Gretchen Rubin

Are You More Drawn to Simplicity or to Abundance?

Are You More Drawn to Simplicity or to Abundance?

I love dividing the world into categories. Abstainers and moderators. Radiators and drains. Leopards and alchemists. Marathoners and sprinters (formerly known as "tortoises and hares"--I like this terminology better, how about you?)

I've come up with a new distinction, but I'm still turning it over in my mind. I'm not sure it works out...I would love to hear your response.

A conversation between two friends, at my children's literature reading group meeting, inspired me to notice this.

One friend said, "I always want to feel empty," and a friend responded, "I always want to feel full." (They were speaking metaphorically.)

I thought this was just about the most interesting pair of remarks that I'd ever heard. I wasn't able to pursue this conversation at the time, but I plan to.

In the meantime, it got me thinking: is this a distinction?

Does one group--I'll call them the simplicity lovers--prefer to have less, subtraction, emptiness, bare surfaces, few choices, spare supplies--one tube of toothpaste? Does this go with a love of stillness?

And does another group--I'll call them abundance lovers--prefer to have more, fullness, overflow, collections, many choices, ample supplies--five tubes of toothpaste? Does this go with a love of buzz?

What do you think of these two categories--agree or disagree? If it strikes a chord with you, what group do you identify with? I put myself in the simplicity lovers category.

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