Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple living--my own journey

::a favorite picture of two of my favorite "boys" in my life::

"Simple Living" is one of those terms that seems to have very recently come into our culture's vocabulary. It can mean so many things to so many different people. Frugal living, "green" living, "slow" living, small living, decluttering,  re purposing, self-sufficiency--ie, "living off the land", mindful consumption, you get the idea. Webster's dictionary has many different definitions of simple. (worth checking out all the many definitions!)
A book that I enjoy reading through every now and then is Marie Sherlock's book Living Simply With Children. The book is very informative and comprehensive, as well as it has many "checklists" that are helpful to list-makers like me. (for better or worse!) In the chapter titled, "Human Beings or Human Doings?" (love that.), there is a checklist called "Ten Tips for Handling Hurrying":

1. Cut back your work hours.
2. Mindfully limit outside activities.
3. Listen to your child.
4. Model an unhurried lifestyle for your kids.
5. Use a large, prominently displayed calender to record all family and individual commitments.
6. Guard family time.
7. Provide quiet time.
8. Supply ample "downtime".
9. Promote boredom--and creativity!--with "do nothing days".
10.Let them be kids.

These are all wonderful ideas and a good place to *start*. I say *start* because Simple Living is a journey--a constant work. At least for me it is. I don't know if I will ever get to a place where I feel I am 100 percent succeeding in this area.
This week I will explore some areas in my own life of how I simplify my life. I think it is always interesting to see how other people approach this subject. Will you join me this week?


TAMI said...

That is a FANTASTIC photo!!! Adorable!

Prairie Chick said...

I love it when you share like this because it affirms me and makes me feel less like a freak of society =) Which is dumb, because I really WANT to be a freak to society, because I despise the rat race, but it's so wierd to stand calmly on the sidelines watching everyone else running around =)

Joy said...

What cuties! :)

We must be on the same wavelength today. I was thinking about my tendency to go and go until I crash and burn, and how this journey into simple, frugal, green living has changed all that. It was sort of an 'aha' moment this morning. I talked mostly about crashing and burning today. Tomorrow I am going to talk about what I've learned because of the 'journey in', as you so aptly put it.

I think the biggest lesson I've been learning is the need to slow down and listen (not just in the audible sense of listening, but on a mental and emotional level too.)

This list is so good! I am going to have to find this book now. (Do you have any idea how bad you are for my Amazon account? I mean sheesh! *winks* Course, if I had a library that actually carried stuff from after 1980, that would be good too.)

Sandi said...

You peaked my interest in the book. I look forward to reading it.

Some many are on the Living Simply road. What I have found is many of these "challenges" to go green, natural, simple are just one more THING to do and make life all that more harried.
Hear me....I do want simple and natural but in a timetable and manner that creates more simple...more peace. Not the "Gotta do this and that" so I can live more simply.
Does that make sense?

I look forward to your posts with the no pressure approach :o)

Very handsome boys!

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

I've been thinking about some of these things myself. You've certainly piqued my interest in this book.

...As if I need another book to add to my reading list, lol.

Holly said...

Ahh. I needed to read this today-thank you. This has inspired me to see in what ways I can cut back on our schedule to release more time just to let life unfold on its own. Holly

Stacy said...

Looking forward to your posts, Andrea. I'll have to check to see if our library has that book!

Jo said...

I love #9, "promote boredom".

Whenever my kids come to me and say they are bored, I reply, "that's great! you get your best ideas when you are bored!!".

They roll their eyes and look at me like I am a crazy lady, ...but they do eventually find something interesting to do.

Anonymous said...

I have borrowed a book from a friend called "Breathe" about slowing down etc in this fast-paced generation. It made me feel puffed just reading the first few chapters! I have put it aside and feel quite encouraged with the quite peaceful lifestyle that we are currently living. It's all about choices really. And the word "margin" seems popular too.

Kimberly said...

Prairie Chick--You make me laugh!
This simple living idea has permeated our lives for the last year and a half. We made changes that have made a huge difference. Time and space and doing things ourselves are a big part of it. Spending more time outdoors and learning how to care for ourselves have also played a part. Letting go of perfectionism and embracing His grace are so important. It's different here, but I love it.

annkroeker said...

This is very much the heart of my book, as well. I have chapters exploring some of those topics (and more!). To live simply and more slowly requires us to counter the culture, which relishes and celebrates speeding up life and going as fast as possible and doing as much as possible, as if more and faster always equates with better. Sometimes more is good. Sometimes fast is necessary. But...well, you can see my bent.