I am drawn to the idea of simplicity, really drawn. When I was a girl I would envision living in a cave or tree or even a nice cozy thicket with a deer family. I would imagine making bowls out of clay baked in the sun and eating food I foraged from the forest floor (or delivered to me by a friendly forest creature). Maybe I had just read too many survivalist novels as a child. You know the kind of novel I mean, a young girl finds herself stranded in the wilderness and has to learn to survive on gumption alone.
Since becoming a parent those old feelings have been revived to some degree. I think it has something to do with all of the stuff that seems to follow children like a comet tail of detritus. Admittedly it's not fair to blame it all on parenthood. I have craft clouds and art bombs that have settled throughout our house and Eric and the animals all contribute as well. Even though we are plagued with stuff I think most people would say that we live a fairly simple life. I would just be happier to have less stuff. Less to clean. Less to care for. Less to be strewn about. Less to take up my precious time and energy.
Recently I watched a documentary on the Amish. I learned that the reason they incorporate some technology into their way of life and not others (engines on tractors yes, phones in houses no) is because they have carefully weighed its advantages and disadvantages and after a period of time they make a choice about whether said technology will interfere with their way of life. If they can use the technology without impeding their values they will, if not then they don't. I really like that idea, a little thoughtfulness about the new stuff we bring into our lives.
Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to these kinds of things, trying to pull out the values that are important to my family, giving them a name, and trying to find a way to let the other nonsense fall to the wayside. Part of me wants to just live in a yurt and grow my own foods, writing and spending time with the family. I know that is something of a strange daydream, but I believe there is a way to find a good balance. I am just finding my own path to simplicity.
How do you find the appropriate balance in your life?