I love all the talk and blogs about living the simple life, which is code for some sort of nirvana where we all frolic in green meadows, eat beautiful and organic produce whipped into luscious dishes, and the house is minimalist and clean. Families read and create while listening to lovely music and we all lounge comfortably in our stylish, yet second hand clothing.
This simple life seems to be unattainable for me. No matter what I do, life is just more complicated! Here are just a couple of examples of my failure in the simple life pursuit......
1) A garden. For some reason, gardens are synonymous with simple living. I think someone forgot about all of the work a garden is. My garden is completely overtaken by the acorn squash I planted, the lettuce never grew, the chili peppers are so prolific that I could probably start my own company, and my family doesn't really like tomatoes so the 70 pounds of cherry tomatoes are rotting now. Everyone was so enthusiastic about the garden until the weeds needed to be pulled and it was 101 degrees. There is nothing simple about a garden and all of those pictures of families enjoying time in one are staged.
2) Home schooling. This has got to be the most ridiculous myth ever created - that home schooling is part of the simple life. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING simple about home schooling! I had that image in my mind when we first started home schooling almost 11 years ago - that wonderful image of kids around the table, with a fire roaring, and everyone working diligently on their lessons. We would all take a morning cocoa break and have a little devotional and it would be wonderful. The reality was that no one wanted to sit at the table, everyone whined about the lessons, I was pulling my hair out with lesson plans and trying to get 12 hours of schooling into the day along with everything else, and my kids hated everything that I tried to do with them. We have tweaked our curriculum and our styles over the years and have settled into a routine, but home schooling is time consuming and hard and if you think you will experience the simple life by having your kids home and with you 24/7, you need to buy some swampland in Florida.
3) Crafts. Crafting is not simple and not cheap. I'm a knitter and I love to make things for people. I probably have enough yarn in my basement to make stuff for the next 132 years and enough knitting needles for the entire Village of Waunakee to knit. However, I never actually have the needles that I need for a project or I can't find the ones I have and the yarn I have isn't the correct color or I don't have enough of it. I'll be making gifts and end up staying up until 5 AM trying to finish that last hat, or I'm dragging a suitcase full of afghan with me to the soccer field so I can finish it. Craft supplies come with a price tag and it seems that that one little thing you need to finish your project is never around and you have to run to JoAnn's or Michael's to get that last glue stick or whatever.
Every simple life site should have a picture of a cat. Cats are the only animals that actually have simple life: they eat, they sleep, they use their litter box, and they get attention when they want. In my next life, I want to be a cat.