As I relax and watch re-runs of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Netflix while enter­tain­ing my seven month old son, I can’t help but won­der at how spoiled we are by all of these mod­ern conveniences—pre-made plas­tic toys, tele­vi­sions, Internet access, stream­ing video, cen­tral heat, dish­wash­ers, and dis­pos­able dia­pers, to name a hand­ful. First world prob­lems abound, but I won­der how many of these “prob­lems” are caused by our attach­ment to mod­ern con­ve­niences. Simplifying life will often reduce the num­ber of per­ceived prob­lems if not reduce the real prob­lems. After all, is a bro­ken dish­washer a prob­lem or a rea­son to remove it and add some extra draw­ers, or per­haps it is the impe­tus needed to remodel the kitchen and learn cabinet-making? That may be a stretch, but you see what I mean.

I love my Kindle as much as the next per­son.

That’s a lie. I love it more than the next per­son, but when it, or rather its bat­tery, gave up the ghost, I turned to my book­shelves to use a tra­di­tional book for read­ing. There’s just some­thing about hold­ing a writ­ten page…

This hol­i­day sea­son, look for ways to sim­plify your life, slow down, pull a book off the shelf, curl up with some hot cocoa or an eggnog, and learn how to repair that dish­washer, because the dishes are really start­ing to pile up, and I’m cer­tainly not going to wash them by hand.