One of the most common questions I get in my inbox is "why do you want to live such a simple life, what is it about it that attracts you so much?".
I think it's no secret that I've strived for many years, to live a simpler life.
Not because I don't like technology or the advances that have been made in our way of living, but honestly I'm of the opinion that while all these ways to make life simpler may be great for some, for me, not so much.
I find that it's taken away from a our way of being and most importantly from personal relationships.
The written word is almost non existent, when was the last time you actually sat down and put pen to paper to write a letter to someone???
In a day and age where communicating has become dependent on texting, facebooking, emailing, you really have to work hard at staying in touch with someone....face to face.
There is more joy in pursuing less than pursuing more.
But those are not the only reasons why I yearn for simpler times.
I am fascinated with the Amish, and most will laugh and think I'm crazy for being enamored by a way of living that revolves around no electricity and sometimes no indoor plumbing, no cellphones, no driving, no make up or pretty clothes.
See, that doesn't bother me one bit, because I don't think that my family's well being is measured by all of the things that we DO have and have access to. I tend to think we're missing out.
One of the things that most draws me to the Amish ways is the family life, the faith, the love for God and church and community.
The simple meals made from the heart and a home that is not overloaded with material things, but simple, necessary items.
Why the need for so many things around us? Why the need for a house filled with the latest gadgets, the best furniture, the flashiest of clothes?
I'm not here to judge anyone, I'm here to talk from the heart and for myself, and to hopefully answer the questions that have been asked many times.
First and foremost, my heart knows that possession doesn't equal joy.
And secondly....I don't have to live exactly like the Amish or the Pioneers, to live a self sustaining simpler life.
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Basho
I think it's also why I'm so pulled to country/primitive decorating. I don't like modern stuff, I don't even like Ikea. I know, shocking. But it's not my style at all. I honestly sometimes think I was born in the wrong era and am stuck here trying to make do.
So, to answer your questions about what attracts me to the simpler way of life, it's everything about it. The relationships, the time spent together as a family doing chores, the sitting down for dinner and talking, really talking, about the day. It's the growing of our own food, the making of fresh homemade filling meals. It's sitting in a modest simple living room with lit candles and crocheted blankets, and kerosene lamps on the table....and a fire burning.
Appreciating each other, appreciating the little we have and knowing that we worked hard for it, nothing was given to us on a silver platter and nothing we have is taken for granted.
My ideas for a simplified life are:
Simple food - fresh ingredients preferably home grown, made from scratch, little processed food as possible.
Simple personal care - I don't need a dozen expensive lotions and potions, or the latest make up that is ridiculously overpriced.
Simple home cleaning products - homemade laundry detergent, homemade vinegar cleaning mixture etc.
Simple fun - board games, playing outside, riding bikes, taking walks, going to the library, we do all of these together as a family and we love it.
I'm in no way condemning the way others live, nor am I saying that MY way of thinking is the right way. I'm merely explaining why I feel the way I do and why we live the way we do.
Our dream is to live in a country home with acreage that we can use to grow our own food. We are not afraid of hard work, what we ARE afraid of is living a life so fast paced and so packed of non essential things that we will lose ourselves or pull apart as a family.
So we do what we can to live simply, and it's an ongoing journey, one which I'm sure we will never completely achieve.
It's not that I don't like the internet, or phones, dishwashers, and not having to worry about washing clothes in the creek. I do like it, I just don't think that I should become so dependent on it that I don't know how to do anything without these things.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris
Image credit: The Watering Can on Chair by Cecile Baird