“All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Lucy (Peanuts comic strip
Without a little spontaneity, and something to make a day feel different life can feel quite mundane. There was a time I let myself fall into the trap of all work and no play. The stress of keeping things together caused me to forget life is about living to the fullest.
Since I began to live life simpler, I was able to tap into that feeling of living life again instead of just surviving life. Choosing a simpler lifestyle doesn’t mean you are choosing a dull life.
In all aspects of life we must keep some element of newness, change, and excitement. Whether that be in our simple meals, or in our daily activities.
In eating, even if you are watching everything you eat to lose weight or just to keep the food bills down, you must allow yourself a special treat from time to time otherwise you will feel deprived. With summer here, my treat is an occasional baby size ice cream cone from the local stand, very occasionally that is.
But the same holds for any other part of our lives. If you fill your day with nothing but chores, those must-dos, I should, and I have to, you will find yourself feeling deprived. You need to mix it up a little. Yes, there will always be dishes that need washed and laundry to do, but if you can find a moment to do something you “want” to do, you will feel excitement for life.
Today was one of those days for me. My neighbor wanted my help outside, which I gave for a while, then left her to have a quiet afternoon with a book I wanted to sink my teeth into. Not sure she appreciated my deserting her, but it was what I needed to do. Since my current reading has been on gardening and trying to figure out how to deter deer from my garden, today was pure fiction. Even in reading we need to mix up the genre to avoid a rut.
While my day was a treat and cost nothing, there are days we need to splurge a little. Simplicity isn’t about never spending any money, it’s about spending it on something that will matter to you and make your life better, while staying within the boundaries of your budget.
Here are just a few ideas you can share with family or friends, or just spend the time alone:
- Pull out and listen to music you haven’t listened to in a while.
- Take a relaxing bath. Don’t forget the candles and maybe a glass of wine.
- Go for a bike ride, alone, with family, or friends. Don’t forget to include plenty of laughter.
- Bake a batch of your favorite cookies. If you have the willpower save two for yourself and give the rest to someone who needs cheering up.
- Borrow a movie, don’t forget the popcorn. The cost is much lower than going to the movies.
- Have an outdoor fire and tell stories. Kids will love silly stories. Marshmallows are optional.
- Be a kid again. Spend the day doing something you loved doing as a kid but haven’t done in a while. I recently remembered how much fun I used to have swinging on a swing.
- Weather is nasty how about doing a puzzle, or reading a book?
- Check out your local area for free events. One local nature center has bird watching days, a local farm has a free maple syrup festival, and this coming weekend our town is having a music and art festival. This is wonderful, you can walk around the downtown area and stop to listen to local musician or watch an artist create something right in front of you. We have plenty of park benches along the way to sit and relax.
- Have a picnic. Grab a blanket and a basket of food and head outdoors. We used to have picnics on our living room floor while listening to a good thunderstorm.
- Spend time with a friend.
- Spend time on a hobby.
- Take time to learn something new. Libraries offer free classes as do come museums and other cultural venues.
- If you are a morning person get up to watch the sunrise, or watch it set if you are a night person.
- A couple of years ago I started a sisters day out. It’s not often we have the chance to just sit around and catch up. The days are always filled with jokes and laughter.
- Give yourself a manicure.
- Get a massage, it’s cheapest when you have your significant other give the massage, but second best is a self massage.
- Just do nothing. Curl up with a cup of tea and just relax.
- Spread a blanket under a tree and just savor the quiet.
- Go camping. Sleeping under the stars is free.
Never forget life is about having fun. What would you add to my list?