Simplify – “to reduce to basic essentials” – Easier Said Than Done!
The crazy thing about living a simple life, is how hard it is to actually do. So I’m sharing some of the lessons we learned along the way.
Living a Simple Life doesn’t mean slowing down, in fact we’ve learned it may be the opposite.
How our Simple Life Began
In 2012, Brad and I decided we wanted to simplify our lives, we decided we would move to our country property, The Ponds.
We wanted a debt free lifestyle so we would downsize to a smaller home! Yes!
All of this sounded great!
Sell our house! Easy? No, because it wasn’t the best economy and took over 2 years to sell.
Next get rid of everything but the basic essentials! Even harder, because I get very attached the rescued items I’ve brought home over the years! However, that’s another story!
Where was I? Oh, yes, we did sell the house and a lot of stuff! Anything left over was donated.
Finally, we were going to realize our dream of living a simple life.
I’ve always wanted a White Farmhouse to remodel, however the property didn’t come with one. Bummer!
Although I wanted an industrial style farmhouse, the exact plan wasn’t to be found so I began drawing my own plan.
Below is the result of many hours on Instagram and Pinterest. Many hours watching Fixer Upper and many broken pencils and lots of graph paper.
See 5 Steps to Plan Your Forever Home for more details about the planning process.
I always wanted a white farmhouse and since this was our forever home, I knew it was my last chance.
Having a lot of outdoor space was essential to our plan. Our front porch and screened porch cover the entire front of the house.
Finally, we move into the house with these grand plans to keep the house very basic and simple!
Simple Living – “minimalism, refraining from Luxury and Indulgence”!
Then I start to decorate and guess what?
I decide that I need more essentials! So I began to hunt at barn sales, vintage shops and thrift stores.
I start painting again. So much inspiration here in the country. The cows, the churches, etc.
Although this sounds the opposite of simplifying, I can’t apologize for wanting to do this. It’s what I love doing!
I was having a dinner party the next evening and decided I needed a painting over my table. This was the result. You see, this is how my mind works. I think of an idea and I can’t rest until it’s done. We barely had any food at this dinner party, but by gosh, I had a painting of a cow over my table.
Other ways to keep us busy
Plus, we keep adding on to the outside of the property. As you know, one thing leads to another.
So many more projects and more stuff.
Our outdoor kitchen is our favorite spot to entertain.
We love entertaining so the outdoor spaces are for bringing people together, as well as our own personal enjoyment.
We also added a pool and love having guest with us on hot summer weekends.
We also justify everything we do. So not only would a pool be a nice addition, but we can use the pool for exercise. One day when we can’t hardly walk anymore, we will have the pool to exercise in. I don’t know who we’ll get to clean it though??!!!
One of our first projects was to rebuild the pier in the middle pond! We decided to add a gazebo at the end. Brad and I love ending our day, watching the sunset from the spot.
Brad and I hosted our nieces wedding here at The Ponds Farmhouse. This was our first summer in the house. BTW, I’ve not had flowers that looked this good since. LOL
You’re probably saying “What the heck does this have to do with living a simple life?”
I would say that we are not truly ready for retirement. Our minds are so activate and there is so much we want to accomplish.
I should say, that I want us to accomplish. My husband always comes around when I plot a new idea, although it may take a little persuasion.
We are both fortunate to be healthy (as far as we know!) and it’s not time for us to sit down yet.
We need projects and goals to keep us feeling young!
At least that’s what I keep telling my husband! LOL
Use it or Lose it
That was my Mother’s Motto and it’s obviously true because it served her well until she was 98 years old.
I saw what retirement did to my in-laws. They basically stopped and the combination of sitting down and poor health choices, ended their lives way to early.
On the other hand, my parents lived a very long and healthy life.
My dad was working hard the day he decided he needed to have that abdominal Herrera checked out. He lived to be 86.
My mom, many of you know, passed away August 2019 at 98. This was the first year she didn’t have a garden and several jars of green beans stored away for the winter. The first year she didn’t get to share her watermelons and cantaloupes with her neighbors and family. She lived by herself until 3 weeks before she died. What a blessed life she had and we were so blessed to have her with us all these years.
I’m only sharing this with you to share my thoughts on simplifying. I’ve not lived the lifestyle my parents lived. I’ve been exposed to more stress and definitely a less healthy diet. One lesson I can try to follow, as I get older, is to stay interested in life. To keep having goals and projects.
So our goal to simplify isn’t the textbook definition. It’s not exactly as we planned or thought it would be.
However, I will say we have never been happier!
We actually thrive on our “to do” list.
Although most people our ages are thinking about a townhouse, with no up keep and no worries, we decided to bring 30 acres back to its former glory!
See These TO DO Lists projects that we’ve completed
Another aspect of living a simple life is quality of life, health and quality time.
We are not actually retirement age (yet), but we didn’t want to be in debt at 65. We wanted to start enjoying our time at home and have less stress. We also hope to travel more.
I love vintage finds and bringing old things back to life.
That’s what we are doing here at The Ponds! This property is a part of my heritage and although my dad is no longer with us, I’d like to think he’s happy with the work we’ve done here.
Although we may not be ready for the true meaning of “simple life”, I feel we have accomplished a lot of our goals.
- To be debt free.
- To enjoy the moments
- Have less stress
- Most of all, we sure are enjoying this season of our lives.
If you need me, I’ll be right here!
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope my messages will inspire you in some way.
I look forward to sharing more about our “Simple life” here at the Ponds and more of my crazy adventures.
Please leave me a message if you have any thoughts on living a simple life! I love seeing your questions as well.