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November 12, 2018

Why I'm Thankful for a Simple Life


Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own.

Why I'm thankful for a simple life

I'm thankful for a simple life and ordinary days that stretch out in front of me as far as the eye can see. Fortunately, living a simple life is within everyone's reach, no matter where you live.

We live on a rural property in the Middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma, but I've tried to live simply wherever my family has called home. From military housing to parsonages, in apartments and in foreign countries, I've learned that we are in control {mostly} of how we choose to live.

The definition of a "simple life" is different for each person. What I picture in my mind might not be what you are needing or wanting in your own life. I think that we'd both agree on a few aspects of simple living though, and I'm pretty sure one thing we'd agree on is that we want to have "enough" - especially enough time so that we're not rushing through our days, constantly feeling that we're behind and trying to catch up.

We long for enough time and energy to move from one needed task to another, with our evenings free to do what we enjoy, whether that's spending time with our family and friends, reading a good book in front of a roaring fire, or knitting while listening to soft music in the background. Your "simple life" might include baking bread and canning apples from your own fruit trees, or it might look completely different.

I agree that some circumstances in our lives can't be changed, but our reaction to those circumstances is something we alone control. We can let the stress get to us, or we can rise above it.

You might think that's easy to do for me, that it's harder for you. You might argue that I don't have noisy neighbors, a full-time job, or a long commute.

We do, however, have neighbors with a rescue donkey that brays very loudly morning and evening (have you ever heard a donkey bray? It's mind-numbing.). I do have a part-time job that comes with a lot of stress, and instead of a commute in a quiet car with climate control I brave the weather twice a day to feed the livestock and shovel manure. You'd be shocked at the length of my to-do list each day.

Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own.

I also have to deal with hot and humid summer weather, the possibility of tornadoes, snakes and scorpions, and coyotes that like to eat barn cats and chickens. Admittedly I'm not thankful for those things, but I do appreciate our mild winters, and I'm thankful for our storm shelter and that I've become a lot braver than when we moved here.

While my garden is my happy place, I have to turn the compost pile, spend hours pulling weeds, and fight off mosquitoes as well as pests that devour the plants I'm nurturing.

But I prefer to think of gardening as a source of exercise, which I would need to do anyway. All that physical activity means that I'm pleasantly tired at night and I usually sleep well. Our livestock guardian dog barks all night long, but I know my goats are safe because she barks to keep predators away. It's all in my attitude. I'm {mostly} thankful for what I have.

Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own.


How can you live a simple life? 

You can live a simple life too, no matter where you live. Here are some of the ways you can craft a simple, ordinary life.

Let go of the practices that don't make you happy. Refuse to participate in drama. Gossip stops here. Anger stops here too.

Forgive those you think have wronged you; let go of the hurt. Learn new skills and be more self-reliant. Do what you enjoy doing. Make your home a comfortable place and surround yourself with things you love.

Be thankful for what you have, so you're not driven to keep up with your neighbors or coworkers. There's a side benefit to this: you'll save money. And I promise you'll sleep better without financial worries hanging over your head.

Say no. Let some of your commitments go, and allow yourself more time to relax, think and dream. You need margin in your life. Margin is the space that separates you from your limits, from what stresses you out and will make you break. Create and cultivate margin.

Make your own entertainment: learn how to knit or quilt, read books, take up a hobby. Lean less on electronic entertainment.

Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own.

Make a list of what makes you happy and what you're thankful for. Put the "big things" first: faith, family and friends. Then list the little things that make your days ordinary but wonderful. Be super-specific. What do you miss when you're away from home?

Part of my "I'm thankful for" list looks like this:
  • my favorite chair, my fuzzy green blanket and my cat Tink on my lap
  • hot cocoa in my favorite mug in the winter, a glass of sweet tea the rest of the year
  • comfort food: meatloaf, broccoli cheese soup, homemade mac and cheese, pumpkin bread
  • Moose Tracks ice cream
  • the chocolate cake I always bake for my birthday
  • the pink rosebush under the kitchen window
  • listening to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
  • using my mother's kitchen utensils in my own kitchen


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These are the things that make my simple days so comforting, that make my ordinary days so special. Our home is very humble, and the dirt road that leads us here is rutted and narrow, but this is my sanctuary - with a newly-replaced roof over our heads, hot running water and lots of memories - and I am so thankful for it.

What are you thankful for? I hope you'll leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!


Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own.



This post is part of the Thankful Loop series hosted by the Natural Living Bloggers
Facebook group. I'm happy to be one of nine bloggers sharing what we are thankful for.
Visit each blog by clicking the links below.



Why I'm thankful for a simple life, and how you can create one of your own. A "thankful" collaboration with the Natural Living Bloggers group.


This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops

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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams
of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. Join me here:
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2 comments:

  1. Kathi, though my simple life is quite different from yours, I am thankful every day for a simple life. Your "How can you live a simple life?" says it so well, I'm Pinning it. #ToGrandmasHouseWeGo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jean. You're right, a simple life will look different for every person and every family, but we can all achieve it!

      Delete

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