Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Simpler Life

There have been a lot of changes since we've moved to Missouri. Some are obvious like living in a house instead of a fifth wheel, or staying in one place instead of moving every few months. Having a steady, predictable income and taking care of a yard are other obvious changes. But there is one big change that I didn't really expect that came with moving here.

When we moved we found out we couldn't use our T-Mobile phones anymore, and now we have a basic Straight Talk phone that just calls or texts. At first it wasn't a big deal, although I knew I would miss my fancy smart phone that could run my life. But now after being without that necessary phone, I realize how completely unnecessary it was. Was it nice to be able to check Facebook at any moment? Yes. Was it fun to play games with friends? Absolutely. There were also a lot of other nice features that I used frequently. But I've discovered they weren't necessary and were probably distracting me more than I thought they were. Now I watch the cell phone commercials where a guy is walking through life staring at his phone and I think, was I that bad? The commercial is trying to tell you all of the neat things you can do while just walking down the street, or through the mall. But what I see now, removed from my former life of being that person, I realize how much that person is missing. Sure he's checking his email, updating his status, checking the weather, and finding the closest coffee shop all at the same time. But he's missing what's around him at that moment. And that's what I've discovered in our simpler life.

I miss two things about my smart phone: Pandora and Google Maps. But even those are not necessary, they were just nice.

Another area in our life that's simpler is the fact that we have very limited internet. And by limited I mean slow and unstable. In fact it took me 20 minutes and 9 page reloads to get this blog written. While this is really frustrating when I'm trying to search for something or just check Facebook, it also prevents me from wasting (yes, wasting) a lot of time on websites like blogs, pinterest, and countless other websites that are there just for perusing. And yes I realize I'm writing a blog I expect other people to read. But the fact is while those websites are nice and handy, they have the potential to be extreme time wasters! And not being able to go to those websites because it would take forever has really shown me that. Are they handy? Yes. Are they beneficial? Sometimes. Are they necessary? No.

Our life has also become simpler in our food. We live in a huge dairy and cattle community so we are able to get milk straight from a cow, meat from farm fresh animals, and eggs from farm chickens. We've also been given a lot of produce so we've learned how to can. There is a simple satisfaction in making a meal comprised entirely of ingredients that were grown or raised in a 30 mile radius from where you live. We aren't able to do every meal that way and we still make weekly treks to Walmart, but having those fresher options is really satisfying.

The fact is, we don't have a lot of luxuries that we used to have, and we've found that we don't miss them. We can spend an evening reading books or doing a family talent show. We can spend an evening cleaning up the yard to prepare for a storm. We can just sit and not have an electronic device in front of us and life will still go on. To be honest, it's nice. I like my simpler life.

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