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DCASPERS Posts: 77
3/11/10 7:27 P

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Hey, we r the same weight with the same goal. Hope we can do it! I plan on it!

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JBROYSE's Photo JBROYSE Posts: 15
3/11/10 10:58 A

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I can totally relate. There are a lot of forces that have led me to realize my relationship with stuff. A lot of it is the fact that I just had my first child and had to figure out what to do with all the stuff that was in the "guest room". But I have also started to realize the psychological toll it takes on you, to have to look at more stuff, to organize it, to do something with it.

Am actively trying to really pare down the stuff we have. Getting rid of it makes me feel so much better.



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ALIBOO36 Posts: 66
3/8/10 10:59 A

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I'm also into the purging. I too grew up with parents that saved everything so at least once a year I go through and purge stuff that I loved when I got, but almost never use or don't use. If I haven't seen it in 6 months to a year (or longer), it goes to the Goodwill. Glad to hear other people are purging too. Need to get my fiance to do that because he still has books and folders from college - we are 36 years old now - HELLO.
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ALIBOO36 Posts: 66
3/8/10 10:57 A

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I hear ya on the less TV. When I lived with my parents and then on my own, I read more than I watched TV, but I was like that all growing up. I just wasn't a fan of TV. Even now when I watch TV it's Food Network, Travel Channel, Discovery, or History. I am just not a fan of most of the other shows because they are reality shows that drive me up a wall. Occassionally I catch a sitcom like Two and a half Men, but I never remember when they are on. I would rather come home and read, but that means I have to go upstairs because my Fiance is downstairs watching TV while he is on his computer. He's not a big reader :)

Speaking of reading - I have rediscovered the library. I haven't been in 10+ years and it's AWESOME! Much better than buying because when I buy then I end up purging and wonder why I bothered spending the money. My friends and I have also started sharing books, which is great. I'm exposed to new generes and authors :)

RE2BAH's Photo RE2BAH Posts: 1,063
3/4/10 4:28 P

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After 42 years of saving, etc., we moved into our new house. There are many ways it is better than the house we just moved from, but it doesn't have as much space as the old one. Even someone living on a shoestring can accumulate too much.

I was raised by parents who saved everything because it could be useful someday. I'd thought I'd learned to pass on useful things, but I still have things.... Am using freecyle to donate things we no longer need.

Since we moved here in October, and we live in the midwest, we haven't had a chance to get a garden going. My husband, though, is building the raised beds so that we can get started soon. Seeds are going to be planted tomorrow and be ready to set out in late April. We don't have a large back yard, but it will be full of home grown food stuff!



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VICKIEALEXANDER's Photo VICKIEALEXANDER Posts: 304
2/28/10 9:35 P

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It is true things can have control over us. I thank God that I was raised to appreciate nature for it surrounds me. I do hope to move to a better apartment later this year, but this one I am in is simply pretty old and the building is messed up.
I keep my electric down and I do have tv and the cable was included in the rent and I do enjoy some good channels that I can learn things from, but gone are the shows on the usual channels, of quality anyway.
I recycle stuff most folks throw out, I am learning more about canning and I actually prefer to cook my own food any way. I live in a tiny town in the Adirondacks and now that I am not sitting still as much, I will be venturing out more on foot right around here.

I was used to a budget,but going broke before the next payday is hard and I would like to change that.
I do get books that teach me things, and am working on my sewing skills and quilting skills and knitting this year as well as will be studying technical books about writing fiction or scenes.

I like movies and do have a netflix account which I make use of occassionally though out the month.
My dream is to have a few acres where I could build a greener cob construction home, grow most of my own food as organically as possible, my own sweet water well and set it up for my son and his family, produce enough food to gift it to them at least occasionally as well.
I would learn more about carpentry and do alot of my own furniture if I could too,but I have no place to do that. I appreciate nice antiques too and if those can be found and I can use them, I will try to do that.

I have started over more than twice, right now its just an interim time while I wait for my son and his wife to get a home and he gets through his masters and settles somewhere in central or eastern TX in a few years. I will be saving to move there after I move locally first.

