Today’s topic (simple living) is something I find very interesting and is something that has been a priority of mine more and more as the years go on. I have read a ton of books and sites regarding this topic. Over the last 4 years, I have really acquire a big interest in it. Is that a sign of maturity? Am I finally growing up? Ya, maybe. But last summer reinforced my interest with living a simple life. Why? Because it was the 1st time in my life & our family’s life, we are able to go out on numerous adventures further away, actually go on a vacation, be together, and had a blast creating memories. Sure we couldn’t eat gourmet meals when we went on one of our adventures, but no one cared while we were at the Cape playing at the ocean or when we were at the Patriot’s game, not buying beer. It was just amazing being able to travel & go on adventures memorable together. This is what we will remember and talk about for years to come, not what new thing we bought.
This was my wake up call saying STOP with all the unnecessary items and start putting our attention to spending time with one another & putting our money towards meaningful things, not the next best material item. I want to travel the world with my family. I want to see as much of the world as I can and expose my children to as much of it as possible. Why can’t we go to Ireland for a few weeks? We couldn’t before, because it wasn’t important or a priority to us. Having what I now call “junk” meant more. It’s sad but true.
Now, I am finally at a point in my life, where I can concentrate on what is important to me. I can start making an effort with continuing my “stepping stones,” in order to reach my ultimate goal: spending meaningful quality time with one another while exploring the world around us.
FYI- remember I am at the beginning of my journey towards living a life with less. It’s a hard step to take with a family of 7. We still couldn’t go to Ireland but by following my steps, I know one day we will get there. And do it with a lot of less stuff……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….I am a work in progress 🙂
There are numerous things you can to along your journey to make life simpler, but where do you begin? For me that was the hardest question to answer. Once I found my beginning, it was clear sailing from there. Remember progress may seem slow. There isn’t any need to rush yourself, since this is about what you feel is in the best interest of your family. This isn’t a race or competition. And by all means NEVER compare yourself with others…………we each are living a unique life that is exclusively ours. You can’t compare apples to oranges.
6 Stepping Stones Towards Living a Simpler Life :
*if anyone would like me to go further in details or has something to add, please post a comment. I love comments and encourage positive discussions*
Before you take any steps toward living a simpler life, you must first be honest with yourself and figure out where your priorities are. The best way for me to do that, was to list what was important to me now (in the moment) according to things around me (what story does your home say) & things I have bought VS what I really thought was important. For example: based on things around me it would seem that electronics are important to us, but in reality they aren’t. We could live without all of it, if that meant we could do activities & vacations to amazing places together.
2. Make it a family effort
If the whole family isn’t on board, it will make for a harder transition, if you are even able to. The best advice I can give you, is to have a family meeting, have the entire family there, sit down, and discuss everything together. No matter how young the kids are they should still be a part of whats going in on the family. You may just have to put it in their terms, so they can understand.
3. Its a way of life, not a race or popularity contest
It seems nowadays everything is a race, competition, or popularity contest. Living a simpler life will only work, if this is something you truly want and you are doing it for the right reasons. If you want to change your lifestyle because all the other moms you know are doing it, it’s obviously isn’t the right reason. And the change won’t last long. Remember, you can have a simpler life by doing a little or going to extremes. For us, the 1st big step, is getting rid of the unnecessary clutter in our lives that don’t matter and getting rid of it all (I am talking about physical possessions & mental baggage.) Clutter is clutter, which needs to go.
4. Don’t forget to enjoy the little things, because they won’t be around forever………………seasons change
Nothing stays the same, NOTHING. Everything changes, which is a fact of life. No matter which season of your life, you are in, don’t forget to enjoy the little things. Its the little things that you look back on and realize just how big and important those little things were. Enjoy yourself and who ever you choose to surround yourself with.
5. Lose the materialist mentally…………………………………………………..start living with the realization that less is more
Our world today is so attached to material possession, we encourage each other to get more and more through so many different avenues. Seldom do I see any ad or commercial saying ” less is more”. We as a whole, have emotional attachments to our possessions. I know I did for the longest time. And as soon as I started cutting my emotional attachments, I realized just how much time I spent on things that weren’t important to me.
Once you realize what you don’t need around you, start getting rid of the items either selling, giving away, or throwing it out. Can’t do it all at once, set a specific number like 3 and get rid of that many things a day. When getting rid of those items, make sure you really do. Don’t just throw them in your car or put it in the trash, if the item is reusable, give it to a place or someone who can use it. Recycle it. And don’t forget to get the kids involved and explain everything you are doing and why. This is a great chance to teach them, less is more.
6. Change doesn’t happen over night, it takes time……..a lot of time
Just like with anything of importance, it takes time. Nothing happens overnight but after working hard slowly towards your goal, you will reach your destination. Remember: slow and steady wins the race.
What are some other steps you can take or have taken towards living a simpler life?