Finding My Way Back to Simple


wooden pathI long for a simple life. Really, I do.

And I get frustrated because that clutter-free life seems to elude me.

But it wasn’t always this way.

In my early years as an only child, I had hours and hours to read and create and discover.

When I was a young woman living on my own, I worked long, stressful shifts in a hospital, but I only worked 12 nights a month (full time!). I had a lot of free time, which I spent studying my Bible, writing, visiting friends, traveling, playing guitar, taking walks, going to concerts, lying on a blanket in the spring sun gazing up at the sky, and whatever else I felt like doing. And I didn’t feel guilty for any of it.

When my husband and I were newlyweds, we lived quite simply. The hours we weren’t working were filled with fun, relaxation, and travel. We didn’t have a lot of stuff (no basement full of junk!) so cleaning and de-cluttering was a breeze.

Even when our children were very young, life was simple. Yes, we had more clothes and toys to shuffle around, but our days had a pattern and rhythm that included only the essentials. That’s all we had time and strength to get done.

Then I started homeschooling and life became quite a bit more complicated. The house was littered with curriculum, experiments, sports paraphernalia, art projects, and costumes. My mind was littered with lesson plans, juggling our extremely busy calendar, my responsibilities at co-op, and the other nine million things mothers, wives, and homemakers have to handle. It seemed like every moment of the day was scheduled and we lived out of our car more than our house. (And people think homeschoolers aren’t socialized???).

Add to that teaching classes, freelance writing, editing, consulting, and public speaking. And the schedule got more cluttered, as did the house, and my mind. At times it was nearly unbearable. Yet, I trudged on because I convinced myself that this was really living.

Then technology took off like a rocket and I thought I’d never see the simple life again. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, smart phones, smart TVs. Stuff needed to be backed up, defragged, rebooted, protected, and updated constantly.

Now, here I am today an empty-nester. My house is littered with more junk than I’ve had in most years previously. (How did that happen?) I have so much variety that I have a hard time choosing even what to do with my life. I have time stretching out before me, but it seems to fill up with meaningless tasks as the days slip by so quickly. And now it’s my mind that needs to be defragged! The focus I once had is hard to come by anymore.

And I long for those simple days again.

I long to find my way back to a time when l worked hard and played hard and lived well.

As the saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

So I’m headed back to simple.

I’m not sure I fully know the way (and I’m not going to program a GPS to direct me!).

But I’m going to start by shushing the “shoulds” and the “musts” and the “ought tos” and the “have tos.”

I’m going to listen, really listen, to what my heart is telling me to do.

I’m going to take one simple step at a time.

Will you join me?




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  1. Thank you for this post! I, too, long for a more simple life and have reluctantly begun the process. I say reluctantly because it will take a lot of work to live more simply! My goals include getting rid of some of those “shoulds” and “have tos” along with lightening my load of stuff.

    • Sounds like a really good plan! The hardest part is taking those first few steps, but even baby steps in a simpler direction will be beneficial.

  2. Your story sounds a lot like mine, only I’m not an empty-nester…I have one child and four daycare kids in my care. I’m trying to build my organizing business and blog to be able to retire from daycare (which I foresee getting a lot of clutter out of my house and brain! ;)). I teach Jazzercise, and recently started a journey with Young Living oils as I continue my pursuit of a healthy family. I find myself stuck between killing myself to get to where I want to be or taking a financial risk and just taking a leap (harder to convince the hubby of that). I know that in the meantime I’m not doing anything really well…and I’m tired. Anyway, I hear ya, and I’m anxious to see how you figure it out!

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Crystal. I understand where you’re coming from. Don’t know that I’ll ever get it all figured out on my end, but thank you for coming along on the journey as we learn together.