A cup of dark roast coffee, sunrise porch time, fresh sheets, a garden tomato, the smell of a new book, a glass of red fireside.....These are a few of my favorite things. All so simple, yet they bring me so much joy.
Henry David Thoreau author, naturalist, philosopher, was born on July 12, 1817. Thoreau is well known to have been an advocate of living a simple life, which was highlighted in his popular book Walden. To honor him and his passion, National Simplicity Day is observed July 12th.
Pondering Simplicity Day, I considered what areas of my life I might simplify. Taking on a rather Minimalist mindset, I decided to implement a few simple changes of my own:
- Eliminate the excess. Bit by bit, room by room, I gathered up the excess stuff that no longer served a purpose, that was consuming space, and packaged it up for donation. Less clutter was a freeing feeling.
- Organize my finances. A few simple tweaks to my monthly budget and enrolling monthly bills in auto-pay greatly reduced stress and has become a huge time saver!
- Purchase only the essentials. Is it a need or a want? Do I already own something similar? Pausing to ask myself these questions has significantly diminished any impulsive purchases.
- Reduce plastics. From the occasional bottle of water, ziploc bags and saran wrap. It all adds up. Between my own reusable bottles and food containers, I no longer make these unnecessary purchases. In addition, I moved the five reusable grocery bags in the back of my car to the front where I have no excuse not to grab them.
- Learning to say NO. This is a hard one for me, but I feel its one of the most important. I am an introvert. Allowing myself the opportunity to say no and to delegate more, has been a simple way for me to create space, find peace, and recharge when its desperately needed.
This is a glimpse of my changes. Pretty simple, right? Simple, yet incredibly powerful in their positive impact.
In a busy world where time and attention are directed to so many things and are constantly pulled in many different directions, we risk a negative toll on our physical health, our mental health, our relationships, and our overall growth. Through a bit of self-reflection, I continue to find happiness through life’s simplicities, not through “things”. I encourage you to pause and celebrate simplicity in a way that speaks to you. What are the elements that are important and necessary in your life, and in what areas may you need tidying up? Unplug from devices? Declutter your home? Reduce plastics or practice self-care through meditation, deep breathing, or through taking a mindful walk?
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!”
So, how will you?