A common blog theme I’ve see of late revolves around simplicity. The pandemic has taught them that if nothing else, life should be simpler.

I totally get that. I have chosen to live what I consider a simple life. I also decided to embark on a simpler life path after 9/11. I left my lucrative job and chose to be a stay at home Mom. We scrapped plans to move to a pricey suburb or a larger apartment. We chose to live close to where my husband works so that he could be home for dinner most nights. We let our old car die a natural death and we never purchased a new one. We don’t “decorate” and replace things only when needed. Our place is really function over form.

We also don’t spend much time in our home. We do not spend the weekends doing “projects”. Our weekends are spent doing the things that we really enjoy: shows, concerts, learning new things, etc.

I don’t shop as a hobby. I buy clothes as needed and have a streamlined wardrobe. It’s only as large as it is because I live in a four season climate. I like make up and products but again, I keep the number quite low compared to many.

My daughter was involved in activities that she truly enjoyed and was passionate about. We figured out ways to reduce the stresses that come with high paced acadamia and its off shoots.

I consider my life quite simple.

But…

That’s my definition.

What do you consider a simple life?

Do you desire going towards a simpler life?

What are the pros and cons of a simpler life?

What is simple?

 

65 thoughts on “Doz- Simple

  1. I love this question. Just heading out the door for work, so I will be back. Just one initial comment. Back in my mid 30’s I hit the wall emotionally, too many commitments, too busy doing lots of good things but neglecting the most important. (Remember the son Cat’s in the Craddle?) Yep, that was me..compounded by me being a first born, people pleaser, and my dad being a work-ahaulic.

    I didn’t know any different.

    I could write a blog post on this one….wait I already did. 🙂 Later! DM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My life is already a little simpler than before. The kids are grown and when college has on campus class, mostly gone. No more sports, dance, etc taking up time. I still long for simpler. I still try to convince my wife that we can live on her salary and I can stay home and cook and clean. I’m pretty much stuck in the DC area due to her job so I would love to leave the suburbs and yard work behind for a condo in the city with less upkeep needs. Eventually, I would love to retire to a smaller, quieter town.

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  3. LA – you always inspire good , thought-provoking discussions.
    I admire your decision to be a stay at home mom.

    In 2005, my husband found out he had a serious heart condition. He wanted to spend his remaining years by the sea, looking out to Ireland.
    We sold our house, gave away almost all our possessions, and bought a historic home on the ocean in Newfoundland, which is very similar to Ireland.

    In the salty sea air, my husband grew progressively stronger, and in 2017 he decided to have heart surgery at Canada’s famous Heart Institute, in Ottawa.

    The surgery was a complete success. We decided to stay in this simple seaside environment. 😊🌷

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  4. Simplify is my one word of the year. I use it to mean getting to the essence of things, creating clarity and understanding, then enjoying what you have. I like complexity and will work through it, as in interior design and gardening and finances, but in the end I want to keep my sense of purpose and my approach to life as straightforward and authentic as possible.

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  5. I think each of us define, and practice ‘simplicity’ in our own unique ways.
    I will say that your life sounds much simpler than the suburban life I’m familiar with.

    However, I do love having a place in my home where I can retreat when I need a break from the other humans. 😉 That said, it would be nice not to have to drive everywhere. Dang, I waste so much time in the car.

    But I can live simply here in the ‘burbs too. As I wrote yesterday, it’s all about curating my environment in a mindful way. Not just my dwelling, but how and what I do, too.

    You got us thinking again this morning, girl! ❤

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  6. I miss the kids sports for a small part of it. The bigger part that caused stress and fatigue, that’s the part I don’t miss.

    We have time. Some of the family is using that time to hone skills and enhance creativity, all on their own. I like this part.

    I don’t know how much simpler life could get than it is right now. We’re mostly frugal with occasional small luxuries. A balance is key…

    Did you blog during 9/11? I often wondered…

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  7. I wonder if how people describe a simple life depends on their starting point. I am retired and my husband works because he loves it, we go out to eat frequently, don’t do a lot of traveling and enjoy our home, although it is much larger than we need but there are larger forces at work there. Our kids have grown and moved out so our lives got simpler when that happened, hence the starting point question.

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    1. It’s all about how you define it. Simple is different depending on the stage of life. That’s why I wanted to bat the ball around to see what people thought

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  8. Simpler has always evoked “doing with less” in my mind, yet I realize I have spent a good deal of adult life already doing that! Never was one to buy frivolous stuff but also was able to have what was needed without too much thought.
    As a planner I realize that I don’t need to surround myself with extra “just in case” and Covid has forced me to contemplate that more, or often be creative with what I have so perhaps that’s how I’m defining simpler right now.
    My ultimate simple life: a quiet rural setting with enough land for a small garden, a place for pets, a tiny cottage with a fireplace and wood supply and miles of places nearby to walk. I would keep the car because every few years I would like an adventure- an opportunity to see a part of the United States that interests me or has historic value in some way

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  9. I love knowing where everything is and not having useless junk filling my space. I love my children, but they make life anything but simple!

