Make it simple, but significant. – Don Draper.
Lately I’ve had something on my mind, when i say lately I mean for well over a year. For a long time I have been yearning for a new type of lifestyle, so I’ve been slowly starting a journey towards it for a few months now. But I feel now is the time I want to fill my friends & my readers in on it…
I drift away from this lifestyle idea, but it is only temporary and I am always drawn back to it. And to me that is how I know I am truly passionate about something, when I cannot stop thinking about it. The idea of simple living. A back to basic style of life.
What is simple living?
There are so many definitions of simple living, everyones idea is different. For me it is making voluntary lifestyle changes to simplify our life & get back to the basics.
Now I’m in 2 frames of mind about how I ideally would like to live simply. I love the idea of being a minimalist with only the bare essentials, living off grid & solely off the land & being entirely self sufficient, but realistically it probably isn’t fair on my family or myself or viable really at this point in our lives. So the style of simple living that I keep leaning towards is, well I guess you could say “suburban simple living”.
Gradually changing small aspects of our lives to be more self sufficient & simple.
Now while I say all this I must stress I still enjoy our luxuries, I am not parting with my Thermomix which helps me in the kitchen, I like our “things”, I love technology & I enjoy modern conveniences. I want less stuff but I do enjoy what we have. But ultimately I want our home to be filled with things we either need or love, not just “materialistic crap”. I won’t be stripping my daughter of her lovely toys or making Trent part with his possessions – this journey is all about compromise and being realistic, so instead I want to teach my daughter to take good care of her things, make them last but not be materialistic as at the end of the day they are only “things”. I’m not going to go off grid – but I see the sense in cutting down on my technology time. I am still shopping for pieces to add to my new studio (which I will show you all shortly) and also searching for perfect items for LuLu’s big girl room – so I am not claiming I’ll give up my love for Kmart or good deals – but I don’t buy things just to spend money, I buy things we need or love.
So what sparked this lifestyle change?
I have realised I get so much satisfaction from doing things for my family, myself. I love the idea of living simply & devoting more of our time & selves to each other. Working together to benefit our family and spending quality time with each other. One of my most favourite things to do is to cook an entire meal for the people I love, I love my kitchen being busy, filled with my entire family, eating the food I made for them. That simple moment, makes me so deliriously happy.
We live in such a materialistic & spoilt world. We always want bigger & better and I’m guilty of this too, so I am not judging. We always want to be better than the neighbours. But I couldn’t care anymore what anyone else is doing, I want to be doing things that benefit my family – not just now but in the long run. I want to instil values, ethics and morals into my daughter now that will last with her for the rest of her life. I want her to know how to do things for herself and that you don’t always have to pay someone to do basic things for you! To show her how to live a life that is calm enough that you remember to stop and enjoy the small things.
I’m not in life to compete with anyone, I am in this life for my family & I feel it’s part of my purpose to make this life as wonderful & honest as I can. For me that is living simply, focusing on family, God and embracing a calmer life.
I want calm, I don’t want chaos, I don’t need drama – I crave simplicity, peace & joy.
Over the past few months I’ve made a handful of simple changes in our life; I’ve started making our own laundry powder, cleaning with more natural & home made cleaners, mending more, making homemade gifts, eating venison we hunt, baking our own bread, meal planning, cooking & baking more from scratch and letting go of hurt & anger. While some of these changes aren’t super “convenient” & some people may find them very odd, these changes give me satisfaction & help me live a calmer & simpler life.
These changes are very small & just a start, but it’s a start & a step towards a lifestyle we desire to have.
Our next goal as a family is to start a kitchen garden (vegetable garden) so we can grow our own produce. I would love to have an orchard & some chickens as well, but with the chickens – well, I have a border collie who may think they are some type of snack. Hopefully one day if we have enough space we can have some chooks, but at this stage it isn’t wise – well, we will see – maybe I am wrong about Daisy!
Now we can grow tomatoes like professionals – I am not even joking tomato bushes just seem to follow us and grow everywhere, we can grow cucumbers & squash, but that’s about it. If you have any advice or tips and tricks for growing a very successful veggie garden please let me know!
A long term goal for us is to purchase a property. We wish to own at the very minimum 41 acres (who knows though, we would be happy with even just 10 acres!) & build a functional & beautiful family home & small farm. We want to have a large vegetable garden, have some fruit trees, raise our own beef & chickens, possibly have a cold room facility so we can butcher our own venison that we hunt, have space for our daughter to play freely & safely.
The certainty of the life expectancy of Trent’s job is currently up in the air which is why we haven’t moved forward on this plan – for now we are staying at our current home for at least 3-4 more years, at the very least. If Trent’s workplace ended up closing we would be fine & are confident in his work skills that he could easily find another job & he already has good contacts to find a new job if he needed to. This doesn’t worry us greatly, we do love the area we live in and hope we can stay here but if we end up moving well then it was meant to be and we will build our dreams somewhere else. But that is why this is a long term goal.
This being said our current home is a stunning & large house that we are very fortunate to have, the only reason we want to move is for more land & to be more rural. We don’t want a bigger house, we just want more acreage! We love space, most of my childhood was spent on my families farm of 102 acres, I love the freedom of owning land – having your own space. Being able to get a goat because you feel like it. I feel more at peace when I am surrounded by “bush” other than neighbours.
So that’s our dream, one day… One day we will have space, maybe it won’t be in 3-5 years, maybe it will take us 10, but I know one day we will have land and boy, will it be amazing.
Trent and I are both people who enjoy the outdoors, we are both keen hunters, we both prefer to spend time in the “country” opposed to the “city” – so that would be our ideal life and hopefully if & when we buy a larger piece of land we can build our “forever home”.
So that is where we are at currently. Dreaming of owning a farm, growing our own produce, raising our own meat & just enjoying family life in our own space. But life is a journey and we are well on our way to achieving our dreams one day, we just have to be patient and make do with what we have currently. That isn’t to suggest our life now isn’t wonderful, it is more than wonderful, but we just want land – space to live, grow & be calm. One day, one day we will have it.
Also the images used in this post I designed today, just something I came up with as I was playing with my water colours. I am fairly happy with the feathers I know my “fake calligraphy” needs a lot of work but beside from that – thoughts? Be kind, they are my first attempts really at water colour. 🙂 I really enjoy using water colours to paint, it is very relaxing & I was a bit shocked at how well they turned out!
Until next time, take care.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris.