This reoccurring theme and interest revolves around the word "simple". An adjective defined as "easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty." A beautiful term horribly undervalued by it's synonyms "plain; homely; unsophisticated; naive; artless." So, disregard those often associated words and focus on the definition. Namely, the "presenting no difficulty" part. No difficulty...wow...that sounds so beautiful to me.
Take a minute to think of all the difficult things you have going on in your life (stay with me...I will eventually make a point:). A few of your challenges may include: a problem at your job/work; a new baby who keeps you sleep deprived; a challenging child; financial struggles; depression; a failing relationship; a sick parent...and on and on. The above difficulties are often beyond your control. Life is hard, right?
Well, let's consider some more things that present difficulty in your life. Allow me to share some of my own current difficulties.
-I do not have a dishwasher and my dishes are constantly piled up in disgusting stacks of crusty plates and countless utensils.
-My laundry is never, and I do mean NEVER done. There's always a mountain of laundry to wash and another mountain to fold.
-Toys litter the floors of my home and I'm constantly stepping on hot wheels, blocks, and miniature dinosaurs.
-After I've stepped on the above kid paraphernalia, I stumble over a pair of shoes.
-After I stumble over the shoes, I fall into my desk chair and face the pile of "to be filed" documents that seems to reproduce faster than any Mormon family (Yeah, I know...that statement wasn't P.C., but I'm Mormon...so it's allowed).
-Everywhere I look, there is a mess, a chore to be done, a task I never get to, a closet to be organized.
I run myself ragged shuttling my kids to piano, dance, and church activities. I squeeze in frequent trips to the grocery store to buy healthy snacks for the kids that never get eaten and fresh produce that spoils in the fridge. I then fret over wasting so much and the nutrition I imagine my kids to be missing. I feel ever deprived of yummy treats because I'm always trying to eat less and workout more. Which, by the way, makes my muscles ache and my mood brooding. My refrigerator rarely gets cleaned out and my windows never get washed. And don't even get me started on the state of my car's interior. Let's wrap up this never ending list of challenges with the fact that I rarely have time with my husband (med school's a beast) and when I could spend time with him, I'm trying to tackle the above list.
(At this point, you may think I'm a giant rambling whiner, and you'd be right, but I promise there will be a point).
This chaotic state of affairs has been going on for, well, ever and it leaves me feeling overwhelmed and like I'm missing something that other people understand. Other people have clean houses, right? Other people aren't late for everything and eat all their produce.
On a day that I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and loserish (yes...it's a word...look it up...it's in the dictionary...the urban one), I word spewed to my husband, "I wish things weren't so difficult. That life was more simple."
Those words echoed in my head for the rest of the day and my heart started craving days that presented no difficulty. Days that weren't overwhelming. Days that were simple.
For over a month now, I've been thinking of my difficulties in a new light. I'll look at my enormous pile of nasty dishes and think to myself, "How amazing would it be if I only had six plates, six forks, six bowls? Then, I would have fewer dishes to wash." As I move a giant pile of clean, unfolded towels off my bed at night, I have a great desire for ONE shelf of neatly folded white towels. When I pick up the clothes littering my kid's bedroom floor, my thoughts remain along the same lines. "What if my kids had less clothing? Then I would do less laundry!" Then I get carried away in day dreams of less shoes, less paper work, less toys, less clutter, less pillows and linens. Less fast food wrappers littering the floor of my car which means fewer trips to restaurants leading to better health, more money, and less guilt. My mind can't stop spinning around thoughts of how much time and energy I would save cleaning, folding, fretting, and washing if I simplified my life.
Here's the point (you've earned it): Life presents enough difficulties and I don't need to create even more by living excessively, ineffectively, and wastefully. I need to live a more simple life.
American culture is one of excess. Our biggest problems revolve around too much food, too much house to clean, too many cars to maintain, too many toys to pick up and dishes too wash. Internet, cable, and cell phone bills to pay. Video games, internet social media, and celebrities to distract us. How sad for us. We've really got it bad, haven't we?
|Zero Waste Home Blog|
I feel like I've been missing the magnitude of a simple lesson. Less is more. More is less. There are no rules that say I have to have a million dishes, towels, and toys. There are no rules that say I have to fill my closet with trendy clothing that I rarely wear. There are no rules that say my kids need ten pairs of pants and shoes. There is no need for a top sheet, a comforter, a duvet, ten throw pillows and matching curtains. I can have less!
I truly hope that my obsession with living simply totters into action. It's unlikely, but not impossible. And, for now, I'm hopeful.
If you have an interest in a simple life, here's a blog of an amazing woman who has truly simplified her life to the bare bones. She is mad crazy simple. And though I could never, and would never want to, live as starkly as she does...it's inspiring. Check it out. Zero Waste Home Blog