    I think you’re right about keeping what you need and not much else, and also not redecorating or over-decorating.

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      1. My neighbor once posted that the downside to being pregnant was that her clothes were not in style anymore once she got back down to size. I looked at my jeans-and-tee wardrobe and thought, “I’d never considered being in style.”

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Very many thoughts with this. Not sure if this is a good response but I’ve been hashing through many thoughts with this post. I have always lived a simple life. My husband, not so much. When we married there were a lot of changes for us both, but mostly me. I don’t necessarily fit in with his friends wives or some of the women around my new area, but I’m ok with that now. I don’t have my nails done, I am not into Botox, no fancy hair, no microblading, no tanning. I clean my own house and mow our yard ourselves. We have a small simple house that fits our needs, definitely not a show place. We have simple functional furniture. It’s comfortable and lived in. My husband has actually enjoyed embracing this as well. I grow a garden, make most of our food from scratch, bake my own bread. I used to do this by necessity but now have found out I do these things because that’s who I am. I have been ridiculed and made fun of, called “country”, laughed at, even asked if we just don’t have the money for this thing or that. Simplicity, to me is not about money, to me it’s a lifestyle. After trying to fit in for the first 2 years I’ve spent the next 2 years getting myself back and weeding out these ‘friends’. That life wasn’t for me. It totally depressed me. To me, living a simple life is being true to myself, it’s who I am. Now, I have nothing wrong with those who enjoy living a less simple life, but I would never judge them or try to push my life on them. Lesson well learned though, if someone truly enjoys the simple things in life they aren’t going to be happy with the finer ones. Now, to continue working on downsizing my closet!!

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    1. I’ve totally been mocked well for being simple. My mil said she was “embarrassed” to have a friend over our house because it wasn’t decorated…FYI she was at our house to babysit my daughter so why she thought about inviting someone over is beyond me…

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      1. You feel my pain!!! People have nerve!! I don’t understand it so I avoid it when I can. I had some ‘friends’ over a few years ago and they spent a good part of the time commenting on how disappointed they were that my house wasn’t what they expected since Steve is a surgeon. They felt it was too small and plain. Although they had no problem drinking and eating here! 🙄

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  11. I think if I had to classify it, I’d probably fall on the simpler side of the middle. We are very much homebodies and prefer staying in than going and doing. I’m not much of a “stuff” person in that I don’t like a lot of extra stuff that makes more things to dust and my decorating is limited compared to most, but not sparse.

    That said, all my hobbies and the stuff that surrounds those can make things far from simple, but that is more along the lines of the space required for it all and the time I spend doing them. Depending on your definition of simple, this probably doesn’t qualify.

    We are very low stress no matter where we fall on the simple scale. To me that is a top priority.

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    1. I think everyone’s definition of simple is different. And I think simplicity is a choice. And I guess with all the people asking this question I can’t help but wonder what stopped them from being simple to begin with

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  12. I suppose with two cars, a truck, a motorcycle, a camper, a 3-acre property and two dogs, it could be argued we don’t have a simple life. But we do all our own cleaning, maintenance and repair. I grow food and flowers for health and beauty. I rarely buy anything that isn’t consumable. I do not have a “wardrobe” and I hardly ever wear makeup anymore, quit coloring my hair. I make dinner every night from scratch. We don’t have television – just watch dvds sometimes. To me this is semi-simple. Someday I want a tiny house on 5 acres where I can grow most of my food. Go most everywhere by bicycle, etc. Then I will have the simple life.

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    1. That was why I was poking around simplicity. People keep saying maybe we’ll all choose simplicity…but I don’t get what they want. I mean, if you could live a simpler life, wouldn’t you already be doing it?

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  13. I have to say I admire the choices that you made a lot. When I think of simplicity I find myself thinking of “stuff” and that “less is more”. Hubby on the other hand likes to collect books, and we have over 1000. We’ve lived in the same 3 bedroom house since 1986. We’ve never remodeled. We have a fridge, running water, a roof over our heads, we’re good! The more time I spend at home (as in with this shelter-in-place), the more stuff I want to get rid of.

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  14. Being retired has made so much difference in our lives. I drove 45 minutes to work, and John commuted to the city via the LIRR. The never-ending pressure was anything but simple. We buy what we need, repair things that are broken, eat home-cooked food most of the time, and we are free to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway any day of the week. Being able to do what you want whenever you want may not be simple living as you define it, but it is freedom to us.