This place is too small. I would like to make quilts and sell them and the second bedroom at the new apartments will be a good room for that and my other crafting, plus it has a deck and a hill in the back I can set containers out on for a container garden in the summer.
It is better suited geographically for me to work parttime for my mha in the warm months because I can walk to work then and also get on the train as its by the station there to go on trips easily.

I do not hang out with friends around here, we are all too spread out in the county and none of us has cars. I will hopefully get a car when I go to texas or a motorcycle as I prefer to watch costs on a vehicle and gas costs. I vanpool to grocery shop in plattsburgh when I can. The most frequent is once a month. Groceries are expensive here, especially in town, so I have to spend more than someone would , say in the south. I actually get dehydrated canned for storage foods online and am eating from them regularly to make ends meet.
I think you can have a quality of life, I think you can have self discipline too.
I hope to be able to organize things better as time goes on, but I actually started out with just books and pictures a few years ago when I moved in here. So what I do have, I generally need now.
I love reading and really if there was no cable, having internet access would be most important, but reading is my first love and I have plenty to read, infact a shelf of books I really need to start reading from again!
Just getting used to sparkpeople has taken most of the week. I did my walk today and decided to rest abit this afternoon and evening because I got pretty tired from the week. I will be pulling at least one book off the shelf and getting to my quilting this next week. I need a quilt to cover my bed for warmth! And the beauty it will offer as well.
this place is pretty barebones.
But one can make stuff, they dont have to buy it although things to make things with can certainly add up. Not having enough storage room is my worst problem right now.
A luxury to me right now would to be able to have a bathtub again. I really need it for the fibro, back and hard worked muscles!
I already often wash clothes by hand and hang them in the shower to dry as there is no laundromat in town. So, thats very simple living . Doing things by hand takes alot longer.
Most folks are not equipped to live up in the trees anymore. It takes alot of effort and you can not live by meat alone either and be healthy, you have to preserve it and preserve what you forage and fish for as well. This takes alot more effort than most can do, alot more skills than people have these days although there are some of us who are learning some of those things because its part of being prepared.

There are all kinds of lifestyles. But I see no reason to have a 10000 dollar stereo or a fancy fancy house or car either. I would just like normal. That would be nice. A bit of land where I can garden grow fruit and nut trees, have dairy goats and chickens and such and a home of my own design thats not toxic.

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MORETHANWEIGHT's Photo MORETHANWEIGHT Posts: 644
2/23/10 8:23 P

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less is more is so true
the less u have the less u have to take care of

thanks for all your posts

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CECHANDLER's Photo CECHANDLER Posts: 499
2/23/10 5:34 P

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Fantastic post! I have recently started following a few blog writers who are "minimalists"...the definition has changed over the years, but currently reflects ideas around fewer possessions and more freedom to move around. The DH and I have started "purging" stuff from our home. We have a lot and it's a lot to go through, but I'm enjoying it. We could easily get rid of everything that's in storage and not miss any of it. I'm giving away books that I will most likely not read again, and only keeping those that are precious to me or that are useful. I honestly thinking that living in the western world has a lot to do with people's greed and inability to "let go" of possessions...we are taught from such a young age that we need "more" or "bigger" or "better"...I catch myself doing it all the time! Of course, because of income, I have also learned to stretch the life of belongings until they're (sometimes literally) falling apart before they are replaced or fixed.

My hope for this world-wide recession is that it will teach people, or remind them, that life is more about family and friends and quality times than belongings or money.

I know now that I know nothing.


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DONNAKHA's Photo DONNAKHA Posts: 1,364
2/22/10 10:47 A

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Lovely thread! I have also been practicing letting go of "things" both physical and mental.

Physical simplicity is not just the decluttering, the stepping away from technology, and focusing on needs rather than wants. It is definitely about living in "present" time, or being "awake" as someone else eloquently posted. When I notice how the rain has made a lovely pattern on my window screen and crocheted the most beautiful piece of art out of a spider web, I wonder about all of the beautiful, awe-inspiring such tiny moments that I missed in my life being far too busy.

