He is richest who is content with the least, for contentedness is the wealth of nature
I first became aware of the term “Simple Living” after reading the quintessential book by Janet Luhrs: The Simple Living Guide. ( looky, an affiliate link-please see my disclaimer below) I was in my mid-twenties, a.k.a. life before kids- and I was instantly enthralled. The biographies of people who had dramatically changed the course of their life by embracing simple living and who had ultimately gained more freedom, inspired me. Reading their successes compelled me to explore that journey myself. Janet Luhrs was able, by gentle prodding and examination, to make you evaluate the parts of your life that were most important. By scrutinizing your desires and your dislikes, you are better equipped to cut out the parts that are just fluff and noise.
Fast forward 20 years and ,even on my best day, I feel like I have no time to myself. Between work, kids, chores, home projects etc.. it seems the minutes and hours of my day have been hijacked before I even wake up. While I yearn for the day when my time is ALL MINE. I realize that these last few years with my children at home are precious. Yes, I will be pulled in a myriad of directions because teenagers don’t tell you until the last minute that they need poster board, money, special clothes or a ride across town. Yes, I will be picking up after 2 teens and 2 adults while also planning and cooking nutritious meals. Yes, I am still working 33 hours per weak for a large hospital system. So, I prioritize. Sometimes lying on the couch and Netflix-ing is a priority ( everything in moderation, including moderation). Usually, I am able to carve a few hours out of my day for MY passions. (Some days are harder than others). My life is not the quintessential example of simple living, not by a long shot. Yet, it’s better than it ever has been and we are on a trajectory that gets better ( and somewhat easier) every year.
Today, I challenge you to write down your priorities. By that, I mean those people, aspirations and goals in your life that are most important to you. If your number one priority is “ To make a bunch of money and live like the Kardashians”, may I suggest that you have landed on the wrong blog? We live in a world that is inundated with advertising, propaganda, and talking heads that want to convince you that consuming by purchasing is the secret to happiness. While the Kardashians may agree with that, it is antithetical to my goals in life. The first time you sit down and examine your experiences with consumerism and your concerns about your debt burden, income, retirement savings, emergency savings etc… you might be a little afraid about the trajectory your life is taking you. ( I know I was) A vast number of Americans deal with that uneasiness by denying that it is a problem. ( As a nurse, let me tell you that denial is perhaps the strongest coping mechanism of the human species. Unfortunately, it is also the least helpful coping mechanism of the human species.)
** Disclaimer** While I use affiliate links to generate a small amount of income to cover upkeep and maintenance of the blog, ( never with any additional cost to you) I encourage my readers to find lower cost or free alternatives. I never use pop-ups or ads because I feel it detracts from the user’s experience. If you do find a more frugal alternative, please share in the comments below. The book mentioned here might be found through inter-library loan, EBay, Etsy, or used bookstores.
- Spend time with my kids and husband
- Live frugally but not shabbily
- Instill my children with a healthy foundation of morals and ethics to guide them in life
- Avoid debt whenever possible ( outside of our mortgage, we have none)
- Travel (but not so long as it interferes with living frugally or avoiding debt)
- Craft – my hobbies include knitting, sewing, painting
- Home improvement when necessary
The most substantial people are the most frugal, and make the least show, and live at the least expense