I was speaking on the phone yesterday morning with a good friend, a mother of 6 (her oldest child has been helping me around the house to earn spending money for an upcoming trip with her Dad). Neither of us had a car available to us, to get her daughter to my house at our usual time, so we agreed that her Dad would drop her off a bit late.
Before we hung up, she laughed and said that not having a car wasn't a bad thing. It keeps us at home where we're supposed to be.
I think that one reason I felt so scattered and exhausted all summer was because I was out of the house either once or twice a day, every single day, when my students were here (quite uncommon for me, as I am usually without a car during the week). How difficult it is to have a regular routine, to stay on top of what needs to be done, to be focused on the needs of my husband and children and home, when I am constantly out of the place where my work is to be done.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that women should be chained to the kitchen sink. Far from it.
I'm only saying that maybe we can keep life a little simpler, a little calmer, a little more organized, and a lot less hectic, when we fix ourselves in the place where our greatest responsibilities lie. Running around doing errands, grocery shopping, bargain hunting, having play dates or visits with friends, and taking our children to sports or music lessons or other activities are not bad things in and of themselves.
I would venture to say, though, that we really need to consider how worthwhile and necessary these things are, and whether there is a better way to fulfill those needs without leaving the house every day or every other day. I have greatly benefited from working with my shopping and meal planning to learn to get by with less trips to the grocery store. When I don't spend time with my friends (or my children with their friends) every week, it is much sweeter and more anticipated when it happens occasionally.
I'm thankful to have been reminded of the simple blessing that getting to (not having to- it's a privilege!) stay home is.
Based on the responses from my post earlier this week on seeking simplicity, I've decided that starting next week, I will try hosting a "Living Simple Saturdays" carnival on my blog.
Due to the nature of the carnival, here are a few guidelines:
1) Keep it simple! The point is not to overwhelm yourself with a long post to write, or for readers to find the posts overly long and tedious to read. Short is good. Simple ideas are good. Less is more.
2) Why don't you try writing your post ahead of time, and have it all prepared to put up on Saturday, and then walk away from the computer for the rest of the weekend? (As I will be doing!)
3) Topic guidlines are simply this (hmmm, that's a popular word in this post): Write about your own journey towards simplicity, the things you are learning, ways that you are minimizing and cutting back, ideas for reducing clutter and streamlining processes, or perhaps a brief reflection on a simple truth. It can be practical or philosophical. What does simplicity mean to you?
4) For everyone's sake, please make sure that when you post your url, that you link directly to the post on simplicity, rather than the homepage of your blog. I will occasionally go through the links, and if I find one that is not linked correctly, I will delete it. This is not to be mean, but rather to serve those who are reading it and don't want to be frustrated or waste time trying to find the intended post.
5) Make sure you link your post back to my post. Much appreciated! :)
So, I am off for a morning of personal retreat and work time (thanks Ryan!), then to pick up the final berries of the season (ahhh, a well stocked freezer) and my raw milk (available again!!!).
The carnival will begin next Saturday, September 6th. Spread the word. See you then!
(Photo credit- allposters.com)