Part of mental simplicity for me is letting go of preconceived notions about what life is supposed to look like and feel like. I now appreciate the myriad choices we all have for our life path, where before I had assumed that I needed to follow the pattern of my parents, of my extended family, of my friends, my peers, of the culture media.

I embrace the simple life now, and look forward to exploring it more fully for the rest of my life-- whether gainfully employed and lush with the green or not. I hope I never forget the goodness of simplicity.

"I'm beginning to know myself. I don't exist. I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others have made of me." -Fernando Pessoa



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MARIGOLDWISH's Photo MARIGOLDWISH Posts: 158
2/21/10 10:44 A

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Wow - great thread. Nice, reflective way to start the week! Thanks everyone!

Here's what it means to me:
- taking care of what needs to be done without fuss
- constant little steps so big ones are unecessary
- saying what you mean, kindly
- making time and space for experiences, not things
- respect and know your true nature and values
- treat yourself, others and the planet, well

The hard part, of course, is figuring out how to do it all on a daily basis and not just on "good" days!

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WACKYNAN's Photo WACKYNAN Posts: 16
2/20/10 10:26 A

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emoticon Great posts everybody--if I could do two things they woul be to declutter--DH won't even consider it and less tv--this is what I am going to try and do--cut way down--maybe eventually give it up--we'll see.



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MALEXANDER4's Photo MALEXANDER4 SparkPoints: (257,249)
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2/20/10 7:06 A

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I am learning that the "things" I thought truly mattered, don't. Life is too short to waste on nonesense. I'm decluttering my home and in turn decluttering my life. If a storm came through, god forbid, and wiped out all I have it would just be stuff gone. My family, now that is what matters most.

I use to have to have every new item that came out, my house was redone it seemed yearly, now I look and think I have that, don't need another, and the one I have works just fine. I then move on. People come to see me not my home. At least I would like to think that.

Michelle
Alabama


If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
If you can dream it, you can become it.
- William Arthur Ward



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JANETSJAMMING's Photo JANETSJAMMING SparkPoints: (15,876)
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2/10/10 3:04 P

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I love that Amish song that says " Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free" It is freeing to simplify your life. Looking for new ways to free yourself from stuff and time wasters gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. I used to collect magazines and books , still have way to many ,but have stopped the flow into the his is amazing what even one step can do to make your life just a little better

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep grartitude of those who have lighted the flame within us
Albert Schweitzer


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ROSEYQ's Photo ROSEYQ Posts: 126
2/9/10 9:32 P

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Letting go of the "art things" has been the hardest for me. It kills me to look back at the unfinished and sometimes un-started projects. But I am sick and tired of the clutter owning my house. And besides, who needs the reminders of things undone.

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FRANYOTS's Photo FRANYOTS Posts: 19
2/8/10 7:45 A

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I am moving to a new city, in 2 weeks. This has made me look at the "material" things I have gathered. First, with the move, I don't want to lug useless things that will only take up time and space.

But I re-evaluated what is "necessary".

Cable - I wrote down what channels I really watch. It is amaizing that I pay for hundreds and watch maybe 5. So cable be gone....

Home phone - I have a cell phone, it goes with me where ever I go. Homephone why? Landline be gone..

Clothes in 3 closets. Now really, how many outfits do I really wear. Good will is thrilled with my donations.

I am an artist at heart, so you know the paints, crafts add up really fast. But if I have not "dabbled" in, 2 years..(oil paints are expensive)
Craft clutter...be gone.

It is almost exilerating when you purge things, it is almost as if it has "physical" weight attached. I am feeling lighter now..only if the scale reflected the lighter me, from my purging...

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CELLOMARM's Photo CELLOMARM Posts: 194
2/6/10 7:48 P

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Gentle-Guy...what a beautiful and provocative post.

