Do you long for a simpler life?

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately; this crazy summer of travel finally caught up with me.

My mama sure is lazy.

On Sunday night, Matt and I uncorked a bottle of champagne at La Belle Vie to celebrate his return home, this time for good. We had blinked and the seasons had almost shifted on us.

After dinner, we walked around Loring Park holding hands, and the crisp night air felt like fall. We asked ourselves, as parents often do, where did the time go?

Look who lost two teeth!

Suddenly we longed for a slower life. A simpler one. One where Matt does not work the sort of hours he does, and I feel like the other families at the park: complete. We imagined buying a fixer upper in rural Minnesota where our boys could run wild in a field out back. Because this home we’re building ties us to the lifestyle that we lead.

Matt’s travel comes and goes; his workload ebbs and flows. And now, we’ll have a month to enjoy each other, with a week of vacation stuck in there, before his travel picks up again.

What is the right road to take in life? I appreciate the financial comfort his job provides, especially during this recession, and that he is happy, because moods filter through the home. But I wish he were here more because I miss him.

So what do you think: Is there such a thing as a simpler life, or do you simply trade one stress for another?

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18. August 2010 by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson
Categories: Home Building, Marriage, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 comments

Comments (18)

  1. Tough questions… sounds like you are on the right path to answering them. :)

    Be blessed-
    Amanda

  2. That is a very good question. I don’t think there is an easy answer. Simplicity is a state of mind, for me anyway. It’s maybe a grass is greener on the other side of the fence kinda thing.

  3. Such a good question. We just moved to a different state so my husband could have a job where he worked less hours for almost the same pay. It has been great! He has somewhat less stress, more family time and that is the big benefit.
    I think this is a great thing to ponder and more people need to do so. With all the people putting their kids into eleventy billion activities, they need to take a step back and slow down.
    Great post!

  4. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a simpler life. I think it’s a mindframe. If you’re enjoying the things you’re doing and you’re all together, there’s no need to simplify. I understand wanting Matt to be around more often. But if you did the rural fixer upper, would he spend all his time at home fixing stuff up and being frustrated? I think you’d just be trading one stress for another. You just have to try to be happy with the life you’ve chosen. Easier said than done.

  5. I wonder about that question too. I agree that simplicity is a state of mind. In any situation you can complicate matters by getting blogged down by the details and what you don’t have. You are a very lucky family. Matt won’t be working like this forever. You’ll get your chance to spend more time with him when that time is better for him and the family.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    i appreciate your question in this post, and find myself thinking along a similar path. i’ve been seeing people, mainly a few bloggers, post such wonderful pictures and stories about little moments of their lives. It made me realize that i pass over so many little moments just getting through the day. i’ve decided to slow down and live more simply, enjoying each moment that God brings my way.

    i hope that you find the answer you are looking for.

  7. Sounds like you have a beautiful life blessed with children, a wonderful husband, and a beautiful home. It definitely is the mindset of the grass is greener and always wanting or wishing for something different or perhaps more, maybe in this case less.

  8. Selling/giving away everything we owned before we got married was the best thing i’ve ever done. We’re finally back from all our travels and looking for jobs and a place to live…but life is SIMPLE without stuff. And Good. :)

  9. You do seem to be so blessed. Your sons are so handsome! I love a gap-toothed smile!

    I’m not the one you want to answer the question. I long for the simpler path. My husband works crazy hours for a decent salary which allows me to be home with my kids. BUT I’m so tempted to sell everything and buy a tiny house where we can be free of the daily grind.

  10. Finding that balance sometimes does seem elusive but you bring up some good points: job satisfaction is huge and this affects your husband’s happiness both at work and home. It’s hard but it also sounds like the time you do have together is special and quality.
    My husband used to travel a lot and it is hard on us (Mom and kids) when he’s gone so I know that feeling too. Like you, I’m just thankful I have the opportunity to be home with the kids…that’s pretty simple too. Enjoy this time with you family , best wishes:)

  11. I think it is so hard to have a “simple” life when kids are involved because there are so many things that you want for them and usually those things are in contrast with each other. For example a simple life and able to enjoy time as a family, but money to travel with them and show them new things, or a fun and active social life with their friends.
    I think you just have to pick what are the MOST IMPORTANT things to your family (these may change as you get to know your children) and focus on those.
    And I guess in the end that may simplify your life.
    Hmmmm… maybe I should try this. Who knew I would so much wisdom on a Wednesday night at 11:30.

  12. Life is a snarled set of trade-offs. We find contentment somewhere in the untangling. This thread. No, not that one. At each stage of life, the threads change in importance. The trick is know which ones to tug. It’s like doing some big project once. By the time we’re done, we’re experts :)

  13. Those faces are precious!

    And yes! My sister and I took my boys to a local state park with a waterfall and we spent hours there. We had a little cookout, ate tons of crap, swam in the waterfall, took a little mini hike (if you can say that when you bring a 1 year old along) and just had a fabulous day. One of the highlights of my summer by far. And I just texted my sister yesterday and said, what if we could just go to Kent Falls everyday? What if that was somehow out job? And we got paid to pack up the boys and spend the day like that? Needless to say, she asked if I needed to see a shrink and that reality needed to step in. But still, we can dream right?

  14. …excellent comment Helen Hanson!!!…you are right on the mark!!!…for myself, I don’t want anything more than I have…especially if it has to be dusted, stored or insured…I am content with what I have!!!…my vote is for the simple life!!!…ahhhhhh…

  15. I definitely think you trade this stress for that stress. My husband and I along with our 3 children moved to a little 5 acre farm last year… farm life is the simple life right? Wrong. It’s just different… Simple in so many ways, but not simple in stress. I always say, “we love this life. it’s a lot of work and really hard, but we love it.” And really we do. I love being a farmwife and having farmkids. We just have to make a concerted effort to take time out and be with eachother, and take a deep deep breath and enjoy what we have and where we’re at.

  16. Such thought provoking question. If I can chose I too long for a simpler life but I feel like my family has been abundantly blessed even when my husband works crazy hours and sometimes have to be out of town/country for weeks on end. Your children are so beautiful! :D

  17. I think simplifying your life can bring you great peace, however, a simple life looks different to each person. You will have to figure out what works best for your family. Visit my post- http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/the-cure-for-the-american-dream/ It has some great tips for beginning to simplify!
    Bernice

  18. Pingback: Unplanned Cooking » Does attachment parenting imprison mothers? And quesadillas.

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