I recently answered some questions for a magazine article about simple living which left me feeling perplexed and in desperate need to clarify. The question that had me all a fluster went something along the lines of: How do you make simple living look so easy?
Oh goodness, please don't think for a second that I find it easy!
I may practise simplicity but in no way have I mastered it. I suppose it's a little bit like practising yoga; somedays it all just flows and at other times everything is clunky and disjointed. And when you're attempting to live simply and raise children and work freelance and keep a home ticking along, the clunk is far more pronounced than the flow.
If you came to my house you may frown upon the decidedly un-minimalist bookshelves or the laundry basket that is never not overflowing. You may wonder where the abundant vegie patch is (I've got grand plans for spring seedling but for now they're planted firmly in my head) or question the takeaway coffee cups that are most definitely not reusable. Sometimes the produce at the bottom of my fridge is beyond saving in any soup or broth so it goes in the bin because we don't have chooks or a compost. I'm proud to say that I use disposable nappies because the thought of more unnecessary washing is beyond ridiculous and scraping poo from cotton cloth may just send me batty. And the wardrobes that I decluttered in a moment of clarity have once again become higgledy-piggledy thanks to a house move and turning a blind eye.
That's the thing about simplifying; it's ongoing and always evolving and while it may serve you well for a while, your priorities can easily shift. But what is wonderful about living with such mindfulness is that one little change inevitably inspires the next. Sure, it's often a case of two steps forward, one step back and sometimes it all falls in a heap, but it's a productive heap all the same.
For me, the biggest leaps have been creating good intentions and subsequently changing habits. And knowing that when I lose a grip on a new-found habit, the world will keep on spinning regardless.
So many of my simple living goals are inspired by environmental awareness and adhering to a budget but they often require more time and effort than I have in the tank. And it's in those weary moments that I come to see simple living as letting go of ideals and being in the now, takeaway coffee cup in hand.