Archive | April 2013

     I thought I would talk about

     I thought I would talk about my interest in simplicity. It came about through a variety of factors: overwhelm, the desire to move, and business school. The overwhelm comes from caring for my husband who has Huntington’s Disease and had cancer the fall of 2008, going to school, and trying to work to get experience. The desire to move comes from never wanting to spend my golden years shoveling snow, thinking my husband was going to pass a few years ago, and the job situation in Michigan.

Simplicity, in a Zen aesthetic and Toyota-esque way, is about function. Japan has the “5 S system,” which is:

1.Seiri- set 

2.Seiton- sort

3.Seiso- shine 

4.Seiketsu- standardize

5.Shitsuke -sustain.


It is all about having everything you need at your fingertips and nothing else. Japanese work stations will have all the necessary tools, neatly arranged, and nothing else on the work surface. A manager can walk past and instantly know if a worker needs more of something—or less.

            The challenge of the system is not on the shoulders of the workers, but on management’s. That is how it should be. Management is all about knowing what the workers need and making certain they have instant access to it. It is about integration—having all departments working efficiently with the necessary tools and information at hand. It sounds so simple and it is, for the line workers. The burden is on the upper-level people to come up with the vision, goals, strategies, and details for every employee, and then to supply those needs to meet the goals, etc.

            For the individual, you are the manager of your own life. I have found that there is no point in organizing crap, even my own. I have been, probably too slowly, getting rid of things I am certain I will not need and am unwilling to pack up, stick in a U-Haul, drive to Virginia, unload from the truck, and unpack. And I need specific goals, etc. However, the system has principles that are universally applicable: knowing what is needed, having as few distractions as possible, and efficiency of movement. Visual and practical simplicity require a quite a bit of prior thinking. It’s like the fashion model that takes 3 hours to look effortlessly beautiful. It doesn’t just happen or fall from the sky, wholly finished and flawless. The physical effort is the very last step of the process. The first step is knowing what you want.


The beginning

Hello, Everyone or No One,

I am betwixt and between. I have a new MBA in Strategic Management and all of the issues of a new college grad in her 20s. I am also married to a GM/UAW retiree on disability, with all the issues that go along with being retired and on Social Security.I come from a working class and now have a professional degree. I live in Michigan, but am planning to move to Virginia. I have been Protestant and Eastern Orthodox, but now do not know what I believe. I feel semi-Buddhist.

Every aspect of my life requires in-depth explanation, but every explanation is a story and I no longer want to invest myself into yet another self-image. They all feel completely made-up. Perhaps this journal is my venting of the various personality themes I have embraced and rejected.

What I desire is simplicity, perhaps in the Zen fashion. However, I see and feel the inter-connectedness of all things, which makes everything seem complicated. I distrust simplistic solution to complex problems. Many aspects of reality or experience must be ignored in order to believe in pat solutions to today’s problems.

What I believe is that everyone has the right to do what they want to do, which includes imposing consequences on each other’s behavior. We all have the right to respond to others’ behavior as we see fit. Freedom and responsibility necessarily go together. Freedom without responsibility is license; responsibility without freedom is slavery. When one is reduced, the other is in peril.

And, yes, I am as nerdy as the picture makes me look. I need to find other pics of myself from others to upload, as the only digital camera I possess is on my laptop. I just thought anyone looking at my blog should see who the author is. 🙂Image