras, and brain chemistry. The training is helping me align my physical postures and mental perspective, but right now I’m learning the most about myself from cleaning the new yoga studio in my neighborhood.

I clean once a week in exchange for unlimited classes. The other day I told Nikki, one of the studio owners, that it’s probably the most honest thing I do all … Continue reading

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Stepping Away from the Mirrors to Figure Out Who I Am

I cleaned the yoga studio this week during the afternoon, when people were around, instead of at night, all alone, like I usually do. It was rough for me.

I had to get over myself again and again because my head wouldn’t shut up about how far I’ve fallen because I’m the cleaning help. I wanted everyone to know that this manual labor is a temporary thing for me and that for decades I paid other people to clean … Continue reading

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Hundred Dollar Holiday: A Wabi-Sabi Solution

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!” — How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It’s that time of year. I feel the madness building.

Christmas is coming, and I don’t want to.

I was once the Christmas Queen, so eager to pull out the bins full of decorations and ornaments as soon as the last Thanksgiving dish was wiped clean. I decorated every room, baked several kinds of cookies and other goodies, … Continue reading

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Losing My Perfection, Barking Up a New Tree

Writing blogs is a nightmare for a perfection junkie. Write it and publish it, without dissecting every. last. word? Let fly with typos and half-formed thoughts? It has always seemed like a terrible idea to me.

So when I spotted this cartoon on a card in an Austin, Texas, boutique a couple weeks ago, it made me laugh and destroyed all the momentum I’d built toward this post. The dogs set me back a couple of weeks…not that it … Continue reading

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