{when living simply becomes complicated}

I hate to call simple living a trend, but well, it's most definitely a trend. I'm seeing signs of people attempting to live a more simple life all over the internets these days (which I have to think is somewhat...paradoxical?). It's evident in even just the photos we're seeing all over Pinterest: clean lines, neutral colors, overexposed lighting. I can't help but feel that I'm somehow missing out on this amazing life that embraces simplicity and quietness. 

I want to live more simply. I truly do. But am I the only one who feels like in order to do so, I need to move somewhere quiet, rent a home with lots of natural light and hardwood floors, and take up knitting? And to me, that just sounds too complicated. I don't want to read books on how live a simpler life, or get advice from anyone else. It should be what feels natural to me. 

For some people, that means eating more organically. For others, it means giving up the internet or bits of technology. And one for one family, it may even mean selling their house so they can travel around the country in a trailer for a year. 

I want to live more simply. I want to embrace the little things in life. For me, that means letting go of all that living simple clutter that seems to have formed on my Pinterest boards and bookmarks. I may want to see how others do, but I am going to do it my own way. I think that's how it should be, don't you?

I already live in a small apartment. I can't compost or raise chickens in my backyard. I can't grow a full vegetable garden, so for me, it means embracing my home the way it is. It means getting rid of the things I don't use, but not feeling guilty because my linen closet is full of fancy napkins and cake platters. It means planting and caring for my little herb garden that grows on my porch every summer. It means turning off the computer at a decent hour, and leaving my cell phone out of the bedroom.

It means refusing to fill up my life with anything, just because someone else tells me I should.

Have you attempted to live a more simple life? What does it mean to you?


Joelle Duff said...

Thanks for this post. I think the same things sometimes.

But you nailed it with the idea of "getting rid of clutter". We're renting too right now and we've got carpet and plain white walls and closets without doors... so it won't ever have the beautiful, "simple" look.

Here's what my husband and I are striving for when it comes to living simply:
- clean (this is probably the biggest hurdle for us, how embarrassing!)
- healthier foods, less processed
- donating clothes we don't wear
- cutting out activities from our lives that don't ADD to our experience here

Nice and easy and has nothing to do with physical beauty the way lots of pinterest boards do. Those boards are great for inspiration at least!

Joelle Duff said...

We live pretty simply, partly by necessity. We're on a pretty thin budget, and we live in a small-ish home and drive old cars and don't get to do many fancy things. For us it's just what works. We have a long way to go in simplifying our possessions because there is a lot of clutter and junk in our storage closet and throughout the house that really needs to be tackled. But to me living simply shouldn't be something I need a manual for ... I think you are onto the right idea here with doing what makes the most sense to you and not making simple, complicated.

Joelle Duff said...

Beautiful post Joelle. For me, living simply means being comfortable in my own skin and not trying to impress anyone (which is a very difficult task). Living simply also means that I don't feel guilty for doing what I love. Happy Tuesday!

Joelle Duff said...

Great reflections! I think living simply will definitely look different for everyone.

Joelle Duff said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear. . I was reading things on how to simplify your life all day today and this post made me realize that living simply looks different for everyone. . It truly inspired me to live my own.

Joelle Duff said...

I've been feeling this way a lot recently as well. I keep thinking about how so much of how I feel about the things in my life is dictated by what I see on the internet. I started going a little bit crazy to the point where I was trying to make my apartment more photograph-able than live-able and I was getting so frustrated that not everything in my life was one perfectly tidy, overexposed, daydream situation. I've sort of had to bring myself back to reality and realize that while I love having nice things and getting inspired by home decor blogs and Pinterest, my home is my home first and I need the things in it even if everything's not perfect all the time. I think just being conscious of the benefits of leading a more simple life is important and remembering to take the time to de-clutter emotionally will help maintain a healthy perspective!

Joelle Duff said...

This is such a great post. I find it fascinating to watch trends form and gather popularity on Pinterest. I think your way of living simply sounds just lovely :)


Joelle Duff said...

i love this post, joelle, and i have felt the same way!! the instagrams, blog posts, well it can be misleading and make us feel like there's this perfect way of living and there's not. they're just pretty pictures. the true test of a "simple" or "perfect" life is how happy you are in it. xx

Joelle Duff said...

I think this is excellent. Though... I do live in the woods, in a log cabin with lots of hardwood floors, and I do knit. But you know what? The only thing in that sentence that I made the choice to do was the knitting. I married a man with a log cabin in the woods. So there you have it.

I like you hit the nail on the head though - living simply must be an individual response to a cultural setting. If it means buying organic, then do it. If it means decluttering your life, sounds good too. I'm not sure there's a 'correct' way to do it.

And... comparison often hurts more then helps, I'd say.
Maggie B.

Joelle Duff said...

Great post! I feel like a lot of people have been contemplating a simple life lately and what that means. I wrote a post recently about wanting to stop wanting for so many things. It's a work in progress!

Joelle Duff said...

I agree, living simply can be complicated. And I think that most anyone who truly tries it, finds it can be that way. The biggest thing for me was deciding what was important to me and making sure that I filled my life with those things first. The rest comes much easier after that!