Yesterday it occurred to me how restful it is to be able to embrace a simpler life. I never knew who the Joneses were that we were supposed to be keeping up with, but I did have the sense of needing to scramble to stay in touch.
When I was a teenager the sophisticated magazine for girls was Seventeen. I borrowed it from the library and was struck by the number of products women needed to buy, and routines they needed to follow to be up to date with their grooming. Cleanse, tone and moisturizer. Day and night make-up looks. Hair removal routines. Make up removal routines.
Add to that maintaining a fashionable wardrobe and good shoe selection, regular hair cutting and dyeing, going to the gym, buying a home, furnishing and decorating the home in the latest styles, running a car….In every dimension of life there seemed to be a need to spend time and money on having the right things and maintaining them, and having the right routines and maintaining those.
The advantage of a simpler approach to life is it focuses attention on what is important in each dimension of life, and allows me to cut out the unnecessary complexities. I have decided to keep my hair in a short and simple cut, with natural colour. That saves me time and money at the hairdresser. I don’t run a car. I have a small range of clothes and shoes. The more I apply the simplicity principle, the easier everyday life becomes.
What struck me in my journal writing yesterday was is the benefit if a simpler lifestyle is not just about saving time and money, or having less chores. When I say “this is enough” for me, I am also saying “I am enough”. I don’t need to be running on a never ending treadmill of acquisition and improvement to be OK. I am OK with greying hair. I am OK with second hand furniture. I am OK traveling by bus and train.
As I travel more deeply into this journey I am appreciating that resting in simplicity is about self acceptance, and giving up the race.
This image was taken at the Botanical Gardens in Niagara Falls Canada. I was taking photos on a rainy grey afternoon which seemed to suit black and white photography.