I had no noble reasons for going simple. By that I mean I wasn’t concerned about the social, environmental or spiritual aspects. I just really needed to save money. I was also so tired of cleaning ALL the time.
When I discovered simple living, I was knee-deep in research on ways to save money so we could get out of debt. I had already discovered natural living, which was saving us a lot. But when I discovered the whole minimalism/live simply movement, I saw that by we could also save money by:
- Selling our extra stuff
- Putting an end to the buying of unnecessary stuff
- Using the various tips and tricks to further cut our monthly expenses
I was also intrigued at the thought of having less stuff to actually keep clean.
Not long into the journey, I found there were a lot more benefits to going simple than I had thought about initially, especially when it came to my time. As a stay-at-home mom of four very small children with a new business and firefighter husband who was gone from home for 48-hour shifts each week, it came as a very welcome surprise.
Unexpected benefits of simple:
Have you ever looked at a mom who was dressed nicely, looked rested and was actually smiling and thought, “I could put on something other than yoga pants and brush my hair and take a bath if I had time, too.” At least, that’s what I used to think.
Once I had way less to clean, fewer outside commitments and I wasn’t spending my free time shopping, I found that I had time for … myself.
At first, I had no idea how to even approach self-care in a way that didn’t involve a day at the spa with some shopping thrown in. But over time, I figured out how to make it a daily thing. And no, I didn’t sell my children or my business. Or my husband.
By going simple and saying no to the things that weren’t a priority, I was able to say yes to the things that mattered. Like my
There was a point where travel just wasn’t possible because of money. However, as we paid off debts and gradually increased our income, it became a possibility. Except I had no time because I had a business to run and nothing would get done unless I was manning the wheel.
Well. It turns out I was making myself way more important than I was and wasting a lot of time on things that didn’t even produce income. Like spending hours scrolling Facebook or deleting emails.
Once I applied the simplifying principles I’d learned to my business (duh!), I had so much more time! And it was more profitable. Who knew.
Hello, Costa Rica!
I had never considered myself a creative person, until I made time to do so. Granted, I still can’t draw to save my life, but I’m creative in many other ways. Ways that have actually grown my business, created more beauty in my home and brought more joy into my daily life.
Once upon a time, I was an overweight couch potato who hated exercise, save for walking and the occasional yoga session. Ok, that was just over two years ago. Today, I’m in the best shape of my life, workout five days a week (and have fun doing it, what??) and actually coach CrossFit part-time because I love it so much.
When my, “I don’t have time,” excuse went away, I was forced to examine why I didn’t like to move my body. And when I came face-to-face with the reality that my heritage/body shape puts me at a higher risk of disease, I got angry. How dare I put myself at that risk when it was totally preventable?
So I did something about it and I am SO glad I did.
And then I got my eating under control and lost 25 pounds. Yep.
Since our initial days of cutting costs to get out of debt, I’ve been making almost all of our meals from scratch. The health benefits were instantaneous and damn did we save a LOT of money.
But once I had more time freed up and saw just how much I needed to change up my eating habits, I was able to sit down on a regular basis and plan meals.
Because I wasn’t always in a rush to eat, I paid attention to portion sizes, tracked my food and ate more slowly. Instead of just shoving food in my mouth when my blood sugar was low, I became (slightly) obsessive about getting enough protein so I could stay satieted longer and wouldn’t lose my hard-earned muscle mass.
Connection is one of my top priorities. And if I can feed people while we connect, even better. However, it never used to be a possibility because I was so busy.
Now, though, there is time to have friends and family over regularly, which I love. The meal is always simple – bean and rice bowls are a big fave. I don’t make a huge fuss about how everything looks, though we do a quick cleanup of the house.
We just get together and enjoy each other’s company, and oh, what a gift that is.
Time, as it turns out, is quite the asset.