Sweet Freedom, Five Ways to Get There
(A 3-minute read)“I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”~Albert Einstein
I’m fascinated with the quote from Einstein. He was, after all, a bonafide genius who could think his way through mathematical equations that are completely unintelligible to most of us. It seems it would take a very complex mind to grasp his theories. But he embraced simplicity. (Could that be why he didn’t seem to own a comb?)
This week we celebrate freedom in America, right here in the land of the brave. Want to know something that takes great bravery and offers amazing freedom? Simplifying our lifestyle! Why? Because it’s bucking the trend. We’ve been filling our home, our closet, our pantry and our calendars. Brave? You bet. It’s scary to go against the grain and say no to things when we’ve grown accustomed to saying yes. But I’m here to tell you nothing says freedom like discretionary time to use as you please!
Simplicity is freedom, not austerity
We are afraid to release the things we’ve been so hell-bent to accumulate. Face it, we love our stuff and our busy badges. They show the world we have made it. It is not easy to let go or say no. But simplicity doesn’t require us to live in a shack in the woods and do without. It does mean owning your time and your belongings instead of them owning you.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”~Albert Einstein
Five easy things to do if you are sincere about getting off the hamster wheel.
- Be sure you know the difference between a want and a need. This may be the critical first step in owning less. Need is when something you use or wear all the time is shot. If you use it, by all means, buy a replacement and enjoy it! Helpful tip: Now donate or recycle the old one!
- Eat simply. Eat to live, don’t live to eat! Prepare uncomplicated food at home whenever possible. You don’t need three sides. Dessert can be fruit. It takes less prep time and less cleanup time. Your wallet and waistline will thank you.
- Buy quality and care for your clothes and shoes. Classic styles can be worn for years. Leather boots and shoes can be polished, repaired, resoled. Find a repair shop and use it. If you don’t sew, find someone who can mend things for you. A pared down, well cared-for wardrobe oozes class and takes less cash.
- Keep track of what you spend. It’s soo easy to slip that chip in the slot and load up at Target. It all screams “buy me!” and seems so painless until the bank statement comes. I find there are certain places that for me, are best to avoid or visit infrequently. Sometimes I just have to take a deep breath and drive past! “Lead me not into temptation!”
- Give more. One of the best ways to spend less is to have a plan to give more. Include contributions to your church or favorite cause in your budget. Offer your unused clothing and household goods to charity, it will make your heart smile. Giving has been scientifically proven to increase happiness way more than spending on ourselves.
Sweet simplicity, sweeter freedom
A simpler lifestyle is the ultimate freedom. Americans are abundantly blessed! Most of us have all we need and plenty to share! I’d love to hear how you are paring down and finding ways to pass it along to the less fortunate. Have a wonderful holiday and see you Thursday!