Clutter Less, Inspire More


By Ann Christoph


It’s piled here in my living room — all the notes and documents for my unfinished South Laguna history book project, the souvenirs from the Japan trip, still not organized. At the office are other notebooks and files; for jobs, product literature, Laguna Beach issues…The Pearl Street historical house appeal we worked on makes a four-inch stack.  There’s the South Laguna Community Garden, open space preservation…issue after issue marches through my office and my life, leaving a historical paper trail.


I marvel when I visit houses where the shelves are nearly empty except for a few carefully chosen art pieces. Everything is serenely organized and uncluttered. How do they do that? Where do they keep their history? And what is left to do tomorrow?


Ken Frank achieved a great deal, yet whenever I visited his office his desk would be clean. Where was what he was working on? I never found out. It was one of the many mysteries of Ken.


As I approach this coming year I expect to sort this out–organize and complete, unclutter, while saving what is important.


I am grateful for a whole new year to give another shot at conquering deficiencies and accomplishing goals.


As a community we have an opportunity to look ahead to a refreshing and good-spirited year, working on making our town even better.


Building on the unifying theme of the recent council election, we can continue to make decisions in a non-politicized atmosphere, solving problems with a positive spirit.


How well we function when rain and floods come!  Our town was back in business within 24 hours, to the amazement of the national media.  City and citizens worked together to make this happen.


How gratefully we receive the open space gifts of the past year, and the opportunity to restore our ocean environment with the comprehensive marine life preserve. City and citizens worked together on these accomplishments.


Yet we face continuing water pollution issues, decisions on our sewer system, resolving the plan for the village entrance, preserving the remaining natural open space, deciding how best to accomplish historical preservation, and continuing the effort to maintain Laguna’s special character.


There is so much to do and so little time.


Let’s spend it accomplishing good things in our community, removing the clutter of worry and complaint, working with enthusiasm and enjoying each other’s company.


Landscape architect Ann Christoph is a former mayor.



































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