What Is Simple Living To Me ......Thinking Out Loud.....( Thinking Allowed)

This is Hubby's sister's property in NW New South Wales.

I have really been thinking about what I mean when I say that we live a simple life. Simplicity is different for every person. For some it may be as little as a way of thinking or philosophy whilst for others it may mean complete self sufficiency. We are all at different stages and phases in our lives and no one way is correct. So my question to you is.... if you say you live simply, how do you define it ?

Over the years since our first child was born we seem to phase in and out of our simple living mode. It seems that we are on track for a while then slowly drift off the path until we have totally lost the plot and then we have a giant revamp and get it all back on track again.

When we first started trying to be more frugal and live a bit more old fashioned I used to joke about how I could close the front gate and feel as though I was on 30,000 acres. We used to laugh and say our family motto was "peace, love and vegetables".

Over time the idea of simplicity has changed somewhat, particularly as the children got older. When I think of living simply now I think of the following things that suit us as a family:

1. Cooking from scratch - for that 'old fashioned feeling', less food additives and much cheaper and healthier.

2. Working with a cash budget

3. Planning Menus

4. Not watching commercial TV - minimising advertising exposure

5. Playing together as a family

6. Living in a home that we own - not living beyond our means

7. Working part time

8. Growing what we can

9. Reducing belongings and clutter

10. Eating locally where possible

11. Having a grocery stockpile

12. Making our own bread

13. Composting our food scraps

14. Riding our bicycles instead of using the car

15. Thinking before we buy anything

The list goes on. I guess the biggest thing for me is a sense of control. Not feeling as though we are adrift in the ocean being knocked around by every wave that comes in.

I believe that when you are living a life authentic to your inner values you will experience a sense of peace. Once you have this feeling, it is easy to know when you go off the path and it's great to have that sense of peace return when you are back on track.

I would love to know your thoughts on this. Drop me a line.


Ali said...

My "simple living" ideas are similar to yours;
* growing what we can to eat
* recycling, reduciing, reusing
* composting, worm farm
* chooks
* water conservation
* not keeing up with the Joneses but if we need something we buy it after researching to get best possible price
* beginning to cook more from scratch
* green cleaning
* being "aware" of all consumptions and purchases
* declttering ~ ongoing process
* stockpiling items on special to reduce the amount of groceries that I need to ever pay full price for. etc.etc.

For me living more simply is also about being at peace/happy with my/our family's way of life and enjoying it :)

We do though go on holidays including overseas but that's our choice to "see the world" and hubbie does have a V8 car but he works hard, earns great money and it's his choice to have it!! I may not like the V8 and always talk about getting a hybrid car but I can't force my choices on J!

brad said...

That's a good list. Helps you see where you are and why.

Jill said...

What a great post, these are many of things I will be working on this year, although I do enjoy watching the tele in the evening, although I am usually knitting at the same time, or one eye on the tele and one eye on my cookbooks!

belinda said...

For me simple living is about living deliberately.

I work to deliberately use all the resources that I have available to increase the self reliance and happiness of my family while minimising our adverse impacts on the environment.

I always have a list of hot spots that I am concentrating on similar to yours and Ali's but the above statement is what I use to prioritise if I feel I am loosing the way.

Kind Regards

The Tin House said...

One of the reasons I love reading other people's thoughts on simple living is the way you are able to articulate some of the processes happening here in our lives. Yes, our simple lives are cyclical too. You do stray, and that sick and stressed feeling returns until you get back on the bike. But as your first commentator (can't read the name) suggests, simple living can really just be about being at peace with the choices made. A thoughtful piece - thanks for writing it.