Simple Living Myth: Trying to Keep Up Appearances

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Living simply has a broad meaning, one that people interpret differently. For some it means owning less stuff in general. For others it means being more self-sufficient. For still others it means eschewing cheap mass-produced things and choosing specific products from small cottage industries.

Regardless of viewpoints, there do seem to be a few common themes. (I mean for these to be read completely tongue-in-cheek:)

  1. Natural materials like linen and cotton are beautiful, but polyester? Acrylic? Why would you want those?
  2. What, you don’t garden? Don’t you want to pick your own vegetables from your own soil to serve to your family for meals? Well, you do at least buy your produce at the farmer’s market, don’t you?
  3. You forgot to bring your canvas bags to the grocery store? Shame!

Kidding aside, we do have a social tendency to accept common practices as better than others, so much so that they almost seem like rules when you speak to others. But most of us are on a journey to simpler living, and the process is gradual change. Maybe we’d rather have wooden toys for our kids, but there are still quite a few colorful plastic toys in their rooms. Maybe that plastic bag was tossed (oops! recycled) instead of washed and reused for something else. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t make your spaghetti sauce from scratch.

There have been times when I’ve been concerned that mentioning something might not be good for my image. You know, my desire to look healthy, conscientious, resourceful, and like I cook all my food from scratch. Oh forgive me for wanting to have an image! That should be the first thing that anyone de-clutters. Life is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about how you look to others.

When I’m talking to someone else, I would much rather admit that my spaghetti sauce comes from a jar at the store than pretend I’m a fabulous chef. Authenticity is living simply.

It has an additional benefit as well: it gives other people freedom to be real, to be open, and to connect with you. If we’re trying to add a richness to our lives by living simply, then it doesn’t really get much better than that.

Have you felt that same social pressure? Trying to measure up to new standards and beautiful photos of the ideal simple life can feel like it’s anything but simple. How have you felt?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I think the most important thing about living simpler is to make it your own, as you said: be authentic. I do sometimes worry about not doing “enough” to live simply, but I do the things that come easily for me and I challenge myself to try new things, but if it just isn’t me, I can’t maintain it. On the other hand, by seeing other’s ideas and inspiration, I try things I might not have thought of and I really enjoy them.

    P.S. My spaghetti sauce comes from a jar too.

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Tiny Toes

  2. Stephanie says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I start out being inspired by all the beautiful and helpful blogs I read (like this one) by wives and mothers, but pretty soon the multitude of things I want to change just becomes overwhelming and I end up doing nothing. I’ve been trying to work on my “gradual change” mindset, just doing one thing at a time and being happy where we are now. I’m so grateful for all the ideas and resources available through sites like yours, but I think “reality check” posts like this one are sometimes the most helpful!

  3. Generally speaking when we are accomplishing one thing it is at the expense of something else. So for instance we spent a lot of time putting in a garden this year. During that time my house was an absolute disaster. We were outside most of the time, thankfully, but when we had surprise company I was a bit embarrassed.

    We all make choices every day about what is important to us and what is not. Priorities I suppose. I think the most important part of “simple living” is to be mindful and deliberate about our choices and actions. That means different things to different people.

    Shannon´s last post…Food Roots: August 13 – where does your food come from?

  4. NMPatricia says:

    Great post. Great Blog too. Probably the best definition of simple living I have heard. I too have stuggled with the idea of “perfect” simple living. Am I (as with Emily) doing enough? And there are so many directions. And I am not supported by my husband (who thinks what I do is mostly silly). A good post to remind me that one day at a time, one action at a time.

  5. I guess my idea of simple living is well, simple! If you look at other people and try to do everything they do it will be time consuming and make you feel worse about yourself. I think everyone goes on their own little journey of finding the right things to do for them to be healthy and happy and those same things will not be the same for everyone or the same at every time in your life. Maybe when your kids are grown you will find a great recipe for spaghetti sauce and you will cook it all the time and love it, but right now, other things take priority and there are lots of healthy options in a jar anyway!

