August 30, 2013
Living Simply Because I Want To
Last Fall I remember roasting my Halloween pumpkins to make pumpkin puree for some Thanksgiving desserts and to have on hand to make my own pumpkin spice lattes. And as I stood there in my kitchen I was overwhelmed by a sense of satisfaction and contentment.
I thought to myself, this is what simple living is about. Having the time and resources to do something like make my own pumpkin puree. But then I thought why would the average person take the time to make pumpkin puree when they could just buy it at the store? Why is making my own pumpkin puree so important to me?
And that's when it hit me. I am taking time out of my life when I could be doing hundreds of other more important things but I wanted to make pumpkin puree instead. I don't need pumpkin puree. It's not like we cannot afford to buy a can of it at the store. I am sure some people would argue that you can taste the difference. But once I throw mine in some coffee or make it in a cheesecake, I am probably not really going to notice. And to take it even further, I could just buy a pumpkin spice latte at Starbuck's or go to the store to buy a pumpkin cheesecake...or even, heaven forbid, make something else less tedious without pumpkin!
But all of these reasons have nothing to do with why I made pumpkin puree. I found satisfaction and a sense of resourcefulness in doing it. And that is what simple living is about. It's not because we are poor and have to live this way. Or that I live in the middle of nowhere and do not have modern resources to things. It's because I want to live simply.
If you don't want a simple life, you aren't going to have one. If your time, social life, work, voice in your head, or feelings of needing to do certain things or live up to a certain lifestyle are more important to you than you are never going to obtain a sense of living simply. And that is okay. Because not everyone wants a simple life bad enough to make the sacrifices it takes to achieve it.
I almost feel like I stumbled upon having a simple life. It wasn't something I planned on or set my sights on. Instead it was kind of a morphing of my priorities and honestly, given the opportunity to slow down, I got a taste of what living simply was all about and couldn't go back to living a busy one.
Simple living does not look just one certain way. You could have a simple life but not have a desire to make your own pumpkin puree. Because though making pumpkin puree isn't that hard, it is not necessarily simple or even important. But simple living is about finding what is important to YOU and living that way, getting rid of the other things that aren't as important.