I, too, am married with children (though soon to be an empty nester) and even though I've often said I want my house to reflect minimalism, I haven't found a way to make it possible with a family and 30 years accumulating "stuff". So, to try and live a simple life for me starts with trying to be "awake".

Being aware of things that are around me (nature, family, children, flowers, music) and within me (breath, heartbeat, muscles flexing and contracting).

Being aware of others around me (friends and strangers) and being the first to smile and say “hi”.

Being grateful for what I have and appreciative of the work and struggles of others.

Being mindful of my carbon footprint and ways that I can manage with less, if possible.

Living a life in integrity – with my immediate family, with members of my human family and with myself.

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MOMMA48's Photo MOMMA48 Posts: 756,698
2/6/10 4:28 P

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We still have the TVs in our home, but since we already pay for cable, etc., we've lowered those trips to the video store to rent movies! We already pay once for movies on cable -- if what is available on a certain evening isn't to our liking -- we just turn it off!

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ROSEYQ's Photo ROSEYQ Posts: 126
2/4/10 9:19 P

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We got rid of the tv too. We've gone back and forth with it over the years. When we have it, we become tv junkies. So for us, it not only steals our money, but alot of our time.

Besides, the library still has alot of movies that we haven't seen, and some we don't mind seeing again.

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SHELBYBEAR's Photo SHELBYBEAR Posts: 512
2/4/10 10:37 A

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We also got rid of the TV and haven't missed it much at all. If there is something I want to watch, most of the time it is online. But we seldom even do that.

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CHERYL123453's Photo CHERYL123453 Posts: 15
2/4/10 7:10 A

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I liked yur message on Living the Simple Life. I have come to the point that tv is truly becoming the root of all evil. When I was young tv was about families and was clean entertainment and as children we were not allowed to watch it much. My husband has it on,but like you I have come to ignore it as much as I can. It has opened doors to doing more posiive things in my life. I commend you on your step away from the television.

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TAMX13's Photo TAMX13 Posts: 176
2/3/10 4:58 P

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emoticon
Great Topic
I don't think any life is simple.
I think what it is that people are doing is trying to live a life of basics; going back to what we need vs. what we want. Enjoying a slower pace, deciding what is important in our lives. Stop and smelling the roses; watching the clouds roll by instead of suffocating with a bag of fast food in front of the tv. The goals I have for this year are focused more on quality of life than the "I wants".
emoticon

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. - Colin Powell


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PURERESEARCH's Photo PURERESEARCH Posts: 278
2/3/10 4:03 P

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I recently stopped receiving cable television. It's like I have regained several hours at the end of my day.
I have re-found the joys of reading a good book and - Wonder of Wonders!- I have started writing (snailmail) letters and cards to my sisters, my kids, and my grandchildren. They love it!
I also have time to try new recipes and learn new skills. It's amazing what you can do when you trade Reality TV for reality living.

Co- Leader of Canned Fat Drive. We're GIVING our weight away, one pound at a time!
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ion_articles.asp?id=1243

Co-Leader of Living Life on a Shoestring.
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=28017


'Normal' is just a setting on the dryer."- Barbara Johnson, author and speaker.

If we are what we eat then I really AM "all that and a bag of chips"



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BEAUTIFULYFIT3's Photo BEAUTIFULYFIT3 Posts: 173
2/2/10 10:44 P

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becoming closer to God is my main goal weight loss and other things are after that. God has just been so good to me and revealing himself to me & i love every moment of it. the peace and happiness i know with him is so much better than anything. im so blessed and highly favored but so are all of you and odnt forget that. emoticon emoticon emoticon

anything worth having is worth fighting for and drive is what takes you to the finish line.


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CHERYL123453's Photo CHERYL123453 Posts: 15
1/31/10 7:51 A

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I have spent the last 18 years studying the lifestyle of Old Order Amish and Mennonites and have fallen in love with their simple life. I am not either but I strive everyday to immulate their love of God, simple life and hard work. I get up everyday seeing the new day as a fresh start to make my life better. I stay toned to the needs of others, forget living like the Jones I just wanted to live a simple, quiet life. Make today the very first day of the rest of your life. Make choices to change, if you don't succeed then start tomorrow A NEW. Have a wonderful day. Glad to be a part of tis team

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VALUEU's Photo VALUEU Posts: 55
1/25/10 12:17 P

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Love it, Deb! What a great way to approach this year that we are starting.

