I recently checked out Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life that is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich from the library. As I'm reading it, I'm think about where I am in working towards living a simpler life.
Until a year or so ago I would choose the vegetarian option on the menu if eating out and rarely bought meat in an effort to be healthier and be a better steward of the world's resources. Beginning with reading these books, I have since come to a different understanding on the ethics of meat eating , the importance of animal protein for health, and the effects of unfermented soy on the body.
I moved to Korea in 2003 and then China in 2005. I came back in 2007 with the intention of heading back as quickly as possible, so I left most of my belongings there. I had no intentions of staying in the States, but then I got married, moved to California and now we have a baby! When we moved in to our apartment after we got married, we were able to furnish it with things that were given to us. We are still intentional about almost everything we buy because we still hope to move back to Asia. We are on a limited budget and live in a one bedroom apartment. However, in the past year, we've bought a Vitamix, a juicer, Pickl-it jars (mostly with Christmas and birthday gift money!). We use each of these on an almost daily basis so I don't question their value, but they still take up space and will be something else to move when the time comes.
Many of the things that Mavry needs have been given to us and we have bought some things like a stroller and high chair on craigslist with gift money intended for her. I'm thankful for our limited space that keeps us honest with the amount of stuff we bring in, but we are looking for a two bedroom place where we can live in close proximity with another couple that we know. That's another dream of ours - to live in simple community with others. Now that we've found friends who have the same dream, it's a matter of finding a place to do it. We are beginning to think it might not be just a dream to be able to share things we need, share meals and share daily life.
In looking back at this blog, I remember another time when I was single, living with my grandmother and in close contact with people who were homeless. Wonderful changes in my life have moved me to a different place (in more ways than just physically) and I am glad to have a chance to reflect. We have limits now that keep us living a relatively simple life - if and when those limits are removed, will we still choose simplicity?