3 May 2008

What is Simple Living?

When I first heard of simple living, I thought it meant giving up things. Even though I wanted the lifestyle, I wasn't prepared to give things up to get it. I like my TV, and my computer, and even my microwave. It all seemed too hard. I had done the simple living thing before. When we lived on the river, with no power, a wood stove, an outside toilet, and 40 deserted acres, we were living simply. I'll always remember that time fondly, but I don't want to go back to it. Having a toilet inside is just too convenient, as is running hot water! Then I began reading Aussie's living simply, and some blogs by people living simply, and I realised that you didn't have to go to those lengths to live simply. Here were people living simply on acreage, on city blocks, and in apartments.

Simple living isn't about doing without. In fact, you actually end up with a better quality of life. You food is better, you get more exercise, your health improves. You gain satisfaction from being able to do something yourself, and you feel more of a connection with your life, and the world around you.

Growing your own food is immensely satisfying. Watching the cycle of growth, from seed to plant to seed again, and knowing that in an emergency you could provide food for your family, is a feeling that can't be matched by any amount of shopping. I also find that gardening, being among growing things, is very calming and soothing to the soul.

Making your own clothes and household items, whether from store bought material, recycled clothes, or from scratch by spinning your own wool to knit, satisfies the creative side of me. Textiles and the many ways of creating them is an endless source of fascination, and I'm coming to the realisation that there is very little that I couldn't make for my family if I had to. Spinning is my latest interest, hopefully soon to be followed by sock knitting and dyeing using natural dyes.

My days are filled with so many projects that I don't know how I'm going to fit them all in! Yes, simple living is more time consuming, but it is filled with so much interest and the excitement of discovery that I wouldn't give it up for all the money and buying power in the world.


Caroline said...

What a wonderful post. I think simple living must be done day by day and one small step at a time.

I have been enjoying reading your blog.

Have a great day.

Rinelle said...

Thank you for posting Caroline. I love hearing from my readers (I'm still surprised that I actually have readers!)

Simple living is definitely one small step at a time. Then as you take each step, it excites you to take the next step. It's definitely not an all or nothing thing though. Even one small step can make your life more pleasurable and satisfying.

MyThreeDaughters said...

I think I have been to your blog before, but will be reading your old posts now, it is a lovely blog. I am sure you will enjoy the blog-a-thon. I took part in the tea one and everyone was very nice, it was at Gracious Hospitality. I came to your blog today and saw the header and wondered it you were Australian too. You might have me spinning again if I visit here too often lol. About simple living I keep looking it up I think on Wiki.

Rinelle said...

Thanks MyThreeDaughters. Yes, I'm really enjoying the blog-a-thon.

As for spinning, my mum has bought a wheel and is giving it a go (as well as starting a vegie garden again!) since reading my blog! Seems like it's contagious.

Thanks for visiting.