"Planning a simple life is like writing a love letter to yourself. You can include what you want to include, you live by your own values, love who and what you love, develop your own usefulness and eventually you become the person you wanted to be in all those private moments of hoping for a life of grace and splendid simplicity." -Down to Earth
Although there may be many similarities connecting those that express a desire to live a "simple life" there will also be differences. It might include eliminating tv or the car. It might mean growing your own food or baking your own bread. But it doesn't have to be all of those things or any of those things. It is a personal vision defined by one's own values and dreams. My path is my own. I love the definition of the simple life as expressed by Rhonda on her blog Down to Earth. It so beautifully expresses what I am pursuing when I say that I am planning and working towards a simple life. And every year I strive to refine what is important to me, what I want to invest my time and energy into pursuing or maintaining and eliminating those things that don't fit. Every year I strive to refine who I am. There was a time when I believed that I could have it all, do it all and be it all. I have since grown up. I now recognize that there are limitations - limitations in time, energy and money. I have learned that everything, even my possessions, require energy and my energy can only go so far. I have learned that life is a series of trade-offs and in order to live a life most fulfilled I must make deliberate choices about those trade-offs. Attaining this understanding has now enabled me to truly focus on developing a vision - a vision of who I want to be and how I want to live.
For years I have been exploring different ways of living and doing things and seeing what is a comfortable fit for me. Also for years I have worked on releasing the stuff that doesn't fit; that, in the end, takes too much energy and trips me up.
For the last two years I have had a goal of sorting through and purging from every nook and cranny of my property. The first year I made good progress but fell short. This last year I succeeded (oh my, short of one corner that I just recalled failing to sort through, shucks!). This last year I started a blog entitled A Life Edited and Curated where I documented a portion of my editing process and will soon move on to documenting the curating process. I needed this encouragement. I still need this encouragement. I need to know that I am making progress towards my goals. I need to know that more is leaving my house than is entering. I need to know that I am moving forward toward the goal of being surrounded only by those things that I love the most and that are most useful when attempting to meet other goals.
In the year 2015 I was able to rid myself of over 2200 items that were clogging up my life. I have begun to create margins in my life, a little extra space that will allow me room to maneuver, to do more work and to create something utterly beautiful and purposeful. This is part of my "simple life" - a life with margins and maneuverability and only beautiful and purposeful things and spaces.
And doing only beautiful and purposeful things.
As I have made, and continue to make, more margins in my physical environment I find that I am making more space to do the things that inspire me most. I hope to explore the DO-ing more this year. In the past I have made lists of things I would like to do. These lists have contained household projects, skills to learn and experiences to have. I will likely make one again this year but I am not prepared to do that as of yet. My head is not yet bursting at the seams with things I want to do (beyond the sorting and purging yet again goal); presently I am content to go with the flow and see what comes my direction.
So, I move forward into 2016 seeking grace and splendid simplicity!