Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrating a Simple Life

Pardon the interruption from my usual crafts and book reviews while I ponder the meaning of life...

Lately I have done a lot of thinking about life in general, and more specifically, my life. I find myself envying old friends (and new) who seem to have accomplished more than I have -- more financial success, more kids, more adventure, etc. And all this envying inevitably leads me to feelings of discontentment with my own life.

I have always been ready to move on. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to be older. When I was a teenager, I couldn't wait to move away from home. When I was in college, I couldn't wait to be married. When I was married, I couldn't wait to have kids. And now that I've done all those things as successfully as possible, I'm always trying to find some other way to move on with my life. It often makes me wonder when I'll finally feel like I've "made it."

Recently, I was perusing an old friend's photos on Facebook, admiring her beautiful photography, her new baby, her adventures living abroad, and I started to feel envious. It just happened that soon afterward, I went to visit my grandma. I love my grandma a lot, and I have always admired her strength. She lives on a farm in rural Utah, the same place where she was born, where she grew up, where she raised her own kids, where she and my grandpa made their living tending the orchards.

My Grandma with my son Eddie, Summer 2008
It seems that she has lived a small and simple life, but as I saw her there, surrounded by her family, it occurred to me that there is something beautiful about living a simple life. And that maybe instead of constantly wanting to move on, I should take a minute to enjoy where I am.

So right now, I want to find a way to more fully enjoy where I live and what I'm doing. I want to cherish this time while my kids are still small and we're all comfortably crammed in our tiny house. I want to be able to let go of all the things I wish I had and instead appreciate what I already have and usually take for granted. Because when I stop and think about it, I already have a wonderful life and as much as my nature fights against it, I don't really need to move on. I mean, how can you fail to appreciate the beauty in this:

My beautiful little family, Summer 2013

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