Living simply was something I experienced as a child but lost somewhere on the journey to adulthood. It included playing in the backyard, gardening with my dad, cooking with mom, and loving on my grandparents. We climbed trees, visited with the neighbors, picnicked on Saturdays and went to church on Sundays.
As a young girl, I remember the large garden in our backyard. Dad used post hole diggers to make room for the long poles, then he used natural twine to make his own trellis between the poles. Beans would climb the up the strands, and in the summer, you could smell the twine baking in the hot sun.
We planted corn on the left side. The silk tassels tickled my chin as I’d carry arms full up to the back deck. We’d sit out there and shuck it then Mom would boil it for dinner.
In the summers, we’d pick berries, and with purple fingers, prepare them for freezing or canning. Canning wasn’t limited to jam but also included spaghetti sauce and pickles, lots and lots of pickles.
Fall brought with it leaf raking and jumping in piles in the front yard. We talked with neighbors as we played outside on the weekends–that was easy to do because you didn’t have to yell over leaf blowers.
In the winter, we sat in our kitchen window and watched the birds feed on pine cones covered in peanut butter and bird seed. Before upcycling was fashionable, Mom propped our Christmas tree against the the dogwood outside our kitchen so birds could perch and eat and keep warm.
Simplicity seemed to go her merry way as I entered college to prepare for my professional career. Upon moving into the real world and learning real life lessons, Simplicity definitely moved beyond my reach.
At 40, I was determined to reconnect with Simplicity–having cancer and midlife occur in the same year will do that to you. Thankfully, I have found her again, and here is what I’ve learned:
- Simple living is available to anyone who is willing to make it a priority.
- Living simply doesn’t mean you give up important things, it means you find out what is truly important to you.
- Simplicity involves slowing down, appreciating the baby steps, and being patient.
- “Simple” can be synonymous with “mindful” or “intentional.”
- Simple living includes reconnecting with traditions and practices that bring you peace.
- Living simply includes an appreciation for nature/creation and our role in it.
“Simple living” is more than a catch phrase on a magazine cover. For most adults, it can mean to “just do” a little less and “just be” a little more, to get back to the basics or go “old school.” Turn off the technology, use tools or equipment that doesn’t require electricity or gas, and clean out the clutter, then be ready–you won’t believe the amazing gifts that will be waiting for you.