It seems that there are many definitions of a simple life.
Some go back to basics and live on a rural homestead with free range chickens.
Some sell their possessions and travel the world.
Some live in tiny spaces where extra possessions just won’t fit.
While I do daydream about each of these lifestyles, realistically I know that none would be right for my life right now.
I don’t want the responsibility for growing my own food. I don’t want to be far away from my family and friends. I don’t want to fight with zoning officers.
Those are other people’s dreams. I have my own idea of the simple life.
My Own Definition of The Simple Life
Focus on what makes you happy. Minimize distractions.
That pretty much sums it up. Just focus your life around what you enjoy.
Everyone is different, so I expect your simple life looks different from mine. Even my own ideal changes each day because I change each day.
This week The Frugal Girl had a great post called Things I don’t Do that listed all the stuff she just wasn’t into that others love. I thought it was a great post because we can’t all care about everything at once, and it’s ok to just focus on being ourselves and doing what we love.
5 Simple Things That Make Me Happy
- Waking up without an alarm clock when my body is ready.
- Watching my daughter get super excited over little things like blowing bubbles.
- Geeking out with logic problems or my ukulele.
- Killing time just being with my husband.
- Challenging myself to live better.
5 Things That Don’t Make Me Happy (and how I deal with them)
- Deciding What to Wear
Problem:I hate standing in front of my clothes looking like an idiot trying to decide what to wear.
Solution: Over the years I’ve tried to purge anything that I didn’t feel great wearing. While my day-to-day wardrobe is pretty small, I still keep fun outfits, shoes, and accessories for occasions when I get to play dress up (which I do enjoy).
- Cooking Every Night:
Problem: I do enjoy cooking an elaborate meal once in a while. But nightly? No.
Solution: If you looked at our meal plan for any given week you’re likely to find two nights at the in-laws, a leftover night, a breakfast for dinner night, a pasta dish, a frozen pizza, and only one meal that might take actual work.
- Taking Care of Junk:
Problem: We have a lot of stuff. The idea of appreciating, using, taking care of, and paying for everything gets me stressed out! Case in point: read about my experience with two cars here. I’m so over cars right now!
Solution: I’ll keep purging until we have a home where everything has a place, is in its place and is well loved and maintained. We will probably never get there. But we will get closer and I’ll have less and less stuff to worry about.
“The things you own end up owning you.” – Chuck Palahniuk *
- Wasting Money: (I am Simple CHEAP Mom after all)
Problem: Money is such a useful tool and can do so many great things for our family that I get upset when I waste any money.
Solution: I’ve outlined the basic rules we live by in my post Be Confident Managing Your Money With These Three Simple Rules. If I find somewhere where I think we’re wasting money, I challenge us to find ways of meeting our needs (okay, the issue is usually with our wants) by spending less money.
- Running Around With My Head Cut Off:
Problem: I hate when I put myself in a situation where I’ve promised too much to too many people and I’m not able to give my best. Some people thrive under pressure and are fantastically productive multitaskers. Me, I work best when I’m relaxed and can think things through.
Solution: I try to only commit when I know I can handle it. When I start to feel busy I’ll prioritize a to do list. Seeing everything together on paper usually makes it easy to spot what’s important and what’s just brain clutter.
A simple life means different things to different people. For me, a simple life is one that purposefully gets the most happiness with the least amount of extras. My simple life includes enjoying sleeping in late and frozen pizzas. If yours includes raising your own chickens, check out The Thrifty Peach!
What About You?
What do you imagine when you think of a simple life?
Is there one area of your life that you think is overly complicated for no good reason?
What’s your best tip for simplifying your life?
* I actually think about this quote a lot. I was embarrassed tonight when I went looking for the source and found out it’s from the movie Fight Club. Yup. Kept it in any way. Will have to watch Fight Club again because I think some stuff probably went over my head the first time. Yes it was a book first, but I never read it.
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