Simple Living Guide

I am a night owl and love the quiet of the night to think and write.  I typically get to bed somewhere between 2-3am. Yesterday though, I arranged a child-free day today to work on my book, The Simple Garden. I thought a full day of writing would be good to clearly plan my work.

After my family headed out, I quickly washed up, fed the animals then launched into it – researching, planning, mind-mapping … I was working but I wasn’t focussed or effective. To be honest it felt somewhat awkward without the usual hubbub of a household with a 3 year old and two boisterous homeschoolers (8 yo & 10 yo).  I love the homeschool/unschool dynamic of active learning, following interests, getting into projects, discussions about fascinating questions that always arise.

I have been getting a bit frustrated that my work is beginning to leak into my time with the kids, and my evenings are getting later (quite a few 4 ams last week!). After my initial attempt at frantic typing and note-taking, I slowed down and found myself reflecting on the pace and fullness of my ‘simple life’ and how too much time is spent sitting at my computer. I decided that perhaps today would be better spent rediscovering my balance and inner calm – a wellbeing day.

I headed straight out into my garden to graze on the salad greens and have a chat with the birds and wildlife.

This mummy wallaby has a gorgeous little joey who has just lunged into the pouch when I took out my camera. They live mostly around garden. I see them every day.
Next I worked for a while with our wonderful Columbian WWOOFer who is making a new area of garden. He is getting this area ready for planting the things I give away at workshops – Lemongrass, Comfrey, Cassava, Arrowroot, Yacon, Tumeric, Galangal, Tulsi, Brazilian Spinach. It’s also a bigger area for potatoes etc. 

Around lunchtime I took another break and headed off for a mind-fog-clearing ride up the valley. I love my bike. I always find clarity out riding and feel energised for the rest of the day. I don’t go too far – perhaps 10-15 kms with a few good hills. Like always, when I go out with a specific question, I found a sense of clarity again in purpose and direction.

Later in the afternoon, I headed 2kms up the road to a fabulous local organic farm – Baranbali. We play tennis together each week, but it seems ages since we had a chance to sit down, catch up and share our ideas. I put my computer to sleep again and headed over for a cuppa.  A big cuddle with an orphaned lamb was a huge bonus!!! So cute – the kids had it on a little lead and walking it around the garden.


So today, instead of a writing blitz – I mostly wondered, wandered, gardened, cycled, visited.  In the end I only spend 3 hours at my computer but to my amazement, I managed in that time to clearly lay out the chapters of my book and outline the framework for the next two.  I have rethought my schedule for the next six months and clarified the direction for my next series of educational programs.

One of the little things I started today is a quick guide for simple living… and in an initial search for other similar guides, I uncovered this ‘Simple Living Manifesto’. I like it – the bit about ‘leaving out the unnecessary’ was a good reminder for me today. I’ll post my simple living guide soon when it’s finished.


4 Responses

  1. Fiona Chain
    Fiona Chain at |

    Hi Morag, it's wonderful that you listen to your mind and body, sometimes forcing things just doesn't work out. I have had a post sitting unfinished in my blog archives for about 2 months on how I try to live a small and simple life. The message I want to write just hasn't evolved as yet so I thought I would just leave it until I am ready. I love the simple life manifesto and do try to include most of those things in my life. I am the opposite to you in my need for sleep and most nights I am in be by 8pm. I am an early riser though and that is when I am able to think and write more clearly. I also love my retro bike and ride most days to work, it's so true how it clears your mind and find it readies me for the day at work. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Mr Home Maker
    Mr Home Maker at |

    This post made me content. I am glad there is someone else who misses the hubbub of the family around them….I cannot write or study in a quiet house either. The only thing I would add to the list for my self is to REFLECT. I am so future driven I forget to reflect.

  3. Sherri
    Sherri at |

    Ah the creative process, it has its own way and time. Robert Louis Stevenson had his brownies and you have shown another way to access creativity.

  4. Australian Gardening Granny
    Australian Gardening Granny at |

    I love your simple life manifesto. A reminder to get over to the allotment a little more often. I always benefit from a visit to my special bit of soil.