Simple Living for a Better Life

It only takes one episode of Hoarders to make me want to get rid of all the stuff in our house. Individuals on that show are obviously extreme examples of people with too many possessions, and perhaps throwing out all our stuff would be an extreme reaction. Nonetheless, I’m someone who believes in living simply. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t live in a commune or a convent. I live in a modest house with typical belongings, but I do try to keep our possessions to a minimum.

If you think about it, things we bring into our home cost more than just the amount on the price tag. They also cost time and energy to use and keep organized, as well as space to store. Not to mention the distress we put on ourselves by living a cluttered life and trying to “keep up with the Jones’.”

Obviously, buying fewer things will save us money, but living simply goes beyond frugality. It’s about using only the resources we need and being grateful for what we’ve been given. It’s about thoughtfulness, awareness and putting our family resources into what’s truly important to us.

My favorite singer/songwriter is a lovely woman named Sara Groves. She wrote a song called, “All I Need,” which nicely sums up how easily we can go from having everything we need to feeling like we need more and more.

“All I Need” by Sara Groves

Newly married, new apartment
All our furniture was saved from the dump
Yes dear maybe we can afford a trashcan next month

All I need is my love for you and a seat for two

New baby new life
We will teach him to speak French
We’ve got no money so we’ll make it all ourselves
I’ll make the curtains and you make the shelves

All I need is a power saw and a new sewing machine

Honey, this house needs a little something
That bare mantle doesn’t look so good
Someone told me of a man
Who makes animals from driftwood

All I need is your monthly bonus for a wooden walrus

Honey, the Colbaughs are coming over
This house needs some renovations
Just a wall or two, just a little room
And a few new decorations

All I need is a sectional and a satellite TV
and dark-wood cabinets that were custom built for me
and a painting by that guy that paints with his feet…

That’s all I need
For now


Photo courtesy of Nana B. Agyei.

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