According to Merriam-Webster, simple can mean “free from guile, free from vanity, of humble origin or modest position, or free of secondary complications” just to name a few. When I looked further into this definition, I found a definition used to explain “simple” to kids and/or English language learners – “not hard to understand, not complex or fancy, easy, straightforward”. All of these definitions are very true but how do you implement “simple” or “simplicity” into your everyday life? That is the question of the century isn’t it?
We live in a world that is busy, competitive and full of things that possibly distract us from what is really important … important to us and to life. In a world where we are told to do and/or have certain things to be “happy” or “successful”, it may be difficult to figure out how to simplify.
Now don’t get me wrong. To live a simple life, doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do or we get to do whatever we want. There are things that we have/need to do. As a homemaker, I need to manage my home — clean and make sure my family is fed and has clean clothes, etc. Does that mean that my house is always immaculately clean? Uh – nope! In fact, it’s hardly ever like that. Is it comfortable and do people always feel welcome? I certainly hope so! Does my husband have gourmet meals every night? Haha – now that’s funny! Poor man, quite often he has leftovers from a “not so gourmet meal”. Does he always have the specific clean shirt that he wants for work? Probably not, but I’ve never seen him go to work with no shirt.
For me, simple means to strive to not have activities in my schedule that are going to “stress me out”. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have stress. Life is stressful! BUT what it does mean is that the majority of the things that fill my day give my family or me joy and/or contentment. (Hmmmm…perhaps those words are another post) Even jobs or projects that are stressful, when completed, should allow me to have a sigh of contentment or a sense of accomplishment and not anxiousness.
So take a minute and think about your life, your schedule, your obligations. What gives you joy? What puts a smile on your face? What allows you to sigh with contentment? Find those things and write them down. Those things are the beginning of making your life “simple”.