via Daily Prompt: Finite
Prior to having my son, life seemed to move along at a very slow and measured pace. Work weeks were punctuated by short weekends filled with much downtime and relaxation where my husband and I could catch our breathe and recharge our batteries. Now that I have a 16 month old, I have noticed time has sped up since having him. I have no idea where the 16 months have gone. He has grown so much and so quickly but being so busy with him means that our time flies by before we even realize it.
Juggling being a working couple with taking care of our son in the most hands-on way we can achieve with the fact that he is in daycare 50 hours a week, is demanding, challenging and exhausting. However, it is work every moment. It is so important to both of us to ensure that even though life is so extremely busy at this point that we prioritize spending quality time with our son because these years will go by so quickly that if we do not intentionally dedicate time to him, that we will miss it.
Never before have I felt the march of time so quickly and so finitely. I am aware every day that my son will be a toddler for only a short time, he will only be this young today. After today, he will only get older. He will only continue his march on to growing into a, hopefully, independent adult who will move out and move on with his life.
Realizing this, two things have become very important to me:
- I want to dedicate every moment I can to my son’s development and growth and hold on to all those memories as tight as I can.
- Ensure that my relationship with my husband is tended to and nurtured because one day, it will be only the 2 of us again and when that day comes I still want to have a wonderful relationship with my husband.
I am so grateful to have these moments and to be fully aware of the value of this season of my life. A memory popped up in my Facebook feed today from a year ago when my son was 4 months old that mentioned how I was in the happiest season of my life. How true those thoughts were and remain. I am grateful to have these experiences in my life and will appreciate them as long as they are here, then try to gracefully let them go when the time is right.
via Daily Prompt: Continue
In my last post, I mentioned that I would go into details around how we chose a simple life to continue the thoughts that were started in that post. We have chosen to live a simple life that involves and acknowledges that technology and human advances are not always a bad thing. Our version of the simple life is more of a middle road than the usual extreme version of returning to the land, the old ways and rejection of the progress we have made as a civilization in the last 100 years.
We do not homestead, instead we reduce the amount of time we spend focused on acquiring the food that replenishes us. We DO spend a lot of time preparing and enjoying the food together as a family. Our home was chosen because the kitchen is the heart of it. We recently relocated our small dining room table to our kitchen so that we could enjoy family meals with our 16 month old son on easy to clean tile while we repurposed the dining room as his playroom replenish with a plush carpet to cushion his bumps. This has allowed us to feel more comfortable in our own home, despite it not looking like the house it was designed to be.
Making our home functional for us is part of our simple life. We have also commitTed ourselves to wanting to stay in the house for the rset of our lives. That commitment has helped simplify how we make decisions around lifestyle, careers, saving for retirement, building relationships and cultivating a feeling of community where we live.
What decisions have you made that represent a modern twist of the idea of the simple life?
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.