Editor’s Note: Here’s the second installment of Glenda’s Simplify Your Life series. If you missed the first part, you can read it here. And feel free to share with us your journey to a simpler life in the comments below.
A simpler life is about taking another step forward on your journey to an intentional, fulfilling life. But why live a simpler life?
You’ll feel the satisfaction and fulfillment it brings as you slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures. Simpler products with honest ingredients are easier to understand. Quality tools bring pleasure to your creative work. Simpler values are sustainable, so you are prepared for challenges. And, it’s all upheld by strong relationships with companions, community and kin.
My journey to a simpler life is based on four pillars:
Our souls yearn for a finished project and an “I made it with my own hands” sense of accomplishment. Living a lively, active, engaged life fulfills our most basic needs.
Example: I used to have a neighbor with two young boys. Every summer, she would take them berry picking, complete with little metal buckets. They would spend the afternoon, tromping through the brambles collecting berries, their mouths and fingers turning blue from all the sampling. When they returned home, she would make a fresh blueberry pie. One summer evening, she brought the pie to our home for dessert. The conversation that entire meal revolved around the satisfaction she felt as she took her children on a (literal) field trip, just like her grandmother used to take her and her sisters.
A Simpler Life is Understandable
For A Simpler Life, stick to simpler truths. Complicated information that’s hard to understand blinds us to reality. Making sure we know the truth also means giving ourselves choices that are understandable.
Example: We often make cider at our retail store in Kidron, OH. We purchase apples from the local orchard and set up our fruit press on the front porch of the store. Customers love to watch (and try) the cider press, and then enjoy the fresh, crisp cider. The most often asked question is “What is the recipe?” The answer is apples. Just apples. The only recipe is what type of apples you use. And that, my friends, is truly understandable.
Nothing is more sustainable than human-powered activity, quality tools that can be repaired by their owners and ingredients that come from places you know. A Simpler Life is sustainable during a two-hour power failure, in the face of weeks without electricity, or when you live completely off the grid.
Example: A traditional lawnmower has an engine that requires oil and gas. If it stops working, what do you do? Load up it on a truck and take it back to the dealer. With our reel mower, if it’s not working, you’re not walking.
For A Simpler Life, invest in relationships with community, companions and kin. The comfort, happiness and pleasures we yearn for come from loved ones. It’s about having a shoulder to cry on when you need it and being that shoulder when someone else needs it. It means having someone to call for help when you’re overwhelmed and helping when someone else is overwhelmed. Strong relationships are tightly woven into the fabric of A Simpler Life.
Example: In the Amish community, there is a tradition of relying on each other, not the outside community, when a member needs helps. They put that belief into practice when putting up a barn. The men gather to do the work, and the women prepare the meal. The event is called a frolic, because it combines socializing with a practical goal. The barn raising fulfills a need and also serves to tie the Amish community together, reinforcing Amish society through a very visible reflection of the importance of relationships.
So, my friends, as you begin the new year, be bold and take the next step on your journey to a simpler life.
Glenda Lehman Ervin is the daughter of company founder Jay Lehman and VP of Marketing. “I love talking to people who are on their journey to a simpler life. Step by step, we are all on the path to a meaningful, satisfying life. We are thrilled that Lehman’s can be a part of that journey.” Glenda lives in a woods with her husband and two children, just a few miles north of Lehman’s, in Kidron, OH. They have two cats named, surprisingly uncreatively, Baby Cat and Girl Cat.