Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Day Musings -- Frittering Away

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:

Baking bread.
Hanging clothes on the line.
Milking goats or cows.
Gathering eggs and feeding the flock.
Making dinner instead of buying it.
Writing letters.
Preserving food.
Raising a garden.
Making soap.

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?


  1. "my goal is to have a singing heart every day and rejoice in living my version of a simple life."

    What a perfect goal, Matty. I'm adopting this goal for myself. In fact, Your whole meaning of a simple life was beautifully put.


  2. I really like what you said about connecting in a meaningful way to the things in your life. I tell you, nothing gives me more satisfaction than eating a meal from ingredients that have come entirely from my garden, or entering my little abode that is furnished in homemade pieces and others that we have restored and reupholstered ourselves.


  3. I think living simply for me means that I am obediant to the One who quides my days. That I take time to listen to what He wants me to do. That is how I want to live all my days. That doesn't mean that I have perfected that yet, but I'm doing my best. Thanks for the post, you've really made me think.


  4. How beautiful, really touching.

  5. I think simple living is living intentionally. Knowing and being thankful for each moment. Taking the time to savor it. Realizing each trouble and then working through it.

  6. Perfectly said!
    Especially the sock part ;)
    Arthur Itis visited me my hands...apparently he wasn't pleased with all of thecrsking I did yesterday :(
    Ibuprofen n rest.
    Simplicity for me is not having so much on my plate. All those 'good ideas' of things to do and pretty soon I feel like I am going to short circuit, crash n burn!
    So this week continues wading through the 'stuff' I have...2 huge bags to the thrift store and counting.....
    To be content with the daily tasks the Lord has allowed me perform and to do them as unto Him, that's a simple life (and a contented one) for me :)

  7. You know Matty, your answer is what I would say. I do not do things the easy way but I try to live the life I want. No shoulds, just my dream. Of course not every day is like that (like tomorrow, where i spend the WHOLE day gone and running the girls to things) but today is a simple day. Making homemade cheese0it's (Chloe is sooo excited!!) xoxoxo Clarice


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!