Saturday, February 20, 2016

Being Simple

I listened to an NPR story while driving my car down a country highway the other day.
It was a story about simplifying your life. 
It's an idea we have tried to incorporate into our lives for a few years now. 
Really, since Zoe's cancer diagnosis jolted us awake. 
It jolted us into a consciousness of what's important and what's not important. 
And stuff isn't really that important anymore. 
Sure, I give my kids "stuff" for birthdays and Christmas. 
But, it's certainly way toned down. 
Because I want my girls to have experiences rather than a toy they won't play with more than two times. 
I'll spend money on dance classes and birthday party excursions with friends instead of expensive jeans or new PlayStation machines. 
It can be so hard though. 
I do Iike new purses. 
And new shoes. 
But I'm trying to follow the lead of this "simplified" way of living. 
And it's much easier doing the simple life in the country. 
As opposed to living in the city like we used to. 
The buzz is intense in the city. 
Dining out. 
Being seen. 
Looking good. 
We hope to show our kids more amazing things in this world instead of giving them stuff to do while sitting at home. 
And, to be completely honest with you, we don't have the money to be better than we are. 
We just don't have the income that enables other to splurge. 
With enormous television sets and new cars with all of the technology that's available.
Are they happy with their stuff?
Those that can afford it ALL?
Some don't find happiness with stuff. 
I have a friend from college whose family has tried the "less is more" attitude to their life. 
They've done lots of traveling and plan to do more. 
Their income is considerably more than ours. 
They could choose stuff or to see life's marvels. 
They choose adventure.  
It's a hard line...having and not having. 
Choosing to have or turning your back on it. 

We drink water, not soda or gin. 
We drive one old car. 
We don't use credit cards. 
We cancelled cable television. 
We use the library. 
"Sale" is my favorite word. 
We don't eat out often. 
We plan to put in a better garden this year. 
One that grows more than cilantro and tomatoes. 

We strive to be better than to have better. 

Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food. ~Frank A. Clark

The goal of life: simple but not empty. ~Terri Guillemets

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