by Tammy Taylor
It’s all the rage now: Voluntary Simplicity. I guess it means different things to different people. To me it means living more deliberately but it doesn’t involve deprivation or sacrifice, it simply means shunning things in my life that don’t add any value. Voluntary simplicity is often a higher-labor yet slower-paced life, one that bids you to stop and smell the roses.
It’s often softer on the earth which is very important to me. It’s also often less expensive so it’s good for the budget as well. But for me the most important aspect is that it’s good for my spirit. Voluntary simplicity is not about deprivation, but about creativity. The term itself is a little misleading since a “simple” life is seldom if ever a life with less effort. For instance it’s acting on voluntary simplicity to hang my laundry under that blazingly-blue Texas sky instead of quickly stuffing clothes into an electric dryer. It’s voluntary simplicity to work the beds, plant, weed and harvest fresh veggies from my own garden instead of grabbing whatever is offered at the store as I’m walking down the produce aisle. It’s a lifestyle that’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly a good fit for me!
I don’t know what lead me to the voluntary-simplicity lifestyle, although even as a youngster I had an old-fashioned spirit. But as I moved to my own home and began my own life I got caught-up in the swirl of life. As a young adult with small children, a full-time job and the homeowner excitement that comes with that period of my life, I was having fun playing grownup and just maintaining my life but it was a very day-to-day existence. Every day was much the same as the day before and I was clawing all week for those precious few weekend hours when I could slow things down awhile. I longed for a life that was deeper in meaning.
Since starting on this voluntary simplicity journey over two decades ago my life has become significantly more meaningful. Instead of getting that rush from buying that new whatsit from the most fashionable stores, I get that same charge by sitting on our back porch with my Love in our older wooden rockers, glasses of wine in hand, and watching together as that brilliant sun sinks into the western sky behind the old barn that speaks to my heart.
I plan to keep expanding my reach for self sufficiency as time passes, it’s something that’s become a fun hobby for me. It satisfies the crunchy-green me as well as the old-time soul I’ve always had. What’s next? Time will tell!
Live simply my friends!
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