The Simple Life
“Going back to a simpler life is not a step backwards.”
I recently took a drive to our states largest city and took a stroll through Barnes & Noble. I found it very interesting how huge the “self help” section was. I thought to myself, “Are we all really in this much trouble?” The deep shelves were full of books about buying less, living more & purging your life of the distractions. Simplify. Funny, this was my exact desire after feeling the buzz of big city life. I spent a total of 1 hour in the “big city” and felt my heart being pulled back home. “Wow, that was fast” I thought. The hustle and bustle of town life is something that takes getting used to. Constant rushing, people everywhere, shopping galore - mass chaos to this little country girl. Now, I’m not here to bash city life. Can you choose simple living in the middle of 41st Street? Absolutely, but I find the simpleness of life on the ranch is something you can’t find anywhere else.
Do we really make a valiant effort to focus on regaining our personal value with human life & letting go of the “stuff”? Do we stop and visit with our neighbor or rush past them emotionless because we are in a hurry? Do we actually want to become “unbusy”?
Rural folks are almost “forced” into the simple life with the fewer options available. For example, I don’t price shop bread, milk or butter because there is only 1 option in my town. We have 1 mechanic, 1 gas station & 1 restaurant. It’s sufficient. Too many options lead to unhappiness. Ask any mother about her famous line - “Do you want to eat this chicken or do you want this broccoli?”
This leads me to the major point, is the excess of life choices making us unhappy? Now, I will come off my high horse and be brutally honest here. I’ve over-consumed. Take a look at my kid’s toy room and you’ll get it. I have gone holidays and birthdays with more, more & more, but I’ve come to realize it isn’t the things that matter. I have to make a conscious effort to return to the simple life. I’ve done away with kids iPads and smart devices. I’m not taking a step backwards, I’m allowing them to live more and I’m seeing results.
My mom recently moved back to the country life due to her terminal illness. She stays in a home 1 mile from our ranch with her husband, who grew up in Boston. She lived 50+ years on a farm. She was the model farm wife, but she moved on and spent the last 12 years living in the big city. I am shocked at her recent transition and how “rural” she calls it. She couldn’t believe how quiet it was here. We drive 10 miles back and forth to town on the bumpy gravel road and this is not her favorite. The grocery store closes at 1PM on a Sunday so the workers can have a day off. This takes some getting used to and planning when you’re used to 24 hour Walmarts.
“Is not a step backwards” is just that. We are not taking the easy route or choosing to forgo bigger opportunities. It is deciding to take control of our options and learning to live life fully through the simpler things in life. We take time to enjoy the sunsets, gaze at the stars, and live within our means.