Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday thoughts - Pursuit of the Simple Life

This journey that I find myself on, is not an easy one.

On the one hand, I do my best to return to simpler times, but on the other hand it's like being up a creek without a paddle.

In this day and age where everything is so dependent on technology, I often think that things have come NOT to simplify our lives, but to make them harder.  To distance people from each other, to create disharmony and heartache.

More often than not, I find that I want to completely remove myself from these things, from this way of life, and to dive even deeper into the simple.  The home, the family concept, the sometimes harder way of doing things but with so many more rewards.

So many times I am asked why.  Why do you want to go back to simple times?

Why would you want to wash dishes by hand instead of having the dishwasher do it? 
Why struggle with hanging clothes on the line when you can just throw them in the dryer?
Why would you want to make your own homemade products when they're in the store available to buy?
Why do you want to cook from scratch when you can just purchase everything ready to make?
Why do you want a homemade dishcloth?
Why make your own candles, or sew a quilt, or crochet a doily?

Why, Why, Why, Why!  Over and over I am asked this question.

In the beginning I felt like I was being attacked, questioned and that I felt I needed to defend myself and my thoughts and actions.  Like I had to explain or try to make people understand why I would rather do these things myself than fall into line with everyone else and go with the flow or the perfect world at your fingertips.

I have been thinking and mentally defining, for many years,  what a simple life means to me.   My goal is voluntary simplicity.

Some stuff has never made me happy.  Ok, I won't lie and say that I don't use modern things, of course I do, but it's never satisfied me completely.  In the moment you think "great, that is so helpful", but then I always found myself feeling unsatisfied, unhappy, low on the happiness meter. 

Day 28

Less is more.  I know, I know, for some it means getting rid of all those things that we fill our lives with.  Unnecessary things, I believe.

You know what captivates me?  Pictures of simple cottages with a house that is not cluttered with electronics and the latest gadgets.  THAT makes me happy.

I want to be able to look around my home and smile, and I want to be able to look at what surrounds me and know exactly where it came from and how it got here.  The handmade things by me or others, knowing that time and effort and much love went into them.

Living a simple life doesn't mean you have to pack up and move to the middle of nowhere.  Though I would be remiss if I said that is not my dream, to live in the country, to have a garden, to have chickens and a cow for fresh milk and fields to run through.

But for now, it means being happy where I am.  Being content with what I have.

More specifically, feeling like I'm living for God, and for me, and for my family.  That I'm not just looking for the easy way out and for the things that are supposed to make my life easier.

I would rather take more time, do things slowly and really be able to appreciate the time I put into them.

So onwards and forwards.  I'll get there some day, but I'm having a blast right now, learning the skills that pioneer women excelled at.

Bread baking, pie making, candle making, quilt making, braiding a rug, canning and preserving.......making do.

Do you live a simple life?  What does it mean for you?


NITA said...

That's what I LOVE about are such a simple person always making something home made & caring for your family...I have been so stressed trying to sell our house & retirement dependent on when it sells, I need to relax & enjoy the simple things in life...
Aunt Nita

Anita Philipps said...

I to am trying to get back to a simple life. It is soooo hard sometimes. Electronics are helpful and convenient. But they also can be such a distraction. I love your words of wisdom and look forward to your encouragement.

Gretchen {NewFashionedMom} said...

I could have written this post, however you do such a fabulous job of pulling the words out that I can't.

I feel exactly the same, as if handwashing dishes is somehow the right thing to do.

You're words make sense to me. At one point, I want a home in the country, somewhere with lush soil and shade and a huge garden. Right now, the Army has our butts, but I thin we'll get there. I hope... I pray :)

Heather said...

Wow...I feel the same way.

autumnesf said...

Half of those questions could be answered with one word: poison. Whether its poisoning the body, the brain or the soul, our modern life and the corporations that run it are not our for our best interests. Anyone that believes otherwise lives in denial or oblivion. Making simple changes back to simple methods often strips the poisons right out of our lives. And that makes the extra "work" so worth it.

Wendi said...

Love this post! I am striving to live a life that is simple. Not always easy in a society that seems to make things complicated.

Have a great week!

Suellen aka Suzy said...

I think I live a simple life because I was forced into it (no money for all the trappings, don't have credit cards and don't want them). For me, it means that I can enjoy my life without a lot of stress about paying for unnecessary things. Yes, I have a computer, TV, smartphone, MP3 Player etc, but I'm not running out to buy the newest version of anything. I grew up with a grandmother and mother who cooked everything from scratch; my grandmother had a wringer washer up into her 70's. And I never saw a dishwasher until I was in my 20's ( me, myself, and I was the dishwasher much of the time until then). I do like dishwashers and other modern appliances but I've lived without them before and I could do so again. My parents and grandparents heated their houses with wood, and I've returned to that because its cheaper and warmer.