Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

Five Positive Steps To More…

If someone asked you what you want more of, what would your answer be?  While many of us might immediately respond ‘More Money!” because we always assume that will solve all of our problems, if real thought is given to the question – what would you say?  More time to spend with family, enjoy a hobby or pursue an activity that enriches your life?  There are a myriad of answers but most of them seem to revolve around time.  Now granted, we still need money to live and our jobs can certainly enrich our lives, but typically we want more than the job.  And we want to be more than the job.  But in order for life to hold more we must learn to live with less.

When my sister and I were little girls growing up in Fort Worth, time didn’t seem so crunched back then.  Why is that?  Our family of four always went to church services on Sunday, sometimes followed with a trip to the local cafeteria for lunch where half the congregation (not really but to two little girls it seemed like half!) was also dining and all the men went around shaking hands and saying hello to everyone, or sometimes Sunday afternoons were spent taking a drive to – somewhere.  If we were lucky Daddy treated us to a Dairy Queen ice cream cone!  Breakfast was always prepared and eaten at the table before we left for school and dinners were always a family affair.  Daddy worked in the yard, Mama in the kitchen, Dianne and I did our homework and played.  Our lives were full, there was laughter and support, there were good neighbors and there was always something to do.  Yet we didn’t leave the house a lot to experience our full lives. And I know I somehow view time differently when I reflect back on my life.

Today?  Lack of time is always the topic isn’t it? We are always wishing for the time we never seem to have.  In my effort to change the way I live – more simply – I also changed my view on time.  It doesn’t always work, but I keep trying.  By learning to live with less, do a little bit less, I have actually opened up my life to more.   My 5 positive steps to more include:

  1. Upon awakening I give myself 5 quiet minutes to be grateful for my new day.
  2. I enjoy the experience of my first cup of coffee each morning – the taste, the warmth, the aroma.
  3. Once a month I review my expenditures and determine real value of what was purchased.  I have eliminated many products, items, etc. from my life by this one simple exercise.  The result has been less stuff coming into my home.  I like that!
  4. I seek out the experience over the expenditure.  Since my move to my small town I plan one new experience each month.  Some of these are incredibly simple in nature.  One beautiful day I drove around my neighboring small town and looked at the interesting church steeples.  Each one was unique.  The architectural detail was interesting and I was fascinated.
  5. I set aside 30 minutes each night to quiet down my home before bedtime – no television, no computer, dim the lights.  This is when I like to read some fiction.  Nothing heavy and certainly nothing that starts the brain to whirring.  Just enjoyable.  Quiet…

While every life is different there is always opportunity to find one way or five ways or whatever number works for you to create a positive step toward a life you want to lead.   When we say no to the excess we say yes to what really matters.

And before I sign off, I want to wish my beautiful sister, Dianne – Happy Birthday!!

xo, Carolyn     

4 Replies

  1. I had a great childhood too, we did spend alot of time playing in our backyard, and you’re right, when you’re growing up, time seems to stretch out in front of you. I find these days with computers & social media, we are letting the world enter into our homes, interrupting that quiet family time we used to experience. I’ve really tried to cut down on social media, so I can be more present, and actually listen to what my daughter has to say, instead of reading the next blog or seeing what others are up to on facebook. I’m trying to redirect my focus back to my family & my home, taking care of us, and caring less about what other people are up to. It also cuts down on comparisons when you spend less time on social media. I’m a lot happier these days.

  2. Linda

    Great childhood also. A lot of time to play outside (grew up on a farm). Instead of purchasing gifts for family, I take them somewhere that they would like and spend time with them rather than a physical gift, (especially enjoy this with my great nephews & my 93 year old father).
    With regard to point #4: I have done this in the past – I would go somewhere new or do something new each month for a year. Nothing was terribly expensive or far away from home – the activity just needed to be something I haven’t done in the past. It was really fun and something to look forward to each month. Love your blog!

    1. Like you, giving the experience vs. the gift is something Lauren and I started doing a couple of years ago and we enjoy it so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

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