Saturday, 10 August 2019

A Simple Life ... Where Does it Begin?



So what triggers the yearning for a simple life, what triggers the urge to no longer want more, better, best?

There can be many deciding and contributing factors, but I think for me initially it was moving back to a more basic way of life.  Growing our own food, rearing our own animals, jumping off the conveyor belt that is modern life and realising that you don't have to go out to earn money to buy stuff that really does not benefit the life you wish to lead.

There's a lot to be said for the make do and mend mentality that goes along with living simply.  Once you start to look after and appreciate the things you have, buying more becomes gradually not as necessary.  Having the latest or the best is no longer a need or a want.

You learn to appreciate what you have, to make the most of the smaller things that make your life special ... a beautiful day, a well-grown courgette, a doggy walk over the sands with faithful companions.


What do most of us like best about holidays?

After chatting with friends, it came to light that the most appreciated holiday bonus is the lack of excess.  You pack just enough for the week, so you don't have to think too hard about what you are going to wear each day.  A good holiday is a t-shirt and jeans or shorts each day, and maybe alternating a nicer dress or two in the evenings.


If you self-cater the kitchen has everything you need ... and no more.

So there's no worrying about which food will be better on which plate, you plate up with what you have, and the atmosphere is all the happier for it.


You can choose to go all-out luxurious or plain and simple, but what is the same for both is that you do not have lots of possessions to look after.  What you took is what you must care for and the limited brainpower needed for that is refreshing.


Pretty, simple cottages make your heart happy when you get 'home' after a day out exploring your new surroundings.


There's not lots of housework to do, and even if you give everywhere a wipe down each day there are usually few trinkets and unnecessary things to move out of the way.  So any clean up takes minutes not hours.


With less stuff comes less to think about and that is why holidays, even self-catering ones, are relaxing.  Your brain is in 'holiday' mode and can chill out.


It was holidaying in all these cottages that set me on this new path, one which crept up on me in a very unassuming way.  Sneaking into my subconscious without me realising what was going on.  Going home after a week living so simply just highlighted the excesses we had acquired without even noticing.  


Jettisoning all this excess has left us both feeling freer, calmer and much happier.  Our current year-long amnesty is proving very liberating.  If we don't like something,  simply no longer want it or have a use for it, it can go into the car boot sale pile or be photographed and sold on Facebook Marketplace.  No questions, no guilt, no recriminations.

Truly liberating and the start of a whole new raft of adventures.


Learning what matters, and what is really necessary to enjoy life is the best thing ever.


Sue xx



19 comments:

  1. You speak so much sense, sue. I feel just the same. Unfortunately my husband of 38 years holds onto stuff, even though he hasn't used it for decades. I find it terribly frustrating but have given up trying to throw stuff out that's his. Maybe one day he'll have an epiphany! 😉

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  2. What a lovely post Sue, you are so right.
    Do you know the only time I really chill out is when I am on holiday, it just makes sense that having all this "stuff" we own does weigh our minds down. When we go out on a day out and visit all these old fashioned houses and see the simple way folk use to live I crave it so much more. Each day we are doing something to simplify life, I am simplifying my kitchen at the moment and my food stores.

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  3. I agree entirely. I need to declutter and can’t seem to start. I find it difficult to let go of things and could do with a few tips. I love it best when we are away in our caravan and only take the things we need. When I get back home I am overwhelmed with all our stuff. I have got some of Mum and Dads stuff too which we never use. Help! (You might see this message three times Sue) not sure what I am doing as I don’t have a blog or comment much. Carol.

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    1. Exactly my problems, too, Button!

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    2. Hi Lynda.....am going to start by asking myself will I use it (whatever it is) in the next six months....if not it will go for car boot (another thing I keep threatening to do). It will be such a relief to actually DO it instead of just THINKING about it. Good luck with your decluttering 🤞🏻.

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  4. What a fantastic post. I wholeheartedly agree with you Sue. Simpler is much more relaxing for me too and I actually enjoy my decluttering sessions, especially when I can sell some of it! The rest benefits the CS :)

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  5. I completely agree and love the way you've pointed out the holiday thing! I'd never thought of it that way....trying to work on it!!!

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  6. Great post Sue and so very true. During my two year countdown to retirement I completely went on a simplify journey. I love this way of life. There is less worry and stress.

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  7. I love this post, Sue. More and more lately I'm feeling that I really want and need to simplify, declutter and pare our home stuff down to minimalist standards. I just need to get my finger out, head round it, husband on side and START!

    Can I ask where you find all your lovely simple holiday cottages? Do you go through a cottage company, or a review site, or are they direct owner ones?

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    1. All the ones above are National Trust holiday cottages. Pontbrenmyder, Spring Cottage and Treleddyd Fawr.

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    2. And I meant to add ... if you click on the link to Our New Life in the Country (my old blog) you can click on the stand alone pages at the top of the blog to read more about each cottage and see more photos.

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  8. That's all so true. The more we have, the more decisions we have to make. A simple life is the best.

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  9. I enjoyed this post very much. It conveys peace, and that is what I crave (deleted the above post as I pressed 'publish' too early

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  10. A wonderful post! The beginning of contentment...

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  11. We usually rent a cabin near a lake in one of our National Parks. This year we are going back to one we were at a few years ago. It's only for a couple of days, but the simplicity of no television, going on lovely long hikes and wearing jeans, shorts and t-shirts is wonderful.

    God bless.

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  12. Before we moved to France, we made the decision to get rid of anything we didn't need, especially the stuff that had been in the loft and hadn't seen the light of day for years. Oh my goodness, what a clear out we had, but we still managed to bring over stuff that we've since got rid of! It is therapeutic having a clear out, I've recently done the kitchen and sideboard and got rid of things that I've not used in 5 years. All our things go to charity as we never have enough for a car boot.
    We self catering fans, it's perfect for us, total freedom and so quiet.

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  13. I prefer holidaying in cottages. I do love the simplicity and often wonder 'could I live here?' We never stay away more than a week, as I get quite homesick. Occasionally we'll splurge and stay at a hotel for 1-3 days, but it would be a special hotel, with history.
    I am desperately trying to sort the loft out, but as 75% or more is my hubby's, it's hard going. He would just keep stuff up there forever!

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  14. Great post Sue. Both hubby and I do (still) tend to clutter but living in such small spaces means we have to be very careful (we still have a 50 sq foot storage unit which is rammed!) We are currently living in a smaller static caravan and have filled the space since we arrived here in April but it will all have to be moved when we leave in September. I still love the simplicity of when we are travelling in the motorhome, even though in all honesty we always still take too much of most things. A declutter of the storage unit is planned for October, but not sure it will actually happen, I am almost hoping I get some work to put it off again!

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  15. This Post is such a reminder of why Simplifying Life is a longing many of us get to. I have so much and really could part with a lot more, it's a Process, a long one... had I lived more Simply in the first place, it certainly would have saved me a lot of time and money.

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