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    1. That’s exactly it. Everyone’s definition of simple is different. I find blog posts extolling us to go simple confuses me. I think many know how to make life less complicated…and if they want to they just do it

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  15. I don’t think simplicity is just about things, a minimalistic can still have a complicated life. I think it is more about pulling back the facade. It is about honesty and living your individual authentic life. Perhaps it just boils down to self awareness. Like a little black dress, unabashedly simple, yet elegant when worn with confidence!

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  16. I think we all have way more “stuff” than we need. I have been paring back for years trying to lead a simple life. By and large I have done much of what you have as far as things go – except one big thing – cars! We are hopelessly devoted, but we have only bought two brand new vehicles in all our married life together. We do live in a city but the bus system here is hopelessly untrustworthy and to be honest with covid-19 the idea of public transit leaves me cold. Though I would have considered it pre-Covid.

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      1. I hope not. I was at the green depot this morning and there was a long line-up of people with tons of recycling to bring in. In our area there are no facilities to recycle cardboard and paper but at least the pop cans, bottles, wine bottles, etc. etc. are being recycled. The city has a recycling program and have been storing the paper and cardboard. I am not sure if they ship it out from time to time or what they do with it. And then there are the individuals who seem to make a living out of collecting discarded bottles etc. I see them riding bicycles balancing several garbage bags full. Though, not recently.

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  17. I find it interesting that we accumulate things in our 20s and 30s and consider it a victory to get rid of things as we get older. I think it takes some time to realize what’s really important in life.

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  18. I like the idea of simple living being viewed as stripping things back to the things that matter and it looks like you’ve nailed it! Focusing much more on the experiences than the material options on our lives – it is one of the reasons a lot of the presents I’ve started to give people are theatre tickets / days out vouchers / restaurant vouchers rather than jewellery or other stuff.

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  19. living simple. i gave up cable tv in 2006, exclusively rented netflix dvd’s or borrowed movies at the library when i fell on hard times, continue with the dvds but my wife has hulu and now disney plus i used to collect things, but met someone that was into minimalism, and i eventually followed suit, less clutter.

    Although my wife seems to thrive in clutter lol so i make do these days.
    i only buy things to replace things, ie. a heirloom bucket lamp probably in my family since the 40’s broke, refuse to part or pay to fix it, so bought an ornate lamp with shelves and put that lamp in another room.

    I have no problem taking off from work with zero plans like today, i wanted a 4 day weekend, even though i was out of work for a month and my city is still in lockdown, just being another day away from a place i don’t care to be, is relaxing.

    my wife and i vacation once or twice a year, nothing extravagant. Basically because, can’t afford it and her job doesn’t offer pto. We make do.

    Pretty much a homebody. That’s why lockdown hasn’t been a major issue. Yeah, we live simply. Even if nothing ever opens again for large crowds of people, I will find a way to be contented 🙂 Even it means just sitting outside listening to nature.

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  20. For me, simple is different dependant upon your starting point. We watch a vlog from a guy in the UK who’s been living off grid for the best part of 20 years. He’s built his own home on a patch of land he purchased, pretty much every piece of material he’s ever used is old or recycled. He’s a very capable guy – he’s designed, built & fitted his own electrics & plumbing, grows his own produce, is a capable mechanic – fixing and restoring his own vehicles, brews his own alcohol & is an artisan metal worker which is how he earns his living. His idea of simple would be very different to yours & mine because his starting point was much lower than our finishing point is ever likely to be.

    Simple for me would probably be a small, easily managed, and easily afforded home, with a life involving very little in the way of outside entertainment or consumables. Creature comforts such as hot & cold running water, an efficient heating system, a good comfortable bed, access to quality produce, things to read, medical facilities & to the people I love. Anything else would be a luxury – I’m not saying they wouldn’t be welcome, but they wouldn’t form part of a simple life for me.

    Interesting question!

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  21. I feel like my life is relatively simple – certainly in terms of possessions – I’m not big on having lots of ‘stuff’. Having said that it’s not the case for everyone in my household. If I was on my own I think I’d happily move into a mobile home with my stuff 😂. Can’t really replace family though can you? Since I stopped trying to work for an employer as well as for myself that aspect of my life has become simpler too. There is definite something appealing about simplicity. 😊

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  22. Yes, simple by choice and because I have little extra cash, lol! But seriously, I chose to homeschool and have a big family knowing it would mean I couldn’t work. We have survived on one income quite well except for a few times when we overspent. I hate shopping and excess stuff. I’d rather be hiking or running or sight-seeing than shopping.

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