What does “simple living” mean? Like “capsule wardrobe”, and “aging gracefully” it means about a hundred different things, because we get to decide. When asked, most people say they want a simpler life, but what do they mean?
For some it means true back-to-nature, in adorable little cabins in the woods. This version of simple living is not for me. I don’t like camping; I admire you if you do but I love hot running water, electricity, fresh sheets, Starbucks, and lack of snakes.
It can also mean: having fewer possessions, fewer electronic connections, simpler rituals, healthy food and affordable hobbies (e.g., sketching or skating or dancing vs. flying your own airplane).
As I get older, simple living is what I want too. My corporate rat race has been run, I don’t give a fig about what kind of car we drive (and we share a car, that’s one way we made life simpler ten years ago). I don’t have to keep up with the Joneses although they are lovely people. My newly cleaned out closet has only 60 hanging pieces, and that still sounds like a lot.
I like to sing, read, and visit friends around the world (well, at least as far as Canada). Simple means letting my hair go gray, and skipping the every-six-week salon visit. It’s having just a few great friends and loving them dearly.
Unfortunately I still have mild OCD about cleaning, so I spend too many precious hours sweeping, wiping and dusting. I am working on this, baby steps. I can now leave dirty clothes in the basket for an extra day – and no apocalypse has happened.
I hope it’s not that I am just getting old and lazy. I can still work up a whirlwind when I want to, like when we cover Manhattan from Harlem to the Staten Island Ferry. I sort and price clothes for hours at the Thrift and never feel tired. But my heart is also full with a thrilling book, or television series, or a bike ride to the pizza and wine joint, or what we call “spa day” at a friend’s house. (There’s no spa involved, we just watch movies and drink wine and refuse to worry.) A playlist of jazz classics or ZZ Top makes my day better. Simple.
I’d love to hear your opinions about simplifying life, and staying fabulous,
A few of my favorite, if simple, things:
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