Better yet, have you ever COOKED dinner at home with no lights?
I did this yesterday. It was lovely – albeit somewhat risky as I worked my way through a new prawn recipe.
Last night as I was preparing dinner, I just stopped and thought “The sun’s going down but I don’t want lights tonight…” and that was that. I just wanted the soft, flickering of candle light. I love the subdued mood it creates, the hush that comes over the house when I light candles and turn off all the lights. It is very relaxing and the ambience even affects my daughter. She quietens, takes on an almost reverent tone and manner and whispers her requests “mook Mummy mook” (i.e. milk Mummy milk).
I kept thinking to myself over and over “Why don’t I do this more often? It quietens Missy, I feel relaxed and peaceful. Why don’t I do this more often I wonder?” It was then I committed to have at least one “No Lights Night” per week.
Despite protestations to the contrary from in-laws and well-meaning friends, I knew we had not a hope of raising our daughter the way I wanted her to be raised, in that place. Everything was so expensive, we had no yard, we went out every night to eat because it was easier – this wasn’t what I wanted for our child.
Our move to the Blue Mountains to live a simpler, more down to earth life has been one of the best changes we could have made.
Whilst I appreciate that not everyone can simply up-stakes and make a drastic Tree Change overnight, there is much to be said for living a more simple existence right where you are.
It’s the little things, compounded over time, that make for a wholesome and fulfilling simple life. It’s taken us a long time to make the changes we’ve made and every day I am looking for more things we can do to simplify (sounds like a contradiction in terms doesn’t it?)
I asked myself “What could we do now to simplify life, to quieten some of the noise and distractions that fill our heads?”
Here are some of the lovely ideas we’ve been working on lately:
· Dinner by candlelight
· Washing up by candlelight
· Reading aloud, by candlelight after the kids have gone to sleep instead of watching TV
· Turning off the stereo, radio and TV after 4pm
· Not turning on the TV at all
· Posting a “No Junk Mail” sticker on our mail box so we’re not tempted to buy Buy BUY
· Baking bread and kneading it by hand – it’s very therapeutic if you make the time to enjoy it
· Baking biscuits or cookies from scratch for your family to have the next day
· Taking up crochet or knitting
· Clearing out the pantry or cleaning out the fridge
· Making stock from scratch using bones or a chicken carcass then freezing it
It’s been such a pleasurable few weeks now that I can almost forget all of the dramas that have been going on around me.
Living this simplified life is almost like building a protective bubble around yourself and your family. Whilst dramas and stress may unfold around you, your simple life and wholesome home will ground and protect you from the worst of it.
People may stop speaking to you, others may start fights over nothing, businesses or contacts may let you down, things may still go wrong but with a simple, grounded life in your home, you can walk in, leave your cares at the door and feel rested within the folds of your wholesome lifestyle.
Whilst we are far from perfect and have a long way to go with the changes we’re making, its been such fun already and I feel flooded with grounding and relaxing oxytocin on a daily basis. Baking bread or sewing for my family is my way of relaxing now – relaxing AND contributing to our home.
It’s amazing how such lovely feelings can come out of something so simple.
What changes have you made to simplify life and create a more grounded, wholesome home for your family?
The Eco Mum xo