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researching simple living

It has occured to me how complicated we can make our effort to living simply. We feel that we need to do it all and then some. We read blogs and books and feel like if we aren’t growing everything we eat and making everything we use, we must be doing something wrong. This revelation came to me when I was reading an article on how to simplify your DIY.

Or maybe I’m just talking about myself here. I know that I have a tendency to over complicate things. I have a wonderfully annoying habit of researching the pants off of anything and then trying to dive in head first. I really should remember what my goals are for changing our lifestyle.

I have a number of reasons: frugality, health, appreciating the simple things, teach my kids the importance of work and more. But, when I dream about my goals for my life, I don’t picture money in the bank, or being superfit/healthy. I picture being able to take the time to enjoy my family. Working alongside them without being tied down by the craziness of this world. Slowing down. Peace.

Now I need to ask myself, will what I’m doing lead me to that life? I’m pretty sure that, if I attempted to learn and do everything at once (garden, canning, herbalism, soap making, cheese making, weaving, knitting, sewing, building and wood working and the list goes on) that I would just burn out. We are not designed to do it all. And very few people are able to dive in head first without drowning. That doesn’t sound very peaceful to me.

So, instead of my grand plan for our garden this year, I managed to move one step further than last year. The only vegetables I planted were tomatoes and carrots. Oh, and onions because I saw an idea on pinterest and thought it would be a simple way to use up the space where I planted my chamomile (that didn’t come up). I planted in containers because I figured it made sense to have a portable garden due to our impending move. I watered with a bucket from my kitchen sink because I have no faucet on my house. And I watched and waited. I did very minimal weeding (one of my favorite parts of container gardening) and only a little bit of fertilizing.

tomato container garden

My garden took about 10 minutes to care for every couple of days and I didn’t lose my mind. I learned a lot about growing tomatoes and carrots. I didn’t get a huge and bountiful crop this year but I did manage to learn enough to point me in the right direction for next year’s garden.carrots from container garden

Next year my goal is small: plant enough of a garden so I don’t need to buy veggies through the growing season. If that goes well, the year after next I’ll plant enough so that we can store some for the winter.

But, for now, 10 minutes extra into my schedule is simple. Because simplifying should be simple to do.

Another couple great posts that I have recently read that are great grounders when you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you’re not doing enough:
How Do you Know When You Are Natural Enough? (Cheeky Bums Blog)
dear sweet mom who feels like she is failing (Finding Joy)