I am a massive fan of living the simple life, about being more content with the simpler things in life, but in all honesty, there are so days when I find it hard. As a 20-something woman in the 21st century, I find that sometimes the pressures to conform are a constant thought in the back of my mind. It can be a burden at times, especially when I’m having a rough day.
There are so many opinions on how people are supposed to act. We are supposed to want to acquire things. We are supposed to look a certain way. We are supposed to enjoy certain aspects. They’re almost a given in the modern day society. I feel like I’m expected to enjoy going drinking with my friends, or stay out until 3 in the morning. I feel like I’m expected to want the latest phone/laptop/tablet. I feel like I’m expected to want a newer, bigger car than we currently own.
I don’t want them! I’m learning to live the simple life and I’m enjoying the process. There is nothing that makes me happier than being at home on a Saturday night, eating a home cooked meal and spending time with my husband. The thought of going out, dressed up on a Saturday night drinking until the early hours of the morning fills me with dread. It’s the last thing I want to do. It doesn’t create lasting memories and it wouldn’t be an enjoyable thing for me to do.
I also feel like I’m expected to want to follow all the fashion trends. Yes, I like to look good and dress well, but that does not mean I want to dress in the latest fashions and change my look every season. Neon cropped tops? No thanks! I am trying to streamline my wardrobe at the moment so that I don’t have a ridiculous amount of clothes. After all, there’s only so many things I can wear at once, right? I’m simplifying my life for the better. I’m learning to appreciate things more.
I watch YouTube videos by various “gurus” who do make up tutorials. I find them fascinating. As a woman who has a very minimal make up look (sensing a theme here!) I cannot believe how much make up and effort these women go into to have a certain look. The amount of products they use plus the time it takes them to “put their face on” seems absurd. They must spend a fortune! I’d rather have more time in the mornings to make myself a healthy breakfast and to savour my morning before work begins.
I also feel like I’m expected to own the latest phone/tablet/computer and be up to date with all of the apps that you’re supposed to have. The pressure of keeping up to date and being in contact with people all of the time takes its toll. There is no time of the day when I am not accessible. If someone needs me, all they need to do is text/email or phone and there I am. There’s no escape. I’ve taken to turning my mobile off at night and stop checking email in the evenings, so that I can try to switch off at night.
People sometimes comment on the fact that we’re a one car household. A small, older car at that. People wonder how we manage with just one car. We manage because I drive 20 miles to work everyday and my husband cycles 3 miles to work in the opposite direction. It takes him less time to cycle to work than it would to drive at busy times in the day. It works because we make it work. Yes, I can admire nice cars on the road (4×4 anyone?) but I know that we do not need one. Our car quite happily gets me to work on back. It doesn’t cost too much to run and I can get a week’s worth of shopping in the boot with space to spare. Why would we need a big car? We don’t.
I’m aiming for a more simple life. I want to explore different worlds by reading books, exploring the outdoors and savouring the tastes along the way. I enjoy baking; there’s nothing better than the smell of a cake baking in the oven. I love sitting in our living room with some candles lit, reading a book and escaping for a while. I love cupping my hands around a steaming cup of tea when I’m feeling cold. That’s the simple life I’m aiming for. I don’t need a mansion with big cars on the drive, designer outfits and lots of make up and accessories. That would be a complicated life, and I don’t want it.
I want to escape the pressure that modern life brings. I want to be content with less and I’m working on it.
I am learning to enjoy the simple life.