If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~ Cicero
What does that mean?
Needless to say, this quote is from the days before the iPhone, computers, cars, and all that tech stuff that most of us can’t imagine living without. In that simpler time, some outdoor work, tending to growing things and a good sized stash of books for amusement and education were the pinnacle of simple living.
I imagine that there are still many who hold to that simple lifestyle, that calm and gentle life. If the garden is full of flowers, there will be birds and insects and no end of beautiful blooms. If the garden is full of food stock, there will be nearly endless supplies of fruits and vegetables for eating and preserving.
With a library full of books, both the heat of the day as well as the cool of the evenings can spent feeding the mind with the best and most interesting topics your library might contain. And if you have a friend with a library, you might even be able to swap books from time to time.
Why is living simply important?
It’s hard to live a simpler life than that. Once the property is paid off, there are few small bills, and very little stress in life. That sounds like all I would ever need. I might want a few other things, but I could live out my years with just that, as an absolute minimum. What about you?
While there are a fair number of people who blog on a minimal lifestyle, I have found mnmlist.com, by Leo Babauta, to be a most excellent resource. His other blogs are pretty good too, covering everything from the art of zen to the art of writing. And he likes to read as well as write books.
Not everyone is ready to give up everything and life such a simple life. I know that I’m not. However, I don’t find the idea repugnant either. I’m sure I would chafe without some other things to do from time to time. But at the same time, I’m sure there are plenty of things I don’t need in my life.
I’ve been working (over the last few years) to do more with less, to curb my appetite for toys and things, and live a little simpler. Sometimes I’ve even been successful. But I’ve moved my baseline, and am slowly adjusting my course. I’m not as nimble as a minnow, I’m more like a super-tanker. But change is inevitable, and I plan to be in control of it’s direction.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I started by spending less time buying. Then I cut down on the time I spent shopping. After that, I started trying to find cheaper ways of getting things. As I have always enjoyed building things, I have saved some by building things rather than buying them.
The weapon rack for the Martial Arts supplies was made from oak, and constructed in the garage. The same with multiple book cases, computer tables, TV stands, and ton of other wooden objects. I do a lot of my own work on cars, and try to stay as simple as possible.
What do you have on your shopping list that you don’t really need? While some will reduce their list from a consumerist perspective, some from a waste or environmental impact perspective, still others will do so from a monetary savings perspective. While I respect these choices, I’m doing it to cut down on clutter and headaches.
I recently had to replace a router, and I selected the unit based on price. I was tempted by one with a built-in NAS hard drive of 2TB! Ooooh! The things I could do with that setup. However, I had no actual need for it, and I saved $200 and a little electricity. I also reduced future headaches.
What can you do to simplify your life? Do you really need to follow all those people on twitter? I’ve been cutting back, and let people know that I just can’t source the time. That’s saving me at least half an hour a day. How much time could you save, or redirect to a more useful purpose? The same goes for other social media.
You don’t have to go all e-hermit on us, but be careful how much time you have invested, and if that’s the best use of your time. Consider how that trimming might make a tablet that is constantly connected to the web unnecessary, or the monster data plan might end up being overkill.
That’s my weakness, tech gadgets. What is yours? Shoes? Clothes? Ties? Cars? Commemorative plates? Where can you have more by doing less? You don’t have to abandon everything except a garden and a couple of books, but you could take a step or two closer. It shouldn’t hurt too much. Really. 8)
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcustull104340.html
Photo by LJR.MIKE