Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! ... Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. ~ Henry David Thoreau
These past two weeks as I have run madly through the days feeding stoves, goats, cows, chickens, husband, cats, dogs, fish, birds.... sigh... I have thought a great deal about what it means to "simplify." I think most folks belief that it means to give up the so-called comforts of home. You know, things like cell phones, full time jobs, and cable TV. Not that these things are good for me. But, there is the secret. What is good for you?
For me, it doesn't mean any of these things. I have finally clarified what it means to live simply. For me, it means to live life in such as a way as to leave space for the things that are important to ME and no one else. In short, it means to make better choices, spend my time more wisely, and being more focused on what my life's path is meant to be.
Let's face it. These things are not simple:
Hanging clothes on the line.
Milking goats or cows.
Gathering eggs and feeding the flock.
Making dinner instead of buying it.
Raising a garden.
It is much easier, isn't it, to go to the store, and, as Mother puts it, buy it for a lot less than I can make it and certainly in much less time. However, this doesn't make my heart sing. Doing it, making it, working it, does. My path is to create what I enjoy and desire. It is to connect in a meaningful way with each thing in my life. My handknit socks are much warmer, fit better, and are more reflective of me in colour and style than the thin, workshop made socks I buy at Wallie World for $4 / 12. Each time I slip my handknits on, I can feel them snug my feet; I can admire the workwomanship and can be proud that I did this myself. In short, I have the satisfaction of my creation. I can feel the same satisfaction that Our Father did when, on the sixth day, He stood back, put His hands on His hips, and said proudly, "This is Good."
And so, there we have what it means to be simple to me. It means giving myself the freedom and space to choose the things that are important to me. Location doesn't make my life simple. How I eat or what I buy doesn't make me simple. It is the fact that I am living my life authentically, making the choices that give me satisfaction, that makes my life simple. And, believe me, the day I can afford it (read: house paid for), I will no longer hold a public job! What a fine life that would be! In the meantime, my goal is to have a singing heart every day and rejoice in living my version of a simple life.
What does it mean to live simply to you?