Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Does Living Simply Mean To You?

In our local area, we've hit the point in our growing season where we're harvesting a lot of produce as the veggies we planted back in Autumn are coming to their peak. I didn't actually realise how much food we were producing for ourselves until I was at the supermarket the other day. Walking through the veggie section, I heard myself saying, we don't need zucchini, there's some at home that need picking, we've got plenty of lettuce, don't need tomatoes...the list went on. It felt good. 
When you're busy and there are so many goals that you're still aiming to reach sometimes it can be hard to take a step back and say hey! look at how much we've accomplished. We've got our own supply of beef, eggs, most of our veggies and even chicken! (Despite the fact that growing your own poultry does mean that it's something of a treat)

Sometimes I find that I can get caught in the trap of feeling like I'm not achieving enough, I'm not doing this "self-sustainability" thing right. 
You build yourself up to be living in as high a pressure environment as if you had a high-flying corporate job and purchased all of your food from the shop and spent your week running around in circles trying to get everything done. 
Adding all of that pressure to yourself is not only counter-productive, it's not good for you and you may as well be enjoying a more relaxed life and eating vegetables that have been sprayed and chickens from a battery farm. You'd probably be healthier.

I love the way that Katie from House of Humble summed it up in this post - 

"I think a lot of people entertaining the idea of simplifying probably feel that way at times. Like you have to embrace “the good life” completely and make all your own clothes, grow all of your own food, make all of your own cleaning products, knit all of your own dishcloths, make all of your own soap, raise chickens for eggs and a cow for milk and sheep for yarn for all the knitting you must do… Or else you aren’t doing it right." 

The fact of the matter is, it isn't actually possible to achieve all this. Certainly not with a small team - like a couple or a family. You'd need an entire family circle to achieve all of that. And I mean entire, second-cousins-twice-removed included! And reality is that even of you did have your entire family working and living like that, everyone wouldn't be doing the same thing. Everyone wouldn't be trying to have a finger in every single individual pie. You'd all have your areas, your interests; the things you were good at and the things you weren't.

I think along this journey to a simpler life you have to be careful that you don't turn it into an even more complicated life than the other one you used to lead. 
Living simply is about doing just that - learning to relish and enjoy the simple things in life. It's about letting go, sitting back and actually smelling the roses. Or the lavender, or the freshly dug carrots. Whatever takes your fancy really. 
Everyone's journey is different, everyone's path leads them to a different patch.
I think the way to true simplicity - and happiness - is to learn to just let yourself live.

What does living simply mean to you?

Sarah x


  1. It's so nice that you've been able to achieve this level of providing for yourself!

  2. I think you nailed it friend! You are doing it Sarah way more than most and you should be very proud of what you have accomplished. I do agree with you when you say that you need a team to accomplish everything if you plan on living completely off the land without being a consumer. If we all did a little something to live simpler it would do so much for the earth. Cheers to you friend! You are inspiring! Nicole xo

  3. Wise words Sarah...I love those supermarket moments too when you can leave something on the shelf because you have it at home. I often look at things like ricotta, yogurt, pasta, biscuits and such and make a conscience to decision to make it at home instead of buying it. It is empowering, right?

    Simply living for me is providing as much as we can grow/make/raise ourselves within what is realistic and achievable. Also for me, it is providing our children with real life skills and knowledge such as growing and cooking real food.

    You should be proud of your simple living journey! Look at that nutritious broccoli! x

  4. I agree, I think its getting back to basics and stopping to smell the roses :)

  5. I want to live simply so badly... that I often get bogged down in the "oh-my-god-this-is-not-simple" chaos and overwhelm myself. I know I try to do my best. If I can mend it I will, if I can grow it I will, if we can do it productively as a family and tick a few memories in the making then yes, we will!

    It's about doing the basics with great love... everything else will just fall into place. Hazel x

  6. Beautiful thoughts on simplifying life, and so true! I do agree we can't always accomplish everything, but what we do accomplish is sometimes amazing if we take the time to take a step back and see. Loving your life is the most important thing and you have said this so well. xo Karen


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