Simple

I used to think ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ were synonymous–that test was ‘simple,’ a back-handspring is ‘simple’ for a gymnast–but I realize now that to attain simple, hard is required.

I look at my life filled with gadgets and ‘stuff’ meant to make my life easier, and yet, it’s never been more complicated.  On more than one occasion, I’ve felt stranded in my own home.  The printer was out of ink, the Microcell meant to give enough signal so that I could make a phone call from my house wasn’t working, the Internet was out, or I had dropped and killed my cell phone for the third time.

I don’t know anyone’s phone number anymore because they’re all stored in my cell, and I rely on the Internet for every bit of information I want to uncover.  I need the reminder to flash on my phone so that I know when to take my kids to their doctor appointments, and I feel strange calling on a neighbor for help because most of them work, immediately entering their garages upon arriving at home, insulating themselves from the outside world.

I watch my husband work and am amazed how easily he can e-mail or fax or schedule meetings or set up conference calls all with a phone and laptop, and yet I bemoan the fact that his customers and employers think that they can reach him at any time.  Work hours are not confined to the time in a building anymore, and our family has to find a way to set our own boundaries.

Having a simple life is hard, and all the gadgets and gizmos meant to make life easier tend to just complicate it.  I now realize that ‘simple’ is synonymous with ‘peace’ and want desperately to find it.  I read Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy with the kids, and I was impressed with the hard work they all do day in and day out, but every bit of their work has purpose and meaning, and they have peace.

They aren’t rendered helpless as I when a lightning storm knocks out the Internet, and they aren’t brainstorming ideas for quality family time. Their days aren’t filled with running back and forth to the school or deciding how many extra-curricular activities are too much.  They work hard to survive, and at the end of the day, they sleep soundly.

Perhaps getting rid of some of the ‘necessities’ meant to make life easier is the key.  Perhaps walking  down the road filled with hard is the path to lead me to simple.

This post is linked to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Mama's Losin' It

14 thoughts on “Simple

  1. Love this! I remember the day I thought comfortable and peace were the same thing. Boy was I wrong. Peace is when you are in the very center of God's will – and this is rarely comfortable or easy!

    Great reminder today – thanks for sharing!

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    1. Amen! The center of God's will is exactly where I want to be, and I pray for the strength to endure whatever that might mean.

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  2. Simply wonderful post! Very thoughtful and true. I have to admit I envy that sleep at the end of a long hard day of work!

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    1. I'll tell you what–I have tried going to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier and accomplish more, but I get distracted with meaningless things so easily. Yes, sleep sounds nice! 🙂

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  3. I am so with you on bemoaning the fact that the work day doesn't end when husband walks through the door. With all those gadgets, people can get hold of him at all hours of the day AND night. So frustrating and annoying. But at the same time, how can I be annoyed at something that puts food on our table, you know?

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  4. I live that life, juggling work responsibilities and personal life. My wife struggles with it as well. I'm coming to realize for me, that peace comes from God. Of course we all know that, but I'm referring to having peace and joy despite the circumstances surrounding me. I turn my phone off now between 6 and 7 pm. Whatever emergency comes up, I'll deal with the next day.
    It takes real wisdom, with all the tools at our disposal, to understand sometimes less is more.
    Thanks for addressing an issue everyone of us are dealing with. Very thought provoking.

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    1. That's great that you set boundaries for yourself. I know just figuring out when are those off-limit hours can be quite the challenge. I have to set my own boundaries for blogging, replying to comments, etc. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Simple = Peace. I love that.

    It may come with hard work, or even difficulty sometimes, but at the end of the day, if you feel peaceful… I know that when I limit my time on the "gadgets", I often feel much more productive, and ultimately go to bed and sleep more soundly knowing that priorities were in the right place. So hard to strike a balance sometimes, especially as a SAHM – I want to be social and know what's going on in that world outside of these walls! This is a great time of year to remember to slow it down and keep it simple. Great post!

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  6. Jennifer — this is profound — seriously! You are so right. Sometimes I love when we have a snowstorm here because it forces me to drive slowly, like I need an act of God to tell me when to stop rushing and speeding around from one destination to the next. Pretty sad, isn't it?

    You will make me think about this long and hard tonight.

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  7. Since becoming a mom, 5+ years ago, I too, have had a heaviness in desiring for more simplicity. I have had countless conversations with my husband on how do we live more, simply.

    And this is what I've learned. Contentment. I had to find contentment in a fast-paced life. Things around me are not going to change or slow down. So instead of fighting the system, I just jumped in…and found peace…in contentment.

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  8. Never thought of simple=easy, but you are right on the money when it comes to the gadgets we all use today. My husband and I are starting to sound like our grandparents when using the phrase…"you know, back in my day…."

    I am right there with you regarding the phone numbers. I would be completely lost if I lost my phone!

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