Yesterday I sat on my tiny front deck, in my yellow chair, and watched the goats. I sat there for a good hour in the heat of the summer afternoon while a bee buzzed in the geranium blooms beside me and the cat rubbed his head on my toes.

It was a sweet and peaceful and simple hour.


Then I resumed my day, with its meeting of needs and the laundry and the what’s-for-supper questions, and checking Facebook every five minutes to see if there were any updates from my travelling boy, and that was simple, too.

And in the evening, when the dog started barking his fool head off and the kids ran to the window to see if someone had driven into the yard and saw that fox chasing those chickens and the husband jumped out of his end-of-a-long-day bath and grabbed the gun and shot that varmint from the upstairs bathroom window, well, that was simple, too.

Simple isn’t where I live or what I do or don’t do. Simple isn’t the farm eggs or the turkey-butchering in the fall or the bread-baking on Monday afternoons. A life isn’t simple just because you choose to live on an acreage or you make your spaghetti sauce from scratch. There isn’t a simple life formula that fits everyone.

Simple is how you think about your life, not what you do with your life. And you can think simple anywhere.

I’m not advocating for an irresponsible life, mind. Not an it’s-all-about-me-and-what-makes-me-happy life. I’m not talking about selfishness or thoughtlessness. Thinking simple, according to Janelle’s dictionary, means evaluating choices and letting go of the ones that only increase the burden, while joyfully embracing the ones that enrich and give your life meaning and purpose.

There are so many places in the world where people’s choices are limited and the whole idea of simple living is totally and completely non-existent.

If you are actually part of the world’s population with choices, please don’t squander them. Decide what matters and make that the focus of your life, and your life will simplify itself.