I thought I would write about what a simple life looks like from my perspective, as everyones idea of living a simple life is different. This is not an exhaustive list, just the main ones that came to my mind. They work for me and what make me happy and able to hold it all together.
I went for a long time not sleeping, so to me, for everything I like to achieve in a day, I must get 8 + hours sleep a night. As I try to get up at 4.45 am, that means going to bed at 8pm. I try to be super organised so that I can start dinner as soon as I get home and also get one housework job done, of an afternoon. It does look like I plan my whole day around getting into bed early and I guess it looks totally boring but that is what my body and mind needs to function.
*I don't go shopping, or should I say, I don't use shopping as entertainment
I make a menu for the week and then a shopping list from that and stick to it, I avoid the shops if I can, by making do with what is already in the house. Buying "stuff" doesn't add value to my life. I'm not saying I don't buy anything, ever. I am just more conscience about where I spend my money and what on.
*I cook all our food from scratch, I buy ingredients, not pre made meals
I have always loved cooking, both savoury and sweet and enjoy cooking and baking equally. I am aware of our health and try to eat from all food groups in moderation, not too much of any one thing. There is so much awareness now of food label reading and I will not buy foods that have ingredients that are numbers or that I don't recognise as food. I have built up my small pantry with good, basic, wholesome foods, with a few treats thrown in (Dark organic Chocolate, anyone?)
I first bought a cheap little sewing machine and as I got better I invested in a better quality machine. I had learnt the basics of sewing from my darling Mum, but when I was young, I wasn't patient and I would lose interest in the project if it wasn't going right. I use Youtube for inspiration and ideas. I now really put a lot of effort into making the sewing neat and tidy and find I now have patience for this lovely pastime.
If there is one food item I think you should have a go at making, it's bread. For very little outlay you get a magnificent loaf of bread. Again, youtube and the internet (And my Blog) has a wealth of step by step instructions that you can follow along. It does take some practice and my first loaves were not the best but I stuck with it and now have quite a few really reliable recipes for all sorts of bread.
I started with herbs as they are usually easy to grow and can be grown easily in pots. We don't have much room in the garden beds as we planted out heaps of golden cane palms when we first built our home, 14 years go. I have one little "veggie" patch that I keep having a go at, I have more fails that success, but I keep reading and trying to improve. I have a lot of plants in pots and for now this method will have to do. At the moment I have a big home and very little land but my dream for our future is to have more productive land and a small home and to be as self sufficient as we can be.
Line drying the washing is good for your clothes and your body. It gets you out in the sunshine for a while and your clothes will smell fresh and lovely
*I make my own laundry liquid
For very little money and some time you end up with nearly 10 litres of laundry liquid.This is a great little "recipe" and is super easy to make
*I pack my lunch everyday
I am in the habit, of when I get home of an afternoon, I make my lunch first thing, pop it into suitable containers and store in the fridge for the next day. It may not be a gourmet lunch but it is healthy and delicious. Saves money and time going to buy lunch everyday.
Its free and so good for you. That little bit of exercise everyday sets my body and brain up to be able to cope with what life throws at me. The only time of year I don't ride or walk is now, September is the start of Magpie season and I have been attacked too many times, I just don't enjoy it, so until November I have to drive. I really miss this exercise and the mind clearing it brings.
*I walk my Mother in laws dogs, everyday
We don't own dogs, but my Mother in law does. She is unable to care for them so we have dogs as pets by default. I walk these little fluffies every night and it does me and the dogs the world of good.
Its free and you get so much diversity, think of an artist or group and they'll be there. I crank the volume up and dance like no one is watching. There is something about music that makes my soul sing. The great music motivates me to get the jobs on my list done
*I try to have an organised home
This is such a sweeping comment and one that sounds easy to achieve. It's not, however, once you have organised the main areas of you home you will want to go ahead and have your whole house the same. Having an organised home just makes your life easier. I love this saying that my Dad always said "A place for everything and everything in its place"
*I have a cleaning schedule
Again, not that easy to implement but once you have started you will be happy with the results. By the end of the week/fortnight/month you will find it pays dividends as most of your home will be clean and tidy leaving valuable time to put into something that brings you joy
*I have family over for dinner or lunch instead of going out
We don't go out to spend time with family, we invite them home. It is often counter intuitive to go out to a restaurant as there are distractions and if there are young children involved it can end up being a fiasco. I bring family home, it saves money and your sanity
*I don't buy "stuff" for kids
I think they already have too much. I would rather take them to a park, a movie, a museum or the beach. Spending time with the little ones will add more value to their lives than any bought thing can.
If, like me, you have a very limited time at home, I make a list of thing to do and stick to it. I put on some great music and get motivated. I set myself a time to complete the jobs in and try not to be distracted. My reward is getting that job finished and the satisfaction it brings
*I try to declutter and only keep things that are useful or bring me joy
This is still a work in progress for me, funnily enough it is not even my clutter. We inherited a lot of "stuff" from my husbands Grandmother and I seem to be unable to move it from my home. I have promised my self to start with just a few items to see how it feels. Living with less stuff makes you focus on what you do have. There is less cleaning of said "stuff" and more room for living in your home
*I get up early
My dearest Dad always said "Early morning is the best part of the day"and as I grow older I have to agree with him. Over the last 3 years I have been getting up earlier and earlier and I just love it. I am able to make a plan and get ready for the day ahead, whether I am at home or work. I seem to be more productive and switched on in the early morning.
*I eat a good breakfast
I have always eaten breakfast, it sets your body up for the day ahead. Gives your body and mind the fuel it needs to cope with what the day will throw at it. For me, I just don't cope with having an empty stomach and my brain goes on strike, so breakfast it is. On weekdays I have Muesli, fruit and yoghurt and weekends I have an egg with avocado and vegemite toast or bacon and pancakes with maple syrup.
So, tell me, what does your simple life look like? Any similarities to my version?