Oh my. Since before the holidays my life has been a blur. A whirlwind of to-do’s, obligations, anything but living the simple life I so desire to accomplish. To be honest, January was the first month since I started this little blogging endeavor that I didn’t write a thing. Oh, often I’ve felt inspired but without a block of time to even think of writing. In fact, I found myself wondering if I am worthy of blogging about simplicity at all? But you know what? I came to the conclusion that I absolutely am. Like all of us, I am a work in progress. Taking baby steps toward my life goals. Rejoicing in those small accomplishments, sometimes marveling at a satisfying victory. And yes, of course, sometimes also stumbling and taking a few steps back to pick myself up and start again.
A set back is not a failure. It is an opportunity to learn. No matter what it is you’re trying to accomplish. So, I pull myself up by the bootstraps as they say, and begin again. A while back you may recall that I wrote about not beating myself up when I couldn’t find the time to write. Well, I stand by my promise to self.
Instead, I think back on the past year to what I have learned. Some things I have pondered but didn’t blog about. What has my quest for simplicity taught me over the past year? For one, I realized the true meaning of packing light. I find that I no longer need a makeup case, and by tucking only simple, wrinkle free clothing into a single bag I need very little to get by. It was so freeing! Let’s just say when we finally did get away – I left my baggage at home. Figuratively and literally!
Our family rediscovered the joy of sitting around a fire in the back yard with good neighbor’s, making mountain pies or baked potatoes in the hot coals. How turning off the TV and playing a simple card game around the dining table with friends or family – causes us to once again connect on a level that social media robs from us daily.
Eating whole foods. We don’t have the perfect diet. Goodness no. But I love the simplicity of feeding our family from our gardens, our own ducks’ eggs, locally farmed produce, and other local products, and experimenting with different grains and veggies. Supporting local business and healthier eating with less chemicals and additives is a win/win for our family.
And most importantly, sitting quietly each morning with my Bible, a journal, and cup of coffee in hand to start the day prayerfully and armed with
strength in The Word. Ok, this I knew, but busyness steals the daily peace we need all too easily. And it takes effort and discipline to make certain that those quiet moments happen.
Recently I read an article on the 3 main habits of happy people. They were: good relationships, gratitude, and everyday resilience. Well. As I pondered these three things and took this look back on the past months, I felt confident in knowing that I have made definite progress in these areas. Good times and good relationships with family, friends and neighbors – check. Gratitude in starting my days in prayer and the Word of God – ditto. And every day resilience – yep. I’m moving forward, even when I have experienced an unexpected bump or two in the road.
When I ponder the one thing, in my own life, that I tend to measure successful simplicity by, I inevitably circle back to the same thing time and again. The ability to discover joy in the smallest of things, over and over, throughout the entirety of my day. Every day. And the grace to understand that these are truly the things that matter.
Slow down. Breathe in. Let go.