    P.S. I loved the video blog from the other day!

  6. Slackerjo says:

    This post reminds me of the opening credits to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary is shopping and she looks at the steak, thinks about being a good conscientious shopper and then throws the steak in the cart anyways.

    If fictional TV characters can’t be good all the time then I guess it’s okay for us mere mortals :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iso1cTVXh5M&feature=related

    • I love this post, thank you so much. And thanks to all who have commented. It is so interesting to see how important living a simple life (whatever your definition is of that, you are right I think, it all boils down to living authentically). I was thinking about our mothers and grandmothers, did they worry about living a simple life? Probably not. They probably didnt have the time, they were too busy doing and making most of those things by hand that we take for granted picking up at the store today. So, somehow they managed to do all that, raise children, take care of their husbands, and lots more. I guess it helped that they didnt have the distractions of cell phones, computers, facebook, twitter, video games, so much television, etc. etc. So, for me, the time I feel the most connected within is when I am the most disconnected from the outside world; when the TV and computer are off, and it is quiet enough to hear myself think. And personally, and this is just for me, that is when I feel I am living the most simply. Those moments dont happen very often, but I am inspired to try a little at a time, to incorporate more of them into my days. Thanks for the gentle inspiration and thoughtful post.

      Cynthia´s last post…Please don’t give up on me…

  7. This post came just when I needed it! I have been doing this alot. ALOT. Comparing and “keeping up with the Joneses” trying to make myself look like I am doing so much better than I am. And feeling tired about it all. Amazing how quickly we fall into that trap, huh? Thanks for the reminder that this is MY PATH and how I go down it is my own experience…

    Lisa@WhatFeedsMySoul´s last post…family fun day

  8. Excellent post. I would say that I definitely make some effort to look consistently frugal and simple. There are a few things that I refuse to do. Like using coupons. I detest coupons. I tried, worked myself to death, nearly had panic attacks over stupid coupons. Now, I am fine with NOT doing that one frugal thing even though my entire blog is about frugal living. :) I think sometimes simplicity and frugality means giving up in some areas.

    songbirdtiff´s last post…A New Approach

  9. I love this post! I am on the journey of living more simply…and a lot of times I don’t even know what that means for me. It’s kind of an overwhelming experience because there is always more you could be doing – and you see someone else doing it and you feel like a failure. However, one of the things that has been laid on my heart for this next year (I’m the wife of an educator, so years start in September for me) is to live life and make decisions without considering how others will judge me or if what I’m doing is in line with what others are doing. I’m not sure how this will happen, but I think prayer will be a big factor. I’m starting small. I’m going to go shopping for come clothes and not decide what to buy based on what anyone else will think of it. I’m hoping somewhere in the midst of this to find the REAL ME – without the imprint of anyone else’s opinions. We’ll see how this experiment goes…

    Heidi´s last post…Thankful for God’s Grace

  10. Roomtogrow says:

    This reminded me of making the decision to pull our kids out of public school to homeschool them. We had to deal with all sorts of criticism from uninformed relatives and friends. After a few years of successful homeschooling circumstances in our home changed and we decided it would be best to put all three in school again. Then we had to endure the frowns and raised eyebrows of our homeschooling friends. I decided then that what is best for me and my family is what God leads me to do, so I proceeded with head held high. It is also a good reminder not to judge another until you have been there yourself.

  11. Amen and amen! Beautifully said.

    Emily @ The Pilot’s Wife´s last post…Disqus Comments

  12. I think the conecpt of living a simple life can be difficult for some. Yes, some of the things that contribute to living a simple life are quite easy, but it IS truly something you (I) need to work at. I just love reading your blog becuase it really inspires me to do more…as in doing/having/wanting less.

    Thank you.

    P.S. I like homemade sauce…but we freeze much of it for another couple of meals when my husband makes it. Thats good too, right? :)

  13. I love this post! I feel like I have pressure from both ends– pressure from my blog friends to be inspired and simple and zen and healthy and all that jazz, and then pressure from my real life friends and partner who think I’m a wack job for making beans from scratch and baking my own bread because who does that anymore?

