Living a small life

Hello Dear Reader,

I am striving to live a simple, small life, what that means to me, will be different to the next person trying to do the same thing. In the end, I want less "stuff" and more happy memories of a life well lived. By well lived, I don't mean a big fancy life, I mean a small, grateful life that will nurture my body and mind in time to come. I want to live a long healthy life using my hands to make, create, grow, bake, uplift and improve everything I do and the lives of my little family. I want to be kind to the planet and be mindful of resources to make them last as long as I do. I want to be grateful everyday for a small simple life.

My first go at growing tomatoes. I remember being super excited at this achievement
This downward shift toward a more simple, slow and less complicated life started about 7 years ago when lovely hubby contracted a viral brain infection and was unable to work for an extended period of time, we had health insurance but no income insurance so we were living, for a long time, on my wage, which is okay but not marvellous. As I was never a shopper or a big spender and was always into thrift shopping and borrowing books from the library, living with less money wasn't a huge change for me, it just made it more real. I guess this health scare in out lives just consolidated our need to live a more thrifty, thankful life.

This photo was taken on lovely Hubby's birthday in 2009, at this stage he had endured 2 months of hospitalisation and 3 brain surgeries. He was quite confused due to his memory impairment but he never forgot who we were. We had permission to take him out to a restaurant for his birthday and ironically from this day forward, he started to improve. 
For what seemed like an eternity, with lovely hubby, it didn't look good and there was no way of telling how it was going to turn out. His condition was quite the mystery and therefore very hard to treat. After three major brain surgeries, he is lucky to have escaped the viral brain infection with a dodgy memory, altered vision, delayed reaction time and some reduced fine motor skills.


He is able to work two days a week in the therapeutic massage business that his late father started 25 years ago and our wonderful son works the other three days. Hubby is also now having to help more with his frail mum who's health is precarious but seems to be able to carry on regardless. It's funny how things work out, Hubby not being able to work as much and first his late Gran then his late Dad and now his mum needing extra help.


So, for me, although my life really didn't change that much, going through all that made me a different person, it made me resilient and more aware of my strengths. Lovely Hubby has changed also, he is more laid back then he used to be and doesn't seem to worry as much. Together we plan more for the future and work as a team to reach our goals.


As lovely hubby is home more than I am he now does the grocery shopping and some of the cleaning of the house. I am more acutely aware of every cent that comes my way and really enjoy the challenge of living on less. My goal is to continue decluttering and striving to live on less, not just "money" wise but "stuff" wise. I look at everything I own and I think to myself, I don't need another single thing in my life. I have every "practical" thing that I need to make my life comfortable and enjoy the thought of living with less.





I have made plenty of mistakes along this simple living route and will no doubt make plenty more but to me thats what it is all about, learning by your mistakes, taking it on board and doing it better.


So, tell me, how do you try and live a simple life?



6 comments

  1. Hi Fiona wow you have been through a lot. You have an amazing outlook and I think resilient is the key word. So glad your husband is doing well and you all support each other as a family. I try to live a simple life by budgeting each month and not carelessly spending. I look out for bargains but also enjoying saving up for treats. I think it teaches you to be grateful for what you receive.

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  2. Dear Fiona, what an amazing attitude to life you have and I am sure this comes through to your family with your support for your husband and mother-in-law. I try to live as simply as I can, making the most of what we have - we budget, meal plan and I have just started making presents this year for those we give to at Christmas. Everyday is a new beginning and an opportunity to learn something else. Best wishes Lyn.

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  3. What I see from your posts is that yes, you are resilient, but you also live a very "balanced" life. You are thrifty and frugal, but you go out and experience dancing, celebrate important dates, and go places. To have a good mental outlook on life you need 3 things: someone to love (could be a dog or cat!), something to do ( our job, be it away from home or at home), and fun. I see that you have all these 3 things. I need to expand the "fun" side for me. I've got the other 2 down pat.

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  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. I can see that I am preaching to the converted and that we all do what ever we can during our daily lives to live frugally and carefully. I agree that we should all be aiming for a balanced life and to be grateful for our blessings, fun included. All work and no play, isn't the way.
    Have a wonderful Sunday.
    Fi

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  5. Dear Fiona,

    I am in awe of reading your story. People don't often understand unless they have also been through something similar as my hubby and I have.

    My husband suffered from ulcerative colitis as a little boy and shortly after we married, it was discovered at the annual checkup that the cells had changed to look like cancer. He needed to have his colon removed and an ilesostomy in place. We planned for it but God decided the best plan was a car accident two month before the surgery that crushed his pelvis and hip.

    A doctor put that together nicely and then we moved right into colon surgery within two months. God knows how he is going to handle these things and my hubby continued his career in law enforcement, moved us closer to his work, gave us three lovely children and he finished his career in 2012.

    We sold our house in 2013 and moved "back home" into a nasty little house that I do not like but then his hip began to show signs of needing attention. That resulted in a hip replacement this past March 2016. He hasn't been gainfully employed since retiring even though finding another type of work was part of the plan. We live off of a small pension and my fulltime work while assisting all three of our kids attend college. We sacrifice by living the simple and frugal life.

    It is not about the best house, and the eating out. It's about having each other and being thankful that we have our family. We also watch over our elderly parents (his dad died in 2010) but my parents and his mom need us more and more and being close by is very important.

    Hubby works very part time and he does a lot around the house while I work 40 hours per week outside the home. Kids are grateful and don't take any of this for granted.

    We'll celebrate our 30th anniversary on Sept. 5 (yes, we still have kids living at home! 23, 22, and 20 while the youngest two live at home. Oldest just moved to Honduras to teach but home base is still with us!).

    Alice

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    Replies
    1. Oh Alice, Thankyou so much for sharing your life, it stopped me half way through breakfast. You never know what is going on inside other people's lives, do you? Everything I start writing (and then undo) just can't come close to express the emotions I feel reading your story. Please don't be in awe of me, ours was a trifle in comparison. Having each other and going through illness together consolidates and clarifies your goals and I believe it does make you thankful and grateful. Happy 30th wedding anniversary for the 5th, that's quite the milestone. Thankyou for leaving your comment, I really appreciate it. Have a splendid day.

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