This series is brought to you by Leland's Sheds and Cabins. A company who understands that the simple things in life are the most important. Through giving back to the world and helping families utilize the space they have, they empower their customers to live their best life, right where they are.
I think I had a pretty simple childhood. I was lucky. But then, I think most kids growing up in the 80's were lucky. Everything was so basic.
I know we all want what we had for our children. But in the past few years, I really started making a conscious effort to simplify our life, for our children's sake. It was a big reason we moved to the country. The city we lived in was VERY money driven. And I didn't want that being passed down to my kids. I wanted them to value the simple things. Nature and creativity, instead of materialism and possessions.
When I was a kid, my Momma read us the Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And it truly shaped me as a person. Over the past year, I started reading it with my boys...hoping they would love it as much as I did. And lucky for me, they do.
Just like I was, they are MESMERIZED at the simplicities of frontier life in America. I can still remember learning why Christmas songs said "presents ON the tree." And how one Christmas present each was a real luxury.
It opened my eyes to the simple things. To gratitude. And perspective.
It wasn't until we moved here to the country (and we'd been here for a year or so) that I realized...I was destined to live the country life the second I read those books. Even at a young age, I was acutely aware that THE BASICS were what really mattered. And to me, country life allows you (no, REQUIRES you) to keep that in the forefront of your mind...
The land is never ending, which means the chores are never ending. The isolation requires mental strength and ingenuity. Families have to work together as a team, learning work ethic and commitment.
But I honestly believe you don't have to move to the country to adopt a simpler lifestyle. In fact, if this quarantine has taught us all anything...it should be that. And that's what we should take with us, once this pandemic is behind us.
If you are looking for a few ways to adopt simplicity in your own life, here's a few places to start.
1. Stay where you are: Okay, so we don't have a choice right now. But when the bans are lifted, don't forget the value of keeping things simple. Do more at home. Cook more, spend less, get creative without the need for outside stimulation.
Living in a rural area, we don't have all of the luxuries of the city right at our fingertips. We can't just "run to the store" or "pop out for a bite to eat." Which requires us to make conscious decisions about what we do, and what we don't. It keeps us from overcommitting, and in turn...gives us the space to be together, sans agenda.
2. Make the most of what you have: When you have to stay where you are, you have to use what you have. Sure, we can get out to get things...but it's time consuming, and we have to consider that. So we have to decide if the hour trip to the city is worth it. Most of the time, we decide to use what we have and make it work. The upside of that? Saving money. This was a big reason we bought a shed for my office space (and occasional rec space). It allows us to continue the lifestyle we created, using the land and space that we have. If we are going to be focused on being at home MORE, then making our home workable for us is incredibly important.
3. Practice Gratitude: Gratitude has been crucial for everyone during this time in quarantine. And continuing that in the months and years to come is one of the best ways to adopt simplicity. Once you are happy with what you have, you stop looking for more externally. You stop collecting things and your start collecting memories. And THAT, my friends is as simple as it gets.
We'll be getting more into the nitty gritty of "living simply" in the next few weeks. Talking about gardening, entertaining yourself at home, and the financial freedoms that come with choosing the simple things. But until then, start with these three things. Because once you determine you WANT the simple life...the rest begins to follow.
Love you, friends. I hope you can each find one small way to embrace simplicity this week. You'll be so glad you did.