    I guess you just have to find what works for you, what makes you happy, and what your priorities are. I think your priotities are really the key. What’s really most important to you? What others think? Saving money? Helping the earth? Being self sufficient? Time with your family? Experiences for your kids?

    Very thought-provoking! Thanks for the food for thought. I think the most important thing, always, is to be authentic. People can generally tell when you aren’t, and will respond when you are, even if they disagree. Also, who wants to be a phony? ;)

    liz´s last post…what I read this summer

  14. Amen sister. I agrew wholeheartedly. But you know what I am finding? I’m finding that people think I’m weird for doing what I do. I’m not judging them for NOT doing it…but it seems as if they are judging me for DOING it. Ah well…I guess it goes to the “image” thing…and since I don’t care about image…it’s all good!

    Michelle´s last post…Getting a grip…

  15. Thanks for calling our little “simple mini-culture” out on this. Despite the fact that I have some homemade granola in the oven as I write, I have many little “guilty secrets.” I absolutely adore my dishwasher. I occasionally let my daughter watch a video or two. While I use many natural cleaning products, I reach for the strong stuff when something’s truly gross. I couldn’t agree more that it’s all about the journey!

    Adele´s last post…On my Nightstand

  16. Yes!! I’ve felt the pressure all week! We are trying to live more self sufficiently, naturally, organically but it’s not a perfect plan. I raised a dozen Cornish Cross chickens to butcher for our family freezer in the spring and now it’s time for more chickens to raise. I wanted to get Heirloom chickens this time, Buff Orpingtons, but I’ve waited too long, they take twice as long to raise (3-4 months). The Crosses take 6 weeks. So I’m compromising my own standards and going with the ridiculously over bred Cornish’s much to the horror of my farmy, hippie friend. I know I’ve disappointed her, but I can’t wait and care for them for 4 months and into the winter right now. Maybe by spring I can have a better plan and raise the Buffs. It makes me look bad to my organic, hippie friends, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and I and my family are already doing a lot. The guilt is mine to deal with but I do have it.

    Lisa´s last post…First Day of School

  17. Regarding your comments on image, our pastor has a saying that seems to fit this: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what other people think of you if you realized how little they do.”

  18. “Authenticity is living simply.”

    Yes. Exactly. Sometimes I do find myself carefully thinking about what I share, not wanting to disappoint anyone. That’s why it was so hard for me to share (on my personal blog) about how much TV my kiddos watch. But I would rather be real than be seen as making perfect decisions all the time. Just as you said, it “gives other people freedom to be real” and I desire that more than anything in relationships!

    This is a powerful post. Thank you for being bold and truthful with us!

    Megan at Simple Kids´s last post…August 14: SK Showcase

  19. Wow – very powerful words.

    I struggle with the perfections syndrome every day. My blog is my place to talk about what I want. I usually don’t include any negatives there.

    The hubs and I are on a really exciting journey right now. In five years the hubs youngest will graduate from HS and we plan on taking a year off and travel soon after that. In order for us to do this we need to be debt free and have money saved. We will sell the condo we live in and store the large items we don’t want to repurchase upon our return. Our plan after that is to settle somewhere and built a Katrina Cottage – small living space.

    Most everything I am doing now are small steps towards larger goals.

    Thank you so much for your gentle reminder of being authentic.

    I use a jarred spaghetti sauce as well. Wouldn’t that be an interesting poll? :)

  20. thank you for this! i’ve been struggling to find simplicity right now, overwhelmed by all the things that i “should be” or “need to be” doing in my life right now.

    this is a great reminder that real simplicity is found in embracing our authentic self. it doesn’t have to be as hard as i’m making it out to be.

    marisa´s last post…you’ll never know dear, how much I love you…

  21. My post today was entitled, “Living Simply”! Although, as my post describes, this for me was when I was living in a rural area and free from the expectations of the material goods driven city. So, I guess for me Living Simply means being free of pressures for others. Obviously, I haven’t even scratched the surface of living simply (homemade spaghetti sauce? oh boy am I in trouble). I can see how it would generate competition. Why does it seem there are people out there who always want to pressure and judge each other? Why can’t we just say, “great job for giving it your best shot!”?

