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!

How to craft a simple life that you'll love!



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.



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

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18 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

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    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!

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  2. Kathi, I'm back today from the #HearthAndSoul linkup, glad that you shared this post again. Pinning it. Your list of things that make you happy and that you're thankful for is quite similar to my own (but my cat is named Sweet Potato and my beverage of choice is hot tea!). I love cooking in my mother's pots and pans.

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    1. Sweet Potato, what a cute name! I'm glad you enjoyed the list, Jean.

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  3. Great post! I've recently been trying to cut back on weekly commitments, especially with summer coming, so we can have the time to relax and enjoy the weather, each other, and our home.

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    1. Good for you, Val! You're giving yourself some margin, room to breathe, and focusing on what's most important.

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  4. My simple life also looks different from yours in some ways, but I'm thankful for my 5 cats (Peanut, Tazzy, Jolie, Missy and Boo) and summertime, being able to be out in the garden, enjoying the bees and butterflies. I'm thankful that I live in an area of the country where we have lovely weather but very few scary things (like tornadoes!). I'm also even thankful for winter, because although I don't like the cold and snow, it gives me a chance to relax and wind down from summer and all the work and activities that summer brings.

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    1. I love your list of things you're thankful for, Dawn!

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  5. Kathi! I love this post! I think a key part of living a simple life is learning to be present in everyday life - so many people are either afraid of the future or worrying about something that happened in the past. A great read you might light is, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

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    1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Jacob! Thank you for the book recommendation too.

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  6. I love this post, Kathi!! This really is such a lovely celebration of the blessings in our lives, and you've shared some wonderful advice as well. I'm grateful for so many things in my life, including the community we've created at Hearth and Soul and the chance to share our lives and experience with one another. Thank you so much for sharing this uplifting, inspiring and encouraging post!

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    1. You're welcome, April, and thank you for this lovely comment!

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  7. Wendie and I are on the very same page as you- after years of doing things the way we were expected, moving out the homestead pretty much saved our sanity. We do what makes us happy, the kids are thriving, and our relationships is only growing closer. By the way, thanks for the Vivaldi reference- you just sound-tracked my day:)

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    1. I'm glad to find another Vivaldi-appreciator, Todd!

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  8. I enjoyed reading this. I think a simple life often gets confused with an easy life. A simple life can often be far from easy. An easy life is subjective too. Some might find gardening an intolerable chore while others do it to relax. We are all so complex aren't we? Have a great day!

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    1. We sure are, Jenn. And you're so right that a simple life isn't necessarily an easy life.

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  9. Hi Kathi, I'm just popping back to say that I’m featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Have a lovely day!

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