Do you remember as a child, wondering what it would be like to live in Cinderella's castle? Did you feel better doing your chores around the house after you saw the movie? Or dream about growing up and having others take care of you? Our lives and homes are very different today, and sometimes I wonder what it would be like if life was simpler.
When making my oatmeal this morning, I was wondering how I'd get everything done today as I'm traveling quite a bit. It's hard to imagine life without a microwave. With our first one, we defrosted food for dinner … when my husband and I were both juggling jobs and school. Now you can prepare entire meals in the microwave. My favorite routines are my oatmeal and frozen vegetable packages.
Author's note: One-third cup of old fashion oatmeal, walnuts or almonds and fresh fruit, apples or today blueberries. It's a snap in the microwave for 1.5 minutes, stir and eat. It saves cooking and cleaning time as there's no pot to wash!
Life Was Simpler When …
We're all so busy today and my burning question is why? We have so many tools today that save us time and yet, we're busier than ever. Let's travel back in time explore how our lives have changed.
How much time do we spend gathering and preparing food?
- Yesterday – most families lived on farms and grew their own food, along with hunting and fishing. They used root cellars and canning to preserve fruits and vegetables over the winter. Meals might have been simpler but they took a lot more time to prepare than today.
- Today – we're able to buy an incredible variety of foods, from fresh to “heat and eat”, at our local supermarket plus specialty stores. We have refrigerators, freezers and all sorts of appliances to make cooking easy and yet, …
- Question – We eat a significant number of meals away from home. The question is why when buying, storing and preparing food at home is so easy?
How much time do we spend relaxing and entertaining at home?
- Yesterday – found families gathered around the fireplace at night, for warmth and light. Travel was a luxury and children walked to school, while the family might travel to church with the farm horses pulling a wagon.
- Today – we're on the run from morning to night. Kids head off to school and parents go to work, although a new trend is working at home which I love. After school, our children are involved in so many sports and other activities that many families don't share the dinner hour any more.
- Question – Our world today is enormously complex. We're being barraged with more information, more entertainment and more advertising to do more and buy more. The question is when and how will we prioritize where we spend our time and money?
Now trust me, I love many of our modern day conveniences. In my quest to return to a simpler lifestyle, I'm learning to rethink my personal priorities.
Making Choices To Recapture When Life Was Simpler
Life is a journey and it's important to enjoy each day (most days) rather than focusing solely on goals for tomorrow. That's because the world is changing and so are we so today's goals are also likely to change.
For now, here are some of the most important lifestyle changes I've made.
- Eating healthy – for me, isn't about eating different foods. It's really about portion control (here's a great video on portion control, by my friend Jennifer Powter). What I'm learning is when I listen to my body and eat more often, I don't overeat. This means my day starts with oatmeal, then a yogurt, followed by a protein bar … and about 1pm, lunch.
- Exercising – is important but I wasn't willing to drive to the gym, and honestly I wasn't going out running either. We've now got a treadmill in the loft and I started working with an exercise coach, Sylvia Nasser who own the “fit fem”.
- Delegate – is what I did at IBM where I managed teams with hundreds of people around the world. It's been fun becoming a home expert and learning marketing to build my handyman business (served more than 2,000 homeowners over 8 years) but it's now time to re-balance how I run my business and … delegate more. My time needs to be spent with clients and prospects, and I need to delegate the rest so please nudge me when I'm not doing that!
Love to hear how you're shifting your priorities to enjoy life more.