LtSL ~ dealing with each joy/sorrow as it comes... not worrying about today, yesterday or tomorrow

1st step... JUST SHOW UP!


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BEETLEBUGLADY's Photo BEETLEBUGLADY Posts: 760
1/24/10 12:31 P

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The simple life to me is decluttering our home. Now I could do that in a week if I wanted to experience the wrath of DH. What can I do?

FOREVERMEMORIES's Photo FOREVERMEMORIES Posts: 136
1/24/10 10:43 A

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awesome post! thanks so much!
for me, living the simple life means not getting caught up in the rush of things today.

*angela*

i CAN do this!


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DEBLYNSTOLL's Photo DEBLYNSTOLL Posts: 60
1/22/10 9:43 P

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The last two days, the radio station I listen to (KLOVE) has talked about choosing one word to describe your goals for this year. One word is so simple. I have been thinking about what my one word would be: Live
Live for God.
Live for family.
Live life to its fullest.
None of that means living beyond my means. It means living within my means and with God. emoticon

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CAROL3SAN's Photo CAROL3SAN Posts: 20,162
1/22/10 5:49 P

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Living simple is good, uncomplicated, and a LOT more cheaper emoticon


"You never know just how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"
Unknown
"....This above all, to thine own self be true"
Wm Shakespheare
"If it is to be its up to me"


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L-ANNIE SparkPoints: (0)
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1/21/10 4:27 P

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emoticon emoticon Topic to mull over. I too have recently given thought to living the simple life. I am presently packing up my worldly goods that I need to take with me when I eventually sell my house to move nearer to my #1Son. I decided to clear out a lot of clutter to the Charity shops to make future house cleaning easier & quicker
so I have more time for myself & my goals, & my family,& friends. To give help to others is very rewarding. When we are called home, all we can take with us is knowledge, & the love in our hearts for our Family & Friends & especially our 'Saviour' & 'God' our 'Heavenly Father'. Sometimes 'Material Goods' are a necessary evil, but we can have too much of a good thing, but that is only my opinion. I know I need to downsize in all areas of my life since all my 6 children have now left the nest & have their own lives & families, & since my husband passed over to Spirit in 2008
I have had time to think about what is important in my life
& it is not worldly goods. It is 'Gods Children'!!

May 'God Bless' each one of you!! There is no one without trials & tribulations in this life, no not one!! Enjoy life.
emoticon emoticon emoticon Annie, in England

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WONDERTURTLE Posts: 118
1/21/10 9:13 A

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I think "the simple life" depends on the person. But I try to live as simply as I comfortably can. I have made conscious choices that make my life more about people than things. I do not participate in consumption for the sake of consumption. I use the phone as a request for my attention, rather than a demand. I use things that are convenient for me, but which also allow me to be an active participant in my own life.

Thank you for this post - it definitely gave me something to think about and I have considered a few changes that I hope to implement in my own life.

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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
1/20/10 7:02 P

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Thanks for that. I agree - I just want to live my life knowing I'm doing the best I can and that I have people who care and are there for me. That I spend each day as if it was my last. Maybe because my mom is doing that now and it makes a different. The simple life is what you make it.

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PATTYCAKE49's Photo PATTYCAKE49 Posts: 9,265
1/19/10 9:51 P

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Thanks for a great writing.

.•*´¨ ) ¸.•*¨) -:¦:-
(¸.•´(¸ ;.•Patty
Texas

He is only a prayer away!



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SONYA_J's Photo SONYA_J SparkPoints: (0)
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1/19/10 6:13 P

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emoticon



�onya


Nothing tastes as good as HEALTHY feels!

Eat simple, live simple, want simple.
Laugh big, love big, give big.