    Angela´s last post…Living Simply

  22. This is so refreshing to read! I’ve made it my goal this year to try one new thing a month for our family, along the line of simpler/more natural living. Some months are great (cloth napkins were a simple transition), other not so much (hankercheifs are still in the maybe column). I love that we can learn to support one another, rather than feel threatened by what other people place priorities on.

    Charity´s last post…Making Progress

  23. Great post – there’s nothing better than being real.

    We all have different passions, visions, and goals – living simply can and should have many different definitions!

    Jamie

    steadymom´s last post…Inspiration for Your Weekend

  24. Mostly I’ve had trouble with my own vision of what I’m supposed to be doing, rather than what other people see of me. Every time I put a loaf of bread or a package of crackers in the shopping cart I think- “I should be making this myself.” When I’m supposed to find the time to do all these things I just don’t know, but somehow I still feel like a bit of a failure because I buy my bread, pizza dough, or yes, even the spaghetti sauce. I do however put all these items in my reusable grocery bags. ;)

    Jessica´s last post…Smile

  25. What perfect timing! I’m feeling pressure from an upcoming birthday party for my daughter. A friend is having her child’s party the same weekend. She’s going all out for her son and I’m left thinking ,”Is what we have good enough? Could I have done better? What will everyone think?” I lost focus on what the reason for the party is… to celebrate the life of my daughter! Thank you for helping me remember that.

  26. Keeping up with others, we never measure up. Someone always does it better, is more on top of things, leads a more beautiful life. When we finally get to the point that the only one we want to impress is ourself…well, that is an accomplishment. I’ve said it before–you inspire so many!

    mrs. e´s last post…Then and Now

  27. Southern Gal says:

    I feel it! There’s a huge push in our homeschool group to buy and grind whole grains to make your own homemade bread. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a healthy nutritious way to eat. And I love to bake bread. But now it’s gone to co-ops for maple syrup, coconut oil, raw honey…get the picture. That stuff is EXPENSIVE!! I want to be healthy and frugal, but I’m having trouble marrying the two lately. And being bombarded with every new natural product is making it super hard to feel like I’m doing anything right. Wow. I think I needed to vent. Sorry.

    • I remember the first time about two years that I heard of someone grinding their own flour. At the time I couldn’t figure out why anyone would do such a thing! In the same conversation she was talking about how she had no time to keep her house clean. Like someone else mentioned, you just can’t do or have it all. I just pick one or two. I love the honey because I could eat it with a spoon, but I just can’t work in the coconut oil too. Maybe we’ve just been so blessed in our country that we feel like we’re not doing good enough if we don’t always get the best of everything? It’s probably best for our kids anyway if they see us making choices instead of trying to have it all.

  28. Yes, yes, one hundred times yes, I have felt the pressure! I look at the magazines, the blogs, and I feel that I will never live up to that standard. I will never have a perfect, white room with a few colored accents and an apple resting on top of my current read. My coffee table has crayon on it for weeks before I wipe it off (or most often, make her do it).

    I don’t can, don’t quilt, don’t grow my own veggies because I don’t have the time or the land. I am handy at most things I try, but the time consumption of doing them is something that makes these activities NOT simple for me. I love giving handmade gifts, preparing from-scratch meals, and living sustainably. But sometimes these things are usurped by a need for efficiency, rather, sanity.

