I created Simply in the Suburbs a few years ago because I loved minimalist blogs. When I started following blogs, I gravitated toward minimalist and simplicity blogs – especially the work of Leo Babauta at Zen Habits.
I fell in love with the idea of shedding things that were unnecessary: physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and otherwise. Usually, the lessons were about decluttering shelves, having fewer things, decreasing debt, and simplifying eating and exercise habits.
As a result of my infatuation, I bought twww.simplyinthesuburbs.com and started blogging inconsistently (as you know if you’re on my email list – you’ll get a month’s worth of content within a month and then won’t hear from me for 4 or 5 months).
My first post went live on December 8, 2012. I’ve posted 77 times. I practiced for a while on www.brettcohrs.com (which died due to some tech/code/malware stuff that I don’t understand).
Enough history. I just wanted to give some context for what motivated this side project.
Where Things Are Now
I’ve not mastered the art of simple living or minimalism.
And I’m not sure if I care. I do want less clutter and less wasted mental, emotional, and spiritual energy, but I’m not obsessed with how many things I have or how much white space is on my walls. No Zen rock gardens or only living off enough items that might fit into a backpack.
BUT what I do care about – and what still fits into this idea of living simply in the suburbs – is simplifying priorities and focusing in on areas where I need to improve.
I’ve discovered that simple is very, very seldom easy. It’s much easier to take on more and more, to say yes to everyone, and to accumulate all kinds of junk.
In my unscientific observations, most of us don’t naturally gravitate toward living intentionally and with clarity.
What might come naturally to some, does not come naturally to me, and I hope that what I’m writing about will be helpful to others for whom it doesn’t come naturally.
It has taken 3 years, but I’m finally settling on some ideas that help keep my journey toward living more simply… simple.
Easy, no. Simple, yes.
Here are the Principles of Simply in the Suburbs:
- Be clear on key relationships
- Be clear on key life areas that need improvement
- Be clear on key activities and hobbies that you love
- Habit Creation: Implement disciplines and create space to support…
- The relationships
- The key life change areas, and
- The key activities and hobbies.
- Saying “No”:
- Battle the temptation to say yes to competing priorities, unimportant standards, hectic-ness, debt, and general confusion.
- Be brutally honest about any and all obstacles hindering items 1 and 2
These things might be easy for some of you. I’m amazed at how easily some folks live intentional lives.
For many of us, we need to nip and tuck, improve certain area and keep a good maintenance program.
Others of us…. well, we need to take a long hard look at the trajectory of our lives and do a deep, hard reset.
Where are you? Is this stuff easy? Are you a mess? Do you need to be more intentional about certain relationships or certain areas like your spiritual or physical health?
A decent question to ask; if you keep doing exactly what you’re doing now, what will things look like in 20, 30, or 40 years?