A simple life means different things to different people. My idea of simplicity is to work only as much as I need to in order to maintain a no-frills, slower paced life and have time to do what I love. Of course that entails some compromises that I’m very happy to make for the payoff of this lifestyle.
For some, simplicity means being able to earn enough to pay for extra conveniences like household appliances that make housework easier, or even hiring someone else to do the cleaning and gardening, to groom the pets or to wash the car. They may find contentment in owning a larger house or rare and beautiful antiques, or being able to travel. If that's what you love and you’re happy to trade extra hours of work to pay for it, then I say good on you. There is nothing wrong with that and if you’re fortunate enough to really love your job then it’s a win/win.
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But I want something different. Working part-time means having time to put into my writing, my family and my community work. This is what feeds my soul and gives me balance.
Since I choose this path it means I don’t have the resources to pay for services or to buy various labour-saving devices, and that's ok with me. Instead I've made it my quest to look at everything I do and try to discover a more economical way to do it. I also enjoy the challenge of learning to do lots of things from scratch, like making my own bread, yoghurt, cleaning products and even treats for the dog. I like knowing exactly what’s going into them and that they are healthier than their store-bought counterparts.
Image courtesy of thesimplelife.blogspot.com
I don’t in any way deprive myself or my family of any of life’s real pleasures. I eat well, live well, have a lovely, cosy home and a happy social life. When I want something special I save for it. If unexpected expenses arise I have a small emergency fund to cover them. There is also a sense of personal satisfaction in eliminating the unnecessary to make way for the pleasurable. It just feels right.