I have a vision of my ideal simple life, and a lot of doubt that I'll ever fully realize that vision. It includes things like plenty of space for chickens to roam free and provide our eggs, a huge garden and fruit trees to provide all of our produce, a space devoted to canning and food preservation, goats to provide milk for making cheese and soap, plenty of time to sew our own clothing, to bake every loaf of bread from scratch, and to fully engage and teach my children.
Hey, I dream big, okay?
Back here on earth, I have a career that I value and that I'm not looking to give up. I have a house on modest lot in the city. I need permission from my neighbors (who I can often wave to in their kitchen when I am in mine) to have a few chickens. I have a small garden and a fear of canning. So while I'm a long way off from my idealized "simple life," I recognize the steps I've already taken, and those that I can continue to take, to make simplifying a journey rather than a destination.
First, I strive to maintain mindfulness with the values I embrace, many of which have led me to live more simply. In particular, my commitment to conservation and environmental responsibility have resulted in numerous changes that make life more simple, from breast feeding, to composting, to working to eliminate paper products from our daily life.
Second, I have made an effort to focus my time on energy on people and commitments that bring joy and passion to my life. I have learned to say "no" to avoid spreading myself too thin and to ensure that I have more time for the things in life that are most important to me.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, I have begun to truly build my "village," and have learned to reach out and ask for help when I need it. Seeking out and embracing like-minded friends and growing my relationships with my family has been invaluable in living more simply. I have friends I can count on to lend me a sewing machine, family I can count on to babysit (for free!) on short notice, friends who will trade me their canning knowledge for some baked goods, and so on.
Every year, I get a little bit closer to living as simply as I'd like to. There are setbacks and obstacles that pop up unexpectedly, but overall, I think I'm headed in the right direction!
Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Continue your reading by clicking the links of this month's posts on what simple living means to our participants. We hope you will join us next month, as we discuss new beginnings!
- The Moments In Between - Amber from Heart Wanderings takes her yoga practice off the mat to focus on the ordinary moments which make mothering magical.
- Simple living - what it looks like to me - Does simple living mean we have to be selfish? And what does selfish mean anyway? Mrs Green from Little Green Blog ponders in search of a more simple life...
- A Simple Life is a Peaceful Life, For Me - Destany at They Are All of Me writes how simplicity is a very necessary part of her daily function and crucial for coping with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Getting Back to the Basics - Minimalism was the first step toward living simply for Momma Jorje. Now she's got big plans on getting back to the basics of living in order to live a simple, healthy, family-focused lifestyle.
- Simplicity - What living simply means to sustainablemum and how it is woven into the fabric of daily life.
- Simply Living - Sophelia of Sophelia's Adventures in Japan writes about her reluctance to tighten her budget after years of living in poverty, but also her anticipation of the pleasures of simplifying her daily life as she and her husband prepare to adopt a child in Japan.
- The Simple Life: A Work in Progress - Joella at Fine and Fair ponders her idealized vision of simple living and discusses the steps she's taking to get closer to it.
- Simple Living is Simply Living - At Living Peacefully with Children, Bart and Mandy hope to help their children focus on what is truly important by simply living.
- Happiness, not Greatness - Lauren at Hobo Mama discovered that ambitions got in the way of simply being.
- Shifting to Simplicity - At Authentic Parenting, Laura shares a couple of ways in which she tries to simplify her life.