Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Having been a fan of Thoreau for almost 30 years I have read those words over and over. Yet the actual concept of being and living a more simple life is often one that I struggle with.
I don’t want to be all high maintenance, yet I know I kind of am – I like nice things. My body does not want to sleep on a wood palate, I like nice clothes and tasty food. I have purple streaks in my hair that take more time a month to get touched up than I care to admit.
When we went to Waldon Pond a few years ago I had a better understanding of what Thoreau meant. Simplify was an easier concept when I stood in the beauty of that pond and saw what it was he looked at every day. And he didn’t live there in isolation either, he was constantly back in town visiting. Simplify and deprivation have very different meanings and I think I’d been confusing the two.
Over the past few months the kids and I have learned how to simplify. We have gone from the big flashy house to the old in need of love house. We are now living in about a third the size of house, with a third the amount of stuff and on a much stricter budget.
We have to be simpler.
And here’s the interesting thing. We are all happier in the old in need of love house. I can see it in the kids’ smiles, in the way they run outside and yell at me to come see something that has caught their eye, as they’re running across the yard to play with cousins or to visit nana. A happiness that has come from simplifying our lives.
I’m thinking that maybe simplifying does not mean giving up what I love and going without so much as it means figuring out what is really important and only keeping those things in my life. Getting rid of excess and clutter has lessened my anxiety and brought me back to balance and happiness.
We turned onto the road today and I looked west. The moon was hovering so perfectly over the mountains we had to turn off into the neighbors’ driveway to look at it.
Then as we went down into the valley, the sun was peering up from the other side.
And as we came out across the valley the moon showed itself to us one more time before we turned the corner and headed into a huge wall of fog coming up from the river.
I said to the kids how lucky we were that what made us slow on our drive to town today was that we had to keep pulling off the road to admire the beauty of the morning.
So many people started their day rushing and anxious and tired. We are so blessed that we started it in amazing nature of Creation. It blesses us, grounds us, nurtures us, and brings us incredible joy and happiness. My happiness moment today.