A Simple Life

I frequently watch HGTV’s House Hunters International. It’s a terrific way to see the world on a budget. One thing I’ve noticed is that many of the prospective home buyers have one thing in common: they’re searching for a simpler life.

Personally, I think they could look in their own backyard. As much as I would love to travel around the world or live in exotic places, I’ve learned that enjoying a simple life is more about choice than location.ย While some people thrive on keeping overloaded schedules, nothing stresses me more.

Over time I’ve developed a handful of skills that help keep the stressors to a minimum.

Prioritize Who/What’s Important – My faith and family should always come first. When my schedule gets so crowded that there’s little room for either, then I know it’s time to cut back. When I start many things but finish few, then projects have to go. I’d rather take on a few projects and do them well rather than take on many and do them poorly. Think about what you would rather sacrifice: your faith and family or the project?

Keep A List – I begin every day with a To-Do list and prioritize the items on the list. (I’m even writing this blog off a list.) It’s a visual way to see not only what needs to be done, but what’s been accomplished. When I don’t make a list, even if I’ve been busy the entire day, I’ll feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Prepare by Pre-Planning – My oldest son graduates from high school one year from now. Already I’m planning his graduation party. Throughout the year I’ll purchase what I need for his party, and store it in a large Rubbermaid container. When his party day arrives, I’ll be ready. Also, I’m also spreading the cost over months so it’s much gentler on my checkbook.

Learn to Say NO – It’s hard to say No, especially when someone asks you to help with a project you know is worthwhile. But, if you can give only scraps of time to that project, who are you benefiting? If you’re stealing time away from your priorities, who are you benefiting? When asked to help with something, don’t give ย a quick, un-thought-out yes. Pray about it. Look at your schedule–will this new project fit in so you can give your all? If the answer is No, then don’t be afraid to say No out loud. In the end you’ll be thankful, as will the person who asked you for help.

Take a Vacation – I just spent a week in Branson, Missouri with my daughter. We didn’t over-schedule the week, but rather chose a couple activities we wanted to do. We kept busy, but we also took much time to relax. On the way home, I even had breakfast with three other Inkspys! That couldn’t have happened if I’d over-scheduled. If traveling is out of the budget, become a tourist in your home area. I love discovering what Minnesota has to offer!

So, no, I won’t be moving overseas to find the simpler life. I’ve found it right here at home.

Published by

Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson is the author of the gritty Coming Home Series. She writes authentic and life-affirming fiction. Learn more about Brenda at www.BrendaAndersonBooks.com.

8 thoughts on “A Simple Life”

  1. Amen. Yesterday my choices for an hour or so was…read, do heavy duty farm work, rake leaves or work in the garden. i quickly decided the farm work came firt, and then, since it was a very calm day, the raking. No reading, but that’s okay. That’s coming. Technology is a must in our life, but simplicity can still be our choice.

  2. Marianne – Farm work always seems to come first. Hope you had nice weather to work in, then it’s not nearly so bad.

    I completely agree with your statement, “Technology is a must in our life, but simplicity can still be our choice.” It’s certainly my choice. Many would say that technology simplifies life–if that were true, how come people are busier than ever?

    Last night I learned that circumstances can quickly change our priorities as I had to pencil in “Tow our van to the auto shop” at the top of today’s to-do list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Brenda,
    I wish I could be as organized about things as you. I have gotten better over the years, but I could still use some improvement.

    I’m so glad you and your daughter made it last Saturday!! It was a highlight to my weekend (topped only with my college son being home for a send off to his mission trip).

    I do think all you have to do is go in your backyard to make life simpler also. Great advice!

  4. Dawn – I can definitely use improvement in organization too–you should see my house!

    I loved seeing you, Shari, & Lorna on Saturday! It was the perfect way to cap off our week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What a blessing for you four to get together!!!!! Any gossip you’d care to share? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been internetless at home running book fairs at my school so I’ve been major AWOL on the technology side of things and am way behind on everything cyberspace!!!!

    I hate keeping lists but I’ll reluctantly admit that it does keep things simple. Bah!! I remember the days when I could keep everything straight in my head and thrived on a definitely non-simple chaotic life.

  6. Well said, Brenda. You put it all in perspective. It always amazes me too that people feel like they have to move out of the country to find a simpler life. I can do that right where I am. It’s all priorities.

    My priority today was work in the garden and plant the peppers. Now to plant the blueberry bush I got for Mother’s Day.

  7. Kav – It was so much fun! Someone really needs to invent a Star Trek-like transporter so we can all do breakfast together.

    My life isn’t near as chaotic as many people, still To-do List keeping has really helped me prioritize and organize my day. When I cross items off, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

  8. Shari, you’re right, it is all about priorities. My list today isn’t as fun as planting a blueberry bush (sounds yummy!). I get to do laundry & pay bills! Woo hoo! I’ve already crossed off Get Van Fixed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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