Doc to patient:
"Which fits your schedule better..being active an hour a day, or dead 24 hours a day?"
DIANE7786's Photo DIANE7786 Posts: 6,056
1/19/10 2:18 P

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Great post. We are moving toward the simple life. You offered some great ideas.

Eastern Standard Time Zone

Champions in the Kitchen, ML


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CROOKDHKR's Photo CROOKDHKR Posts: 4,486
1/19/10 1:16 P

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Beautiful Story!
Sandi

Sandi

One Day At A Time



Push yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!

WOMEN ARE ANGELS
AND WHEN SOMEONE
TAKES AWAY OUR WINGS
WE SIMPLY CONTINUE
TO FLY
ON OUR BROOMSTICKS!


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NURSE333's Photo NURSE333 Posts: 2,651
1/19/10 1:14 P

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ENJOYED THAT THANKS FOR SHARING

COINCIDENCE..GOD'S PLAN YOU KNEW NOTHING ABOUT!
A CHALLENGE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GROW SPIRITUALLY. IT WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR SOUL AND MAKE YOU A BETTER HUMAN BEING
SHARON


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1/19/10 12:35 P

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Great post!

Janice


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NJFAMILYOF5's Photo NJFAMILYOF5 Posts: 5,758
1/19/10 11:01 A

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The trend of today for many people is to live the "simple life." However, what exactly is the simple life?

There are as many answers to this question as there are individuals looking to find the peace and contentment that seems so evasive. Yet, in their hearts there is a void, an empty spot that modern consumption just cannot fill.

So, people sit there pondering what they can do to live the simple life, while the television's volume is on high and the voice mail fills up with messages. After all this thinking, hunger comes into play. A quick trip to McDonald's or Burger King and then back home to an evening of station- broadcast news and opinions, and then the comedies of late-night shows. You know, the no-holds-barred laughter at everything and anything, and nothing is beyond being the butt of jokes.

The Simple Life is right there in your heart and in your home. It just needs a little dusting off, or perhaps you can move some of your possessions to the side to make room for Simple Life to breathe some fresh air and come into play in your life.

Whoa! how can a person have the simple life right there when real simple life is living in the woods with the bears and the deer and hunting and fishing for your food. Yes, there are some that find this type of life very satisfying, and then there are those that do not.

Who is correct? Both are indeed correct. The Simple Life is not letting your possessions control you, it is living within your means and not worrying about mounting debt, and it is laughter, quiet, and learning and evaluating all that goes around you.

It is not accepting what you see on television or the internet as written in stone; for in fact, it is someone's opinion or view of a situation and it may or may not be yours.

It is not joining every group, committee, or cause, so that there is no time for family, friends, and individualism.

In a few words, it is getting the most from your particular life, by doing away with what is not necessary and concentrating on what is important and life- sustaining. Life - whether physical, spiritual, or social - it is having the time for those you love and for those you would like to know and love.

It is stepping outside to a sky filled with stars and to find peace in the patter of rain- drops on your window.

It is taking a deep breath and clearing your mind, and it is the aroma of a good meal, the sound of children laughing, and the touch of a person who loves you.

The Simple Life - you can live in the woods or on an island, you can fish all day or garden, you can read and learn, or write a song.

It is enjoying every minute of every day in the way that brings peace and tranquility into your life, keeps you out of debt, and that old belief of "keeping up with the neighbors" is put to rest.

It is being yourself but more importantly, being true to yourself.

It is having the peace of mind to open your mind and it is setting no limits or boundaries to what you can imagine and also to what you can accomplish.

It is having the joy of a morning sun- rise and the tranquility of a sunset.

It is knowing that Nature cannot be ravaged but must be kept for future generations to enjoy and it is having the wisdom that money does not buy friends or happiness but good will does. Enjoy!



There's nothing to fear, you're as good as the best,
As strong as the mightiest, too.
You can win in every battle or test;
For there's no one just like you.
There's only one you in the world today;
So nobody else, you see,
Can do your work in as fine a way:
You're the only you there'll be
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