This is a question that I have needed to pause and ask myself. While I have many areas in my life that are important to me, and have a broad vision of where I want to be, I have never listed these areas out, set goals and created a clear and concise plan to reaching and settling into that place.
When I imagine my life of simplicity, I feel a passion and longing for the vision that it generates for me… that’s immediately followed by a sense of defeat. Like many people, I struggle with overwhelm as daily living creeps in and often pulls me in many directions – Away from my ultimate goal to lead a more simplified life.
My vision definitely includes clear surfaces, a bright, clean home with light colors and loads of sunshine coming in… open windows and open doors! A bit of margin in my schedule for family, dear friends, and the things that I am passionate about – like my church, nature, gardening, journaling, more time to write this blog, and things like drawing or learning to crochet.
It seems that if I could just have enough energy, time, and clarity to begin with, I would be able to get my life “under control.” I have felt drawn for weeks now to get into my tiny kitchen on a sunny day and start the purge. Toss, find a place for much used items, and move other items that get some use, but not daily, to a designated area in the basement. If my little kitchen was clean, shined up, and organized, I feel like other areas would start to fall into place. Like, for instance – meal planning, home cooking and baking, eating healthy meals together around the dining table, gathering family for cards or board games, and fellowship with friends. Hmmm… all of that. Just from cleaning and organizing a tiny kitchen.
Do my husband and I want our family to live off-grid? Well, some semblance of that sure would be nice. Our home, situated on a windy hill with no trees close to the house, would be the ideal spot for both wind and solar power. Even if it were just supplemental. So this is something we look into often and is a possible goal for the extended future.
We already live in a small home, so that part of my dream is in place. It’s the downsizing and ease of living in a small space that we have yet to master. We have our ducks, the gardens, and our pear and apple trees. Plus we are considering a small orchard, and have thought about hives for bee keeping. So there are many responsibilities, and opportunities, for enjoyable rural suburban living.
Sure, some of these ideas are a far way off, but some could be closer than I think if I just stop dreaming and planning and start more of the actual doing.
I know that everyone’s idea of simple living is different. For me, the attainable goal is first and foremost to live in our small home in comfort. A decluttered, minimal lifestyle, with no frills. A home of usable items only, that serve a clear purpose or can be used to accomplish more than one task, ease of cleaning, and never a moment of panic when someone unexpectedly stops by. I want to practice kindness and hospitality, enjoying friends, neighbors and family at a moments notice. I want to gather around our farm table, lounge on our back porch, or relax around the fire pit laughing and sharing stories without worrying that there’s too much clutter or that there is so much that needs to be done that I can’t stop and take time for others.
I’m well aware that this is a process. It will not happen overnight, and the best place for me to start is by cleaning up and minimizing in the kitchen.
So… I’m off to do a bit of that journaling to draw up a step by step plan for reaching the goal of simplicity, and will begin by digging into that kitchen! I would LOVE to hear from some of you that have achieved simplicity and where you started? What are some good resources or advice?
Some of my own favorite resources are:
Sink Reflections by Marla Ciley
The Complete Guide to Getting & Staying Organized by Karen Ehman
Balance by Beth Jones
Taming The To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer
Overwhelmed by Kathy Lipp and Cheri Gregory
100 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Joyce Meyer
The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier
Best to all who are in this with me, and to those contemplating the idea. It can be done! And it starts with motivation, support, and a willingness to dig in and let go!
“…Clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”
1 Peter 3:4