Monday, March 17, 2014

Live a Simple Life and Save Time?

I'm sure you can agree, especially with the way society is these days, that time flies. It seems as if the hours disappear. Days, weeks, months, and even years run together! Have you ever wondered why that is? As a child, time seemed much slower. We had less responsibilities and our imaginations were allowed to run wild, as were we (sometimes).Why does there seem to be less time in the same 24-hour day the older that we get?

I have always wondered this. Ever since I took on adult responsibilities and had to start working full-time, I have noticed I have less time in the day. Well it really SEEMS like I have less time in the day. It has grown worse, especially in the past couple of years. I brush it off thinking that it is normal as you grow older to feel like time runs away from you. It is not satisfying to me to settle for less though.

I don't want my time to just fly away anymore. I want to enjoy each day and live life to the fullest. I want to stretch my imagination as I once did as a child. I want to run free whenever I want, without having to worry about the clock or schedules. I know that as adults we have responsibilities, but we shouldn't let society dictate how our time should be spent.

Too many people these days HAVE to work full-time to make ends meet. They HAVE to rush from appointment to appointment. They HAVE to struggle to find time to spend with their family, to do something they love, or just to simply rest. What has caused us to HAVE to do these things? Is it the stuff we want and the standard of living we pursue? Do we want that standard of living because of what society has told us we need?

Electronics, gadgets, and technology as a whole that were meant to save us time, have actually stolen our time. We spend hours browsing Facebook because we are bored. We complain on Facebook that we are bored. We complain that we have to work too much, but then we go spend money we don't have on credit cards to have the stuff we think we need, only to have to work extra to pay off that credit card.

We build big houses with little "houses" inside for our cars and clothes. We go into debt for 5 years to pay for those cars, 30 years to pay for that house, and a spend a lifetime of working to pay off all the other debt we accumulate. There has to be something more. Surely we are not alive just to work to spend money on stuff we want or think we need!

I've seen some shows on television about house-hunting. Sometimes the people look at old 19th century homes. I have never seen an American on those shows get excited over an old house BECAUSE of the lack of closets and space. In fact, that is that part that they usually hate. They love the old house charm and all, but they need more space. It is just too small and doesn't have enough storage space for all their "stuff" and the bedrooms don't have enough space to do anything but sleep.

Is it possible that the original owners of those houses lived a more simple life? Was it because they didn't just acquire a bunch of "stuff'" to have to store? Was it because they spent more time outside playing with others than alone inside their own bedrooms when they grew up? Was it because they used the bedrooms for what they were meant for...going to bed and sleeping?

I truly believe we need to get back to a more simple way of life like our ancestors lived. Simple doesn't necessarily mean easy. They still worked hard to provide for their family's needs, but they understood the difference in NEEDS and WANTS. They spent their free time with family and friends. They didn't have as many conveniences as we do today, yet they seemed to have more time back then for the important stuff.

So what are some things we can do to simplify our life today?

1)  We can get rid of stuff.

I am working on this in my life right now since we are downsizing. We are looking for that simple life, where we can save money for what we really want and need, and not have it sucked away by the current standard of living that is "normal." Work on decluttering your home and getting rid of excess. Keep the basics. Once you realize you don't need so much stuff, you realize you don't have to have as big of a house either.

2)  We can get out of debt.

Our journey to a more simple life began with getting out of debt. The car is paid off now and we are no longer using credit cards. The only piece of debt left is the mortgage, which will be gone after we sell the house and we will downsize to camper living for awhile. Once we have a clean slate, then we can start saving for necessities that we can pay cash for, like our own land to have a small farm that will feed our family.

3)  We can limit our time on electronics, or cut them out altogether.

This is my biggest struggle with trying to live more simply. I am obviously on a computer writing this, but I have issues with being on the internet way too much. The internet had a load of great information just waiting to be soaked up, but if it steals all your time, you can't do anything with that information anyways. I am learning to find a balance. I use Facebook mainly for contacting distant family members and old friends, and for keeping up with current events and natural news. It takes too much time to completely scroll through my news-feed daily though, so I am learning that it is okay if I don't see everything that is on there. I follow other bloggers and websites that post great information on natural living, but I have to make sure I limit my time or else it gets sucked away by the computer or my phone (not to mention the data bill!).

4)  We can focus on others instead of ourselves.

I recently realized that the problem with seeking "stuff" in our lives is really due to selfishness. Instead of seeking to "keep up with the Jones," I will instead choose to spend time with others, serving them instead of myself. I do believe that when we give of our time, we reap more benefits and seem to have more time in our day. I feel it is a blessing of God. Giving is always greater than receiving. Without so much stuff to pay off, we might actually have to work less as well, which means we'd have more time to focus on our family and volunteer our time.

Living a more simple life doesn't mean you won't have to work hard, but it could mean having more time to follow your passions. We all just have to set our priorities. I don't yearn for nice things and lots of stuff anymore. I prefer to live in a cozy environment close to the ones I love and able to do what I love everyday. How about you? Do you think a more simple way of life will save you time? Do you already live simply and do what you love? I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below!

This post is linked up to:

The Homestead Barn Hop

Bloggy Moms Blog Hop

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop

The Sunday Social Blog Hop

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