These photos are from last week when I went with 2 of my kids to scenic Auburn for a hike.

I first learned about the concept of simplicity in the 1990’s with small 5 children around my skirts. I don’t wear skirts so much anymore.

In 2004 there was a book that came out called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson M.D. The back of the books says “Overload is not having time to finish the book you are reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice. Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy. Overload is red ink. Margin is black ink. Overload is hurry. Margin is calm. Overload is anxiety. Margin is security.”

Those ideas have stayed with me all these years. Sometimes my life gets a little crazy because of events I can not control. My days are far from simple with rising early and falling into bed late at night with barely a rest during the day.

And then things settle down. One day, there is no place to go. And then another. For a brief moment I think I should do something. Be involved in something. Join something.

Looking for something to do just for the sake of doing no longer interests me.

There are plenty of people, places and worthy causes coming across my path. I do not have to go looking for them. I think each person will have to decide for themselves what to give their time to. For me, the decision involves prayer. I let the Holy Spirit tell me.

There is a very Spiritual side to simplicity. I don’t know how to explain it very well. Maybe because living simply involves every aspect of your life, from spending money to your relationships with others to the day to day choices you make. For some people, they take the Green path, for others it may be about simplicity in home décor and others it could be the way they eat or saying no to electronics and gadgets. Obviously I love my technology and gadgets!

Like I said, these are personal decisions.

Hand in hand with simplicity is thankfulness. By slowing down and, making an effort to live in a simple way, you begin to see what you have materially and have time to value the relationships you have.

Last year at this time my Mother in law fell while walking her dog and broke her knee. That was just the beginning of her health needs. My husband and I have been helping her.

Last year in December my Mother had emergency surgery and I flew with a one way ticket on Christmas Day to take care of her. She lives in Ca with my sister now and I am so happy to see her several times a week.

A year later, I am thankful that my husband and I were not so obligated in other areas that we could not take care of our Moms.

Not to get too wild, but using less resources, less money, less running here and there and spending time with the ones that you love,  hanging out and being together it something to be thankful for. Simply having the time to do it is wonderful. But it does not just happen. Your lifestyle has to allow for it. You have to make room, a margin if you will, in the spaces of your life.


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