Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why I choose a simple life

I've always believed that the less things you have the less you have to worry about.

I don't want to live life more widely. Variety is nice, but it's not what I need. My deepest desire and one real need is to live life more deeply.

I know some people are amazing at balancing sucess with family life, but I'm the kind of person who would be so exhausted by a two-house, two-career, two-car, mega-socialising, jet-setting lifestyle that I'd have nothing left to give to my marriage or my children. Or, ultimately, myself.

We sacrifice a lot to have a slower, simpler lifestyle, including the ability to own our own home. Because my income has been variable, we've relied mainly on my husband's income, which until recently has just been enough to cover our bills. We rarely get to have things we simply want.

Sometimes we feel jealous as we see most of our friends and siblings are materially better off than we are, and are buying and paying off their homes, going on overseas holidays, and dining out whenever they feel like it.

But we always come back to this: We've chosen a path which is right for us. We have three children under six years old, and I feel happy that their dad's job allows him to get home long before their bedtime.

I can drop everything and take them to the park if the weather is good. I can read them 10 books before bedtime if they want me to, and I could drink in the way my son's long lashes brushed his peach soft cheeks slower and softer as he fell asleep in my lap in the middle of the afternoon.

I have time to do some volunteer work, along with a little paid writing and editing work which I love doing.

I would love to go to exotic places, and sometimes I do. In my imagination. We have lots of trees at our place, and on windy days it might look like I'm hanging out the washing, but in my mind I'm on the edge of a dramatic cliff with the wild wind off the ocean rushing past my ears.

Even when our children are older, I know I will always be happier with a simpler life, focusing on relationships, community and on trying to live closer to the earth.

It's the only way I know I can experience a connection with my deepest self, with other people most genuinely, with nature, and with the divine.

With a nod to Rhonda at for her recent post reminding me why I choose a simple life.

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  1. that is my fear for choosing to live a simple life (although in theory it sounds beautiful). I would be afraid to envy "too much" of what the city life brought me. I want my cake and to eat it too! Oh guess I am not quite ready to slow down, just yet. :)

  2. I hear you Christine. Jealousy's destructive.

    That's the reason I categorise our anniversary splurge at one of the city's top restaurants (hopefully The Quay or Aria this year) as a need, not just a want! Because of that one big indulgence, I don't feel as though I'm missing out.

  3. this post reflects my sentiments. i've always lived simply and below my means. where i come from, most people can't afford houses surrounded by trees. it's a concrete jungle.

    i envy you :)


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