Cloth Diaper
What is simple living to you?

So you left the big city, moved to the country, bought a farm, and are growing and canning most of your own foods?

Or maybe you just downsized a bit in the suburbs and are using cloth napkins and cloth diapers?

Maybe you sold everything and are backpacking around the country?

But there is a problem.

Life is supposed to be simple, but you are exhausted and are not sure you can go on. You are not sure this life is so simple after all.

What went wrong?

The Cloth Diapers Almost Killed Me

As we followed God into a simpler life, we also followed the crowd of people that we were around us. This crowd was doing really neat things: gardening, canning, using cloth diapers for their babies, making their own laundry soap, growing their own herbs and treating their own ailments, and about one hundred other things that looked great.

But they weren’t all for me.

First off, I am not strong. Years of hard (read: indulgent) living really took a toll on me and I have a couple of physical issues.

Second, I have small children and am in my early 40s now. I was 36 when I had my first baby!

Third, I was raised in suburban yuppiedom and this was ALL new to me.

So, when I tried to use cloth diapers with baby number one, and then pregnant with number two I tried to setup a large garden, I came to the end of myself.

Backsliding or Smart

I am actually not sure how I kept even the basics going in those days. It had to be God because I was so tired, I could hardly move my body throughout the day. The extra loads of laundry and leaky diapers was just too much and I gave it all up.

The garden sat with lot of lovely plants that bloomed instead of getting harvested.

I went back to disposable diapers and purchased already made natural stuff like soap.

And I stopped being so judgmental of people who weren’t doing what I was doing.

Are You Sure?

Are you sure you are doing what you are doing for the right reasons? Or do you wonder how anyone survived back in the “old days”? Well, many did not (survive, that is). The quality of life for all but the upper classes, those that could afford servants, wasn’t very great.

I think that these are great goals to be aimed for – off grid lifestyles, simple living, getting back to the country, etc… But I also think that it is no longer simple living if one is being broken or crushed by it.

A friend of mine emailed me about an article in Above Rubies magazine. It said that women with young children should just focus on meals and laundry. Yes, that to me is A Simple Life Too!

How do you live simply where you are at? I would especially like to hear from people in large urban areas.



4 comments on “If Life Is So Simple, Why Am I So Exhausted”

  1. I couldn’t live in a more urban setting — the heart of New York City — and yet I think I’ve achieved something that friends in suburbs haven’t. My life is relatively simple, without commuting and with time to dance, enjoy friends, cook good meals and have fun.

    I live and work (as a freelance writer) in a small apartment. I do not own a car. I walk or take public transportation all over the city. I enjoy what the city has to offer — this is key. Living in New York can be extravagant and I do indulge my passions for art, but within a reasonable budget. Between the museums, galleries and theaters everyone knows about and the hidden treasures prized by locals, you can have fun without becoming totally frenzied and focused on the next big thing.

    By shopping at farmer’s markets (yes right here in the city) and using public transportation, my carbon footprint is tiny. By learning how to find the relaxing spots in a city known for its pace, I can stay more or less sane and maintain a simple and real life.

    I once thought I’d have to retreat to the country, but now I find peace in the big city.

      • I should also say that getting creative helps. Because my hobby is Argentine Tango dancing and I have friends who do other social dances (ballroom, swing, salsa) we have periodic clothing swaps. You clean out your closet and everybody just takes what they like from the pile. I’ve gotten lots of nice dance dresses and gym workout clothes without putting a cent on my credit card. Anything that doesn’t get taken, goes to a women’s shelter charity so it’s a win/win for everyone.

        That kind of thing enables people to live well and modestly at the same time.

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