More Tips For Simple Living
It is not difficult for this writer to think in terms of living a simple life. All I have to do is think back to when I was a child, and then apply it to today’s world. Of course, there are those who will say that today’s world is much more complicated, and only a fool would think it possible to return to those simpler times. Well, then, I am a fool!
Yes, I am a fool, a card-carrying member of that small group of individuals who believe that complicated is not better, and that simple is the only way to prepare for what’s coming down the pike. We are stripping away the unnecessary, and stocking up on some good old-fashioned values and principles.
If any of that interests you, then read on. I will tell you, from my perspective, what I believe to be important in order to live a simpler lifestyle, one grounded in need and not want.
SIT OUT ON THE LAWN
Take a half hour or an hour each day and just sit outside in your yard; if you have a front porch all the better. Grab your favorite drink, maybe a book, your favorite companion, and soak up the outdoors. Can you do it for one hour? We are awake, on average, sixteen hours per day, oftentimes running hither and yon, doing chores and taking care of jobs, kids, spouses, and other responsibilities. Don’t you think you deserve an hour for yourself?
The benefits are too numerous to mention. We need down time; our bodies need it and our minds and emotions need it
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature; smell the scent of life around you. Let life enter your mind and body and gratefully reflect on all the gifts you have been given.
One half-hour….do it….now!
LIVE IN THE NOW
Easier said than done for sure, but again, a huge step towards peace of mind. How many out there chew on the mistakes of the past, like they are some culinary treat to be savored? How many fret over a future that has not arrived, worrying about events that may or may not happen?
We live now….not in the past and not in the future….now! This is our life….now….and to waste a moment of it by thinking of past or future is a shame. What is that old saying, about having one foot in the past, one in the future, and peeing on the present? Rather graphic but oh so accurate!
GO FOR ONE WALK PER DAY
And I’m not talking about walking to the mail box! We as a society are growing more and more sedentary. Exercise is mandatory if we are to live an active lifestyle in our later years. Begin a routine of one walk per day. Start out with a comfortable distance and then increase it as time allows.
Besides the physical benefits, a walk gives your mind a chance to downshift, if you allow it to happen. Look at the birds, the sights, and listen to the sounds. Say hello to people you meet and smile as you do so. Soak it all in, replenish your personal batteries, and I promise you that you will feel energized.
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SAVE YOUR CHANGE
I know, it sounds stupid, but I have had containers with hundreds of dollars in pennies, nickels and dimes, and who couldn’t use a few extra hundred dollars? Every night before I go to bed I empty my pockets and put the change in a container. I do not touch those containers; they are my daily savings account.
You will be amazed how quickly the money adds up, and with modern coin machines you no longer have to put your coins in those paper rollers of old. Just take them to the store and dump them in the machine and convert to paper cash.
MAKE A FILING SYSTEM
My mom could find any paper that related to any subject about our family, and she could do it in less than five minutes. She hated stacks of loose papers and receipts, so early on she started a filing system and she never wavered from it. Quite remarkable, really! If she needed a doctor’s bill from three years prior she had it in five minutes. An old car repair bill? Five minutes! Tax returns? Five minutes!
Why bother doing this you ask? Simply because it saves so much angst when you do need one of your documents; you know right where the paper is! It also saves on those unsightly piles on the dressers and the countertops, and prevents an important document from being lost or damaged…..and….it gets rid of clutter, and living simple is all about de-cluttering!
Sit With Me Awhile
THREE MEALS PER DAY, ONE WITH FAMILY
If you have a family, what is the most important thing in your life? Well, the answer should be obvious, right? Your family is your top priority, so don’t you think sitting down for one meal per day with that family should be a priority.
This tradition, the family meal, has been a part of civilization for thousands of years, and yet modern society seems to be too busy to practice it. Also, do not skimp on meals because you are too busy. Your body and mind need energy, so schedule three meals per day and stick to it. Three per day, one with family….get started now!
ORGANIZE YOUR GOALS
What are your goals? If you are like many, you could probably write down dozens of things you want to accomplish, from short-term to long-term. In fact, many people have so many goals they lose track of them, or start feeling inadequate because they are not accomplishing those goals.
Make a list and then organize them. Long-term….short-term….which goals need to be accomplished in order for others to be accomplished? Which need to be done in one month and which can wait for six months?
Life is too hectic, and this little exercise of writing down goals and organizing them, can save us a great deal of time and wasted effort.
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DO ONE JOB AT A TIME
Let me pick on my former wife for a minute. I’m sure she won’t mind! LOL She was the Queen of Multi-Tasking, but the Master of Nothing. She would grab clothes to do the laundry, and on the way to the washer and dryer she would stop to pick up the dog’s toys. Carrying them to the kitchen she would start piling dishes in the sink, but then the phone would ring and she would go into the livingroom to answer the phone and notice the dirty clothes still sitting there.
She could easily start ten jobs and finish none of them in an hour’s time, and all she really accomplished was to waste time that is much too valuable to waste.
Do one job, finish it, and then start another job and do it to completion. Quit running around in circles; it is frustrating and self-defeating, and certainly does not lead to a simple life.
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
I’ve got a thousand of these suggestions, so take what you need, leave the rest for someone else, and we’ll meet again down the road of life.
Remember, Living Simple is about changing your lifestyle so you have more time to simply live. Pardon the play on words, but that is essentially what this is all about. We need to stop and smell the pansies….or roses if you will…and we need to get back in touch with the things that are truly important.
Until next time, enjoy life and wring every ounce of living out of it that you can! This is your one and only chance, so have a blast while you can! I had a friend once who told me, “stop sweating the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” Words to live by!
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)