Have you ever heard someone say, “I just want to live a simple life” and wonder what exactly that means? Have you ever asked yourself…. what does a simple life look like?
As I’ve grown older, I look back at all the plans I had made for myself. My “life plan” if you will. The things I thought that were necessary to be happy and have a good life.
I was young, I had my whole life plotted out. What kind of man I’d marry, the career I’d have, how many children, the type of house we would live in. I had it all planned out. As I think about it now it is almost comical to me how naive I was to think you could just plan your life like a check list and it would actually turn out that way.
I felt like that was what was expected. I felt like in order to be considered successful and be respected that’s what you did and you worked yourself to death in order to get it.
Well what I learned now from early on was life had a completely different plan for me and it looked NOTHING like I had plotted. I had a long journey finding my way out of Darkness and only then did I truly understand what being truly successful and happy is all about.
My young picture of happiness and success was a two story house with large windows and pillars across the front. Two children, a boy and a girl. A white picket fence and a tire swing hanging down from a large branch of a weeping willow tree in the back yard. I’d be a nurse in a top position and married to a successful business man who adored me. We would plan and go on yearly vacations spending boat loads of money on what ever our hearts desired. We would be married until death do us part.
Here’s what my success and happiness really looks like. I’m over 40 and finally married to the love of my life. Yes, he is tall dark and handsome and a very successful business man, it took me two times of getting it very wrong before I got it right. We live in an apartment for now, but it isn’t the size of the house that matters it’s what is in it that makes it a home. I no longer want a management or top position I love the job I have now, I love the time I get to devote to my patients. I’m able to use my best asset to touch their lives each day, my heart. No impossible patient loads, no endless crazy hours with salary, no time constraints, just nursing.
A home is built with the love within its walls. It isn’t about expensive furniture or designer fixtures. It is about laughter, making memories, it’s about who you share it with.
First and foremost you have to love yourself before your able to correctly love another person. It’s about respect, communication, honesty, love and making the choice to honor those things and your spouse EVERY single day no matter what life throws your way.
Loving someone correctly has nothing to do with what they can do FOR you, what they can buy you, it has nothing to do with name brand clothes, perfect hair and nails, being a size zero or a size 20, or the size of the house you own.
Its about the little things. It’s being at peace, about having joy. It is choosing not to let the expectations of others or today’s world stress you out or lose your way. It is about being true to yourself, being thankful for what you have no matter how little that may be. It’s about choosing to be happy.
I love my life. I learned to be happy with less. I gave up trying to fit in with everyone else and their expectations, the norm of today’s world. I choose a simple life.. I need little to be happy. The simpler the better.
I’m happy with the man I call my husband. Not because of the size of his bank account or his job title. I’m happy with him because of the man he is. I am happy living in an apartment with him because truth be told I would live in a card board box with him as long as we are together. When we do find our forever home, it will be a simple box style, single floor home with the only requirement being a large front porch to hold rocking chairs to rock the grandbabies. A large kitchen to cook meals for family gatherings where laughter and chatter of memories fill the air. It will be cars that are dependable and affordable not to speak of money as we drive down the road, not because of a name but that they speak to us because we like them and bonus it didn’t break the bank.
Happiness isn’t things it is a mindset. We choose simple. We choose love and laughter. We choose maintaining our joy not our status amongst others. We choose to be true to ourselves. Our home speaks of us and the love we share. We are happy spending the night at home just being together in the same room doing nothing. It’s not about fancy expensive vacations. It is about appreciating every minute God blesses us with and not taking them for granted.
Whether it is a walk on the beach or in the park, or a trip to the zoo with the grandbabies, the joy that comes from experiencing it together is happiness. It is about time and effort not going in debt. It is about kindness and caring.
Food, water, clothing and shelter are what’s required to survive. The rest is just stuff. What you choose to need to be happy is your choice.
I choose, and love our simple life.