I have been enamored by the idea of “the simple life” for many years because I have always felt that my life is more hectic, demanding or stressful than I wish it would be. Of course, the ever present niche of simple living has a way of rising to the surface of popular culture and has drawn me in time and time again. I am always reading a new simple living blog or book or watching videos or documentaries or swapping tips on how to live a simple yet fulfilling existence with my fellow 9-to-5 laborers. Yet I cannot make that ultimate move away from the traps of modern life. I enjoy my smart phone, I cannot grow my own food for anything, in fact it has cost me more to try than it would save me in a year. I can not bring myself to live a simple life as far as it means giving up the luxuries of my modern life.
Of course, my favorite simple life writer is a retired women who writes beautifully, supports her community, is involved in so mant life reaffirming activities and her blog is filled with photos of beautiful hand made, shabby chic creations. I have read her blog for years and felt inspired by her lifestyle, hoping to one day spark my own simple life journey. This longing has eaten away at me for a long time.
Yet, despite all this, the reality hit me like a tonne of bricks recently we don’t all live a simple life because we chose not to. We have evolved as a human race. We moved on from homesteading, farming the land because that life is a harsh, tough life. We have evolved so that we do not all have to toil long and hard in the fields to provide a basic living for our families and ourselves.
At the turn of last century, there were fewer than 100 hospitals throug out the entire United States. If we had been born 100 year ago, our basic quality of life would be far less than it is today. No one had televisions, computers or smart phones. Hardly anyone had a car. We have many more choices today than our ancestors had and a much higher basic standard of living. Which means our idea around what simple living can be should evolve too. We no longer have to work as hard as possible to achieve a state of survival. We can make many choices because our lives can afford it. You can choose many versions of your own simple life. In my next post I will explore what choices my family makes for our version of the simple life.