Photos From Figure Eight Island & Simple Living
It's hard to believe that just a few months ago we were strolling the sandy beaches of North Carolina. I have officially fallen in love with the October ocean; when the breeze is slightly cool with the smallest hint of warmth and the soft, tender waves are mild and tranquil. Combine this calmness with quality family time, great food and fine wine, a good book in a swaying hammock and nights of endless conversation and you're speaking my language.
We were fortunate enough to sneak away for a week with our family (plus the grandparents and one amazing aunt) this past fall and it was incredible in so many ways. The beach was quite and empty, the air was warm and our days lazy. In fact, there were no complaints when it was time to take a break from the waves and come inside for snacks and homework lessons. I can't tell you the last time I felt so peaceful and relaxed. No schedule, no school, no activities, no sports, no stress.
Lately, we've been talking about traveling and future trips we want to take with, and possibly without, the children. The world is an open atlas and there are so many adventures ahead of us. But in order to embark on these expeditions we need to prepare and organize our life. In other words, we need to save money. With high school and college ahead of us we are in a position where we should be saving, and saving quite a bit, in order to prepare for those times. At the same time, we don't want to compromise our desire to travel and experience the world. I strongly feel that knowledge is one of the best gifts I can offer my children, and what other way to gain knowledge than through travel and experiencing new lands and cultures?
In an effort to save, I am focusing on simplifying; a concept I talk about often. But when I really think about it, I can't help but wonder if I truly am simplifying. It is so easy to become distracted by the "stuff" that surrounds us, the clutter in our home and the materialism pushed onto us by society. We can all relate. We run into Target for two items and the next thing you know your cart is almost full. The dollar section had irrestiable prices and cute merchandise that calls your name, there are sale items at the end of every isle, and the kid's cloths are stylish and cheap. But then I find myself doing the same thing at the grocery store, and the clothing store and the beauty store (darn you Sephora). So at what point do we say, "ENOUGH WITH ALL THE STUFF!" I can't help but think we live in a society that feeds off instant gratification. Is it possible that consumerism has gone too far?
At the end of the day, I don't want stuff, I certainly don't want clutter and I definitely don't need cheap merchandise from the dollar section. But what I do need are the precious moments spent with my family. Sure, I don't need a fancy beach or the mountains for these moments, but if we can save a little and buy less then these getaways sure would be nice. And we all know with any trip comes a bundle of memories.
I'll take those memories over materialism any day!
*More thoughts on simple living and minimalism coming soon, but what are your thoughts? Do you believe in the philosophy of minimalism and a simple life? I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things awhile back and it has inspired me to continue simplflying my life in order to focus on the true joys around me; family, friends, food (of course), health, nature, knowledge and traveling. And for me, simplifying not only means clearing the clutter, but also clearing clutter that takes on other forms such as technology and social media.
As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
To be simple and sophisticated? Yes please!
Last note: my friend Miranda is absolutely inspiring and has challenged her family to go a year without buying anything! I think that is amazing, and honestly, I don't know if I could pull it off but I sure would love to try! I admire her for thinking outside of the box. You can read her original post here and follow along with her journey.
Jessica's lovely headbands are from Knot Hairbands.