The Benefits of a Simple Life Featured Image

The Benefits of a Simple Life

A simple life is a good life. Simplicity is something I’ve been striving for, earnestly, for years now. It began during my time in San Diego, where I witnessed just how complex life can become in a relatively short period of time.

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

Henry David Thoreau

It can be very easy to give in to the complexity. The world we’ve structured seems to be pushing us towards a greater and greater degree of complexity. We’ve designed many tools and technologies to make life easier, but, at least from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t quite seem like these innovations are having that effect.

It seems that our tools and inventions have served to add more complexity, rather than to relieve it. Maybe the innovations and the tools themselves are not the issues. Maybe it’s how we choose to use those tools. Maybe it’s our insatiable appetites for “greener grass.”

Or maybe we’ve been conditioned to accept, and even to seek out, complexity in our lives. Perhaps the rules of society that we so complacently accept are contributing to our inability to simplify our lives. Perhaps our priorities are all out of whack.

“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.”

Albert Einstein

I’m fortunate to have been raised in a small town. Things are simpler in a small town. Things generally move a bit slower in a small town. But, somehow, we also manage to create our own ‘small-town drama’. Somehow we are able to create issues and pile on the complexity.

Often, I can hardly handle this complexity, even when it’s in the form of such ‘small-town drama’. This is why I can’t see myself ever residing, at least for an extended period of time, in a larger city. The likelihood of life becoming complex in a city seems so much greater than in a small town.

I’d be happy and content with my own 12’ by 12’ foot cabin somewhere in the woods. I’d wake up in the morning, stretch, breathe, eat breakfast, scribble my incessant nonsenses for an hour or so, go out and hike around in the woods for a few hours in the early afternoon, capturing photos here and there, maybe stopping to journal under a magnificent pine for a time, then return to my cabin in the early evening for dinner and the silent hours surrounding sunset.

It’s possible that I’d write a little more. If I was lucky enough to have a beautiful woman by my side, I’d make love to her as the sun cast its’ final rays on our humble abode. I’d take my time to touch every inch of her body, making her feel me deeply and completely, and I her.

Then we’d fall asleep in each other’s arms as the stars began to shine and the moon crept up in the east. To me, this seems simple. It feels beautiful. The vision itself makes me itch to put the necessary work in to turn it into a reality.

“Like all magnificent things, it’s very simple.”

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

I want to create a simple life, both for myself and for those that choose to share time with me. I want to simplify, because, in simplicity, life becomes much easier. Loving becomes much freer. Simply being present becomes paramount to existence.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I live in the suburbs of a large city. I live in a small apartment community. In some ways, it has it’s own dynamics of a small town. But my dad lives in a very small town. It’s kind of amazing to me the expectations people have in a small town. Like you never want to drive through town with a dirty car. 🙂 Somehow that is taboo and if you do, it means you don’t care about appearances. I think we are all having to simplify right now with the COVID thing going on and isolating. I like it. I think people will rethink how they live. I enjoyed your article a lot.

    1. Hi Paula! 

      Thank you for your comment! That’s a funny thing about those small town expectations. I live in a small mountain town so our cars are always dirty, but I definitely know that you have to almost expect that certain news or parts of your private life are going to become public knowledge in a small town, depending on who you decide to tell. 

      I have lived in numerous cities in my life as well and know exactly what you mean about the ability to find a “small-town feel” within a larger urban community. I am very excited to see what changes come from our current situation and do expect a certain subset of the population to be thinking much more about moving away from urban areas! 

      Do you think a migration away from urban centers is in our future

  2. I loved your site and writing style. I grew up in a small town as well so I know from first – hand experience about the drama that can happen rather quickly. I still live in a small town but closer to a city that we are almost a suburb of the city.

    It is easy to give in to the lure of the city and drawn down the drain with so many people who have not found a way to be happy and simple. It seems as if everyone is willing to work two or three jobs just to live in a city where everything is so expensive and lasts but a short time.

    Learning to live in a small town or in the woods can be scary for some people who have never learned to live inside their own hear but that skill can be learned.

    I enjoyed your site and layout. I hope you will continue writing  in this manner it is so refreshing.

    Jerry

    1. Hey Jerry! 

      Thanks for your kind comment. I certainly agree that the challenge, wherever you live, is to find a way to be happy and, for me, keeping things simple has made that much easier. 

      I really do appreciate your kindness and I’ll be sure to keep writing in this manner! 

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