Simple living is a term that has come to mean something different to me then when I first started reading about it. I've read many of the back to the land books and leaving the rat race books. I was fasinated with the self-sufficiency of the Quakers, Shakers and Amish. I wanted to move to the country, raise chickens and plant a garden. I loved Gladys Tabor books and wanted to live her life. However I married a man who was not cut out for that lifestyle, so it was just a dream. I did try my hand at a tiny garden, baking bread and other things but they were more of a hobby than a lifestyle.
Many years later I got the chance to do some of this and found out it was a lot of hard work and I was no longer young enough or fit enough. I still admired the people that could do it. I began to see I was living a simple life in other ways.
This last year I discovered a blog that expressed a lot of what I felt simple living was to me. Sadly High Desert Home is no longer blogging but her blog is still up to read for a while.
Leaning to say no was something I had to learn to do when I couldn't keep up with my home and outside obligations. Finally I said I'm taking back my time and doing what I love, taking care of my home and my family. As they grew up I branched out a bit but always keeping in mind my priorities. I don't let other people or things take over my life.
I've learned over the years what I'm good at, what I'm interested in and I've stopped trying to be and do what other people think I should do or be. It doesn't make people very happy, but it has freed me to be myself. I didn't even know who I was for many years.
I often talk about keeping my life simple and what I mean by that is that I don't fill my life up with meaningless stuff. I know what my priorities are. I've found a sence of peace and contentment in focusing on a few things. Just like clutter creeps into your house, it can creep into your life. Continuing to look at what's important to you and getting rid of what isn't will keep your life simple.
Image from Allposters