I remember the moment like it was yesterday…
My husband and I were in our office, the phones were ringing, his beeper was buzzing, there was a client waiting downstairs, and our assistant had just called off. I looked up from a stack of invoices as he handed me a flyer. All he said as he turned to leave was “This is where I want to be.” His eyes were sad and his voice cracked. In seven words my otherwise strong and in control husband told me he quit. As I looked down at the flyer, I saw nothing but a red tractor parked in a field. It was an advertisement for a tractor company and it spoke loud and clear to where my husband’s heart wanted to be. Anywhere but in the concrete jungle, we were calling home.
That seems like a lifetime ago, but it was the beginning of a new life for us. It was the start of our quest to a simpler life. It was time to leave the city and follow our dreams. At first, it was hard to slow down after spending so many years living a stressful lifestyle. But we made it work by applying some basic simple living principles.
Living in the country and owning a tractor may not be your dream, but whatever it is that’s inspiring you, try to apply some of these techniques:
- Make your lifestyle a priority– We knew we wanted to live in the country, grow vegetables, raise animals and be self-sufficient. We wanted to re-live our childhood by smelling hay, gathering eggs and having a pantry full of home-canned food. Determine the lifestyle you want and make it a priority!
- Slow down and enjoy every task – A big part of living simple is slowing down, which can be a real challenge for a society that is consumer driven by the fastest, newest, and next best thing. Whether it’s cleaning a chicken coop or building a fence, we try hard to enjoy the task at hand. We work hard and laugh often.
- Know what’s important – For us, there was nothing that could hold us back from living our dream. For our sanity, we knew we had to change, to get back to our roots and build a life in the country. It didn’t come easy, but through hard work and determination we accomplished our life-long goal. Figure out what’s important to you and let nothing stand in your way!
- Connect with nature – It’s so natural to feel the dirt between your fingers and the sun on your face. One of the first steps to living a simpler life is allowing the wonders of nature to connect with your soul. Take a walk, plant a flower, listen to the birds and you’ll be amazed at its calming effect on your personal well-being.
- Make the most of today – Stop worrying about tomorrow and live for the day. Moving to the country far away from the hustle of the city made us realize that our time here on earth is short and made us want to live each day to its fullest.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, stop and make a list of goals.
You don’t need to change your address or move to the country to live a simple life. All you need is to learn to slow down, turn your back on consumerism, make time to enjoy nature and make the most of every day. Life is not a race. Simple living is only a few steps away, so take yours today!
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