Sigh of relief on health reform and getting rid of stuff

Sigh of relief

What a relief that the mandate provision within health reform was upheld by the Supreme Court. The fact that it was upheld as a tax and not under commerce wasn’t ideal. But it beats the alternatives. The decision restores some of my confidence in the Supreme Court. That decision will provide health care access for an additional 30 million who currently are without it. Jon Oberlander, professor at our School and the School of Medicine, has been a great voice of reason in explaining what the Supreme Court decision means. So has the Association of Schools of Public Health.

Photo: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

Getting rid of stuff

This isn’t going to be a post about cleaning closets although I could go on at length about that. Yesterday, in the 100-plus degree weather, I was cleaning plants out of our front garden beds. (Eventually, I recruited my husband to help.) I don’t like it when it’s not obvious where one stops and another starts. I like definition. As we removed plants, we could see individual plants in their intensity and individuality. They should do better too, because they’ll get more sunlight. I thought about things that get better when clutter is removed. Sentences become crisper when excess words are pruned. Gustave Flaubert wrote about le mot juste, the right word. That means stripping away excess words. A room looks cleaner and more inviting when clutter is removed (although many would disagree). We tend to accumulate stuff (in the U.S.). Most of us aren’t pathologic about it, but we accumulate. Papers, clothes, mementos, emails, rooms, cars, houses – they all add up. All that stuff bulks us up. It’s like portion sizes; we think we need more. I’m trying to get rid of stuff.

From the Good News Network: “And when I’ve gotten rid of clutter, I’m freed. I can fully appreciate life as it happens.”

Happy Monday.

Barbara

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