What Simple Looks Like

Living simply does not mean you decant quinoa into glass jars and your medicine cabinet is free of Pepto Bismol. It does not mean you wear the same moccasins daily, or that you have long wavy hair and a flower crown and you frolic in the field by day and when the moon rises, look, there is a dreamcatcher beside your bed.

Sometimes it does.

Other times, living simply looks like frozen pizza on a Tuesday night and eating three slices of mushroom on paper plates with a stack of scratchy napkins nearby.

When my scale tips from manageable to busy, dinner is the first to fly out the window. My mind is elsewhere, and we have had breakfast for dinner like, three days in a row? I cannot muster the strength to fry another egg.

Frozen pizzas, then. Sausage or mushroom?

Living simply sometimes means choosing to forgo a deep-rooted value in order to honor another deep-rooted value.

Pizza does not offer me nutritious energy (deep-rooted value), but neither does powering through a busy day to tackle a homemade dinner that will be served out of exhaustion, or stress, or resentment (another deep-rooted value).

Even that artisan mac and cheese with chorizo and roasted poblano peppers tastes like cardboard when served with a frenzied heart.

And so, grace. Living simply means pizza, with grace. It means breakfast for dinner, with grace. It means silencing the voices that say you are only as good as your last chore, only as healthy as your last meal, only as important as your last errand.

Only as simple as the flower crown you wear.

Living simply might mean a pantry full of ingredients like tahini, or capers, or coconut oil.
Or it might mean a drawer full of take-out coupons and a freezer stocked with pepperoni.

Pizza, then. With grace.

  • Sometimes foregoing the good, to be with the better or best for the moment. A decision made a thousand times daily … only Sometimes in moccasins! Beautiful read. Thanks! (Also, slightly reminded here of the book Like Water for Chocolate~)

  • This is something I find myself struggling with. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday effort of trying to uphold every single deep-rooted value. It can be exhausting. Thank God for grace.

  • Yes. This. Always this. This is what social media and aesthetics forget. It happens to me, then it makes me feel confused, and guilty. Thank you as always, Erin, for your kind reminders and your wisdom. Next time I’ll give myself a break.
    Love love love, Dora

  • this made me cry! It’s just that I needed to read this today because I have looked at my lack to cook healthy dinners every night and have a clean home as a sign of not measuring up… I love that you used the word grace. Such a difference a word and a little perspective can make. Thank you!

    • ah, hang in there sweet jana! i often measure myself against the things i do as well, but it’s the mindset i’ve learned is more important. here’s to offering ourselves grace along the way!

  • My heart isn’t in much right now. I’m struggling with a lot, beating myself up with nasty thoughts, feeling like everything is a dead end, a nowhere-left-to-go path. No belief. Full of self-doubt. Anxiety, and feelings of uselessness…I say all this because this gave me some breathing space. And I think it’s just because it comes from you, Erin – there’s really something about you. And so I’m going to make tea, and butter toast, and I’m going to feel ok that I can’t cook the eggs to go with them <3

    • Oh sweet Tori, I hear you. I have had so so many of those days this summer! I’m proud of you for making tea and butter toast. Those are feats alone. Nourish yourself, as much as you can, and stay here in the spot you are. I think it’s in the staying that we learn.

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