Quietly Living Life

As I write the much needed rain we have been waiting for has finally arrived.  Across the paddock I can see our neighbour sitting on the porch, sipping her tea and watching it fall.  She’s quietly living life.  And I love everything about this.  

I have been waiting for a good dose of rain for months.  And daydreaming about curling up on the couch to read a book for the afternoon.  Or pouring a glass of red wine and watching a movie.  Or even enjoying a much needed nap.  

But as the rain keeps falling I find myself getting antsy. I have always struggled to embrace the enforced slowness of a rainy day.  Relaxation is not my forte.  But I am getting better.  I see it as a new skill I’m learning.  And like every new skill it takes practice.  I will get there. Because I too crave this quiet life.

When we moved into the purple house at the beginning of the year I found myself naturally slowing down.  I swear there is something magical about this home of ours.  Instead of writing blog posts I pottered about in the garden.  Instead of writing newsletters I spent hours out in nature walking the dogs.  And instead of posting on social media I found myself making home-made jam.  

I no longer wanted to do.  Instead I wanted to be.  

There is nothing wrong with the ‘freedom’ lifestyle an online business can bring.  I want freedom too.  But my definition of what that means is now a little different.

To me it means living a quiet, meaningful life of stability, simplicity and creativity.

It means working 24-hours a week for someone else so I have time to walk my dogs and potter in the garden.

It means rediscovering my creative side that had gotten a little lost.  I still love writing and sharing online.  But now I write because I enjoy it.  Without the pressure of trying to make money from doing so.  It means learning photography, picture framing and calligraphy.  Simply for pleasure.  

It means pointing the middle finger at social media and their algorithms.  I now only post on Instagram.  And at times that suit me.  Not when I’m told I should.  I love looking at the beautiful photos from people I follow there and they seem to like what I share too.  I have made some wonderful connections through the Instagram world.  But I now only follow those I choose to.  Not those that are my ‘target audience’.  I’m pretty sure all the dogs I follow on Instagram couldn’t give two hoots about me living a quiet life in a purple house.  

And it also meant sending a note to my newsletter list saying ‘this is what I’m doing now and if you want to come along for the ride then I’d love to have you on board ... but here’s a new list you need to subscribe to’.  It meant I lost a lot of followers.  But I now love those followers more than ever.  Because I know that they are my people.  

But it’s actually more than all that ...

It also means looking at those people I admire the most and learning from how they lived their life.  And, for me, that has meant emulating the life of my grandparents.

My Grandma was 42 when I was born.  A year younger than I am now.  While my other grandparents are no longer with us she is still kicking on.  Quietly living her life.  Not how others expect her to live it.  But how she chooses.

And in my job in Aged Care I am surrounded each day by amazing men and women of this same generation.  When you take the time to stop and listen to their stories they are inspiring, sad and beautiful.  But they don’t see anything incredible in the lives they lived.  They were just quietly living life.  

I admire this generation a lot.  They worked hard.  They raised their children with an equal combination of discipline, affection and play.  They saved up to buy the things they needed.  And if they could sew, knit, make or grow things they did.  They didn’t know they needed to master their mean girl.  They didn’t ‘showcase’ their life on social media.  And the word ‘comparisonitis’ didn’t exist.  They read for pleasure.  They cooked real food.  And they went to bed early.  Ready to do it all again the next day.  Because that was real life.

Forty-three years isn’t that long ago.  But technology has changed us.  And it has a lot to answer for.  As do we.  

This got me thinking about the two important questions I ask myself all the time.  The first is, ‘if I knew this was my last day on earth how would I want to live it’?  And the second, ‘what is truly important right now’?

As I was writing these questions I looked up from my computer and my best teaches in life were staring back at me.  The rain had stopped.  The dogs were bored from being inside all day.  And they were staring back at me expectantly.  The question they were asking was, ‘are you going to keep typing or take us for a walk’?  

So I answered those two questions.  If this was my last day on earth then I definitely wanted to spend time with my dogs, rather than finishing a blog  post.  And the most important thing in that moment was that both my dogs and I were happy.  So for a walk we went.  Then I came home.  Cuddled them and put them to bed.  Poured myself a glass of red wine.  Heated up the left-overs of a home-made chicken and leek pie.  Tucked myself up in bed with a good book and had an early night.  This blog post waited until the next morning.  

These are the two questions helping me live life right now.  A life that has become slow and simple.  And a life that is meaningful to me.

I don’t want what I write here on my blog to make you feel bad.  I’m not saying that how I am choosing to live my life is how you should too.  All I want is to for you to stop and think.  You can choose to live your life whatever way you want. That is the whole point! But I do want you to ask yourself these two questions in every moment:

“If you knew that this was your last day on earth how would you want to live it”?

and ...

“What is truly important right now”?

If you answer these from a place of honesty, I reckon you’ll have this thing called life sorted.

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