Hmm… that’s a hard question to answer isn’t it. And EVERYONE is going to have a different one. Busy Women at A Vision Spendid recently got me thinking about this. I’m sure I’m a long way off what most people would consider to be living simply but to me it’s not just a way of life but a goal to strive towards. It’s also always changing. We’ve only been in our new home for just over 2 years but already we know we wouldn’t have built here now – we would have got more land for our animals and veggies. But we love the location (can ride our bikes to school) and we will stay here for at least another 10-15 years while the kids finish school. A big part of simple living to me is being kind to the environment. We are lucky enough we can afford to do this by having hybrid cars and just today we have a bore being put it so we can have all the water we desire for our garden.
According to wikipedia simple living (voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle in which individuals consciously choose to minimize the ‘more-is-better’ pursuit of wealth and consumption. Adherents choose simple living for a variety of reasons, including spirituality, health, increase in ‘quality time‘ for family and friends, stress reduction, conservation, social justice or anti-consumerism, while others choose to live more simply for reasons of personal taste or personal economy.
Another definition that I really love is from The Simple Living Network : Simple living — aka voluntary simplicity — has just about as many definitions as there are individuals who practice it. Simple living is not about living in poverty or self-inflicted deprivation. Rather, it is about living an examined life — one in which you have determined what is important, or “enough,” for you, discarding the rest.
Okay, so here’s a list of how I think we live simply.
* Have our own chooks
* Have a veggie garden
* Walk or ride to school when possible
* Try to do more rather than buy
* Menu plan and cook at home
* Limit packaging/bags/etc.
* Recycle where possible
* Don’t buy brand names just because they are brand names (though sometimes do for quality)
* Watching only TV shows I love – mainly lifestyle and discovery health (show that enhance my life)
* Don’t watch the news (too depressing)
* Donate all unwanted/unloved items on a regular basis (reduces clutter and blesses someone else)
* Have a rain water tank, and soon, a bore.
* Buy carbon credits to reduce our carbon footprint
* Staying home in a clean, tidy house thatI love rather than going out all the time (something I did when dd8 was first born)
This last year I have really settled into a comfortable routine and am pleased with how my life is developing. Shopping would still be my biggest hurdle to overcome, but I know I’ve eliminated the need to shop to escape my home and nearly all the purchases I make are useful/needed.
Just like life, simple living is a journey with it’s twist and turns, up and downs.