Have you ever dreamed of living in the early eras – any other century that isn’t the current one?
I would love to go back in time, to visit every era and experience the simple life – or what it seems like to me at least.
In 2015 we lived by my mom and dad for 5 months, in WINTER. I had my 2 girls that were 3 and 1.5 and was PREGNANT, and we lived UPSTAIRS in our own flat that had 1 bathroom and kitchen and then one big all-in-one room – 3 bedrooms, dining room, lounge, study, playroom. It was the one of my best times. I loved it, I loved that we didn’t need all the boxes that were stored with unused stuff (that 2 years later still sit in the garage unopened). Besides being slightly pre-natally depressed I call it (not clinically or seriously but It wasn’t my happiest days) I still found joy in this little home. It was simple and enough, everything we needed. You can see in the picture our bed on the left (which also served as the TV room), then the office/TV then the play room, then the 2 kids beds and then the dining table. and the beanbag is kind of the couch!
I think in essence this was where a little seed was planted by God to prepare us for our lives going in a different direction and it was a prelude to help us adjust to what lies ahead, a very uncertain future, but one I look forward to eagerly.
Life throws so much at us that it’s hard to keep up, hard to keep our heads afloat of the vast number of things on offer. Media all around us makes us feel like we must consume everything that we are told we must have. Imagine if there were no adverts, billboards, no TV ads making you want to go out and get that finger-licking good meal. No magazines showing off other people’s bodies and homes – Defining them as perfection and then making us desire to have it. To go out and buy that awesome-looking cushion, that we must have it. We must make our house look good for others so they can see all the nice things we have. We want the bigger house, the bigger cars, and more stuff to fill it with!
My mother told me one day “ you know Heath – no-one remembers you for how clean your house is” I used it back on her today! 🙂 It was a phase we went through this year where we decided not to replace our helper. It was quite a lot of pressure to keep trying to find time to clean the floors especially! Gosh they get dirty quickly. It was stressful to keep the house decent, work, cook and focus on the kids. I was complaining about it all the time!
I want to say something similar to you: “no-one remembers you for the things you have, the money you spend, or the food you give them”. Think of your memories you have with your friends and family. What memories do you have – do you remember what they looked like? Do you remember the fancy décor?
Or do you remember the laughter and the tears, the warmness and the peace?
When last did you say you need something? What was it? Did you get it? Did it rock your world? Could you have lived without it? If you go through your house right now – how many things would you pick up that you haven’t used in the last 3 months!
Think of kids parties – Do the kids remember the party for the decor that we spend hours putting up or do they remember the fun and the friends and the cake! Do we make a kids party elaborate with decor to please others? To want to look better than the last one we went to? I’m a real minimalist in this area, i’m afraid, I don’t believe in lots of decor, spending money on something that’s going to be take down and thrown away. Something small can say what you want it to say. Small touches can make it special.
I long for the simple life – less stuff and more magic. Less toys and more time spent with the kids. Less fussiness over frugal things and more time for friends and fun. Less time spent shopping for things we don’t need and more time to read a book. Less time spent looking for something to watch on TV (too much to choose from) and more time writing journals, reading the bible.
Less time doing what others expect from us and more time finding and enjoying our own passions.
My dream now is to live in a small house. I’m ready for less to consume me and my time. I want to fuss less about keeping a house tidy, clean and full of things I don’t really need. I mean how much do we really need to survive? To survive – all we need is food – healthy food, water – not bought in plastic bottles to throw away, and healthy relationships.
I want to fuss more about keeping kids creativity alive with other ways to have fun together. For them to explore, go on adventures, get dirty, have concerts, make up dance routines, dress up. Explore what they enjoy, take photos, stopping to look at bugs and grow their bravery, act a show, make obstacle courses, make music, make forts, make up games.
That’s what I remember growing up. I don’t remember any toys I had, except this one luckily I have a pic of it, me and my Ouma!.
I remember running outside with my brothers and cousin – making forts, riding bikes, getting dirty. I grew up on a farm/plot and loved it. We would make up games, be physical (and by that I mean use our bodies to have fun and not sit and watch TV), swim, have fun just being kids. Me and my best friend would spend hours in the pool making up swim routines, we would spend hours playing board games and then eventually creating, designing and making our own – which we still have! We would talk and dream and laugh and cry.
On my own I loved to make things, esp with paper. I like to be doing something with my hands. Essentially without even knowing it I was doing design! It fascinates me to think that I could have been doing this my whole life to lead up to this part of my life! I loved to move my room around every now and then. I loved to play with a ball on the wall outside. We weren’t allowed to watch TV during the day – and rightly so. We learned to live life with what we had, have fun creatively and use our bodies to learn.
Back to the past now.
There were no such things as cling wrap, ziplock bags, plastic straws or cutlery, styrofoam, plastic packets, chip packets, individual sweet wrappers and Every.Single.Other.Wrapper.That.CAN’T.Be.Recycled. Think of it. Biscuits, crackers, bread, cake – was all made at home with fresh ingredients and hands getting dirty. And think of fruit and Veg, it’s grown with it’s own “wrapper” so why put another one on it – just to stick a price tag! And it has to be cut for us and put in more plastic so that we don’t have to do it. Our times have become such a rush that we can’t do anything for ourselves anymore. People had it easy way back before the 1960’s. Before plastic came on the scene.
I came across this lovely article on life before plastic when looking for these pictures. Give it a read please, it’s not long.
The article really makes me wish I lived in that era! Oh man – who wants to go back in time with me?
Life sounded simple back then. No Consumerism, no public pressure!
Just a simple life!
How do you think that sounds?
What are your thoughts?