    There. I said it, and it felt good. I am living authentically, right? :)

    Minnesotamom´s last post…MN State Fair Food Finder

  29. “Simplicity and Success” is a great book. I have read ALL the books on simplifying and if you dont have a purpose or a vision of you want in mind, well good luck! Bruce Elkin (the author) talks about your vision of simplifying and how to get there your way, not how someone else’s way looks.
    For example, many of my friends would laugh if I said that I value living simply. However, my wardrobe is simple, our food is simple (well, chocolate doesnt count!) and our life is harmonious (well, most of the time).
    It really depends on how you see it? I make my own spaghetti Bolognase sauce, but I buy my pesto. For the life of my I cant grow herbs.
    So, how do you see Living Simply? Its your own version. As the famous saying goes “Be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else”.
    Sara

  30. It’s amazing how “living simply” and “living green” has become something that involves so much social pressure. We recently stopped using our credit cards and living just with what we have and we’re feeling the crunch here at the beginning of the school year. I’m starting to realize that “living simply” sometimes involves great sacrifice that helps the whole household get healthier, more financially responsible, and more creative. I thought I was frugal and creative before, but now it’s a sink or swim issue. It’s not fun, but I know I will be proud later when we’ve figured out how to truly live off almost nothing.
    Thanks for this post, it’s came at a time that I was feeling pretty alone in this struggle. Comparing myself at this point is torture, and I hope I can remember what the sting feels like when I’m out of the woods and still trying to live with JUST what I have.

    katiek´s last post…First Grade

  31. I really enjoyed this post. We try to live simply and naturally, however I find that my son has an overwhelming number of horrible plastic toys. Simply because they are all hand-me-downs, I’m not going to go out and buy brand new wooden toys when he can recycle something that someone else no longer wants. Admittedly those wooden toys look much nicer though!

    I’d love to grow my own food too, except I live on the second floor and have no garden!

    I find there’s the dream that’s present in the beautiful photographs you see everywhere, of course I want my home to look that way! But then there’s the reality. If you look at the reality in the right way then it’s just as beautiful, if I take baby steps then I’ll achieve my dream eventually because every little thing I do to stay simple or live green makes an impact.

    Satakieli´s last post…Brum brum

  32. This post is marvelous.

    There have been times where I have been overwhelmed by the plethora of blogs posting in the name of simplicity.

    Often I have thought that if I don’t sew, don’t compost, don’t bake, don’t make fabulous meals all from things I grew out of our garden, don’t have amazing art projects for my children to do each day, don’t decorate my home with the incredible revamped thrift store finds etc. and then don’t take fabulous pictures of it all with amazing lighting then I’m not measuring up.

    I love your definition: Authenticity is living simply.

    I am more inspired to celebrate my little successes and changes each day.

    Thank you.

  33. My latest blog has a picture of the aftermath of Kristallnacht and I’m using lots of bad words to talk about the health insurance industry so I guess my answer is “no”, not feeling any pressure here!
    I jest (a bit)of course ; )We each do our best and that won’t be same for any 2 ladies or gents because we all have different gifts and deficits. It’s about what’s most important to you. Every choice is a sacrifice.

    juliet´s last post…The Devil We Know

  34. Lily (from Italy) says:

    I think I’ve felt this pressure, because there’s always someone who’s doing better things than me. It’s not about appearances though: I don’t care about people’s opinion but my own! Sometimes we just have to forgive us a little, well, at least balance the effort to be better with the love for ourselves. “The perfect is the enemy of the good”!
    (PS – number 1 is me :) I can’t wear synthetics and I think they’re bad on our skin, but many people tolerate them so fine.)

  35. Great post.

    First of all I totally agree about the importance of making change in a gradual and sustainable manner – and of cutting yourself some slack. There is no perfect standard to live up to – just a personal ideal to strive towards. It is so important to enjoy the journey of getting to that place too, rather than constantly feeling guilty about not being there yet.

    However, I have also found it interesting how much ‘living simply’ can also challenge my own subconscious self-image issues.

    For example, my partner and I have always had lots of books in our house. I used to think that this was because we read a lot and love being surrounded by books. Recently, however, we have decided to get rid of all of the books that we have already read and don’t plan to read again. The theory is that they may as well be out in the world being read by other people…

    Once we actually got rid of them all I realised that part of the reason that I had been holding on to them was because I had an image of myself as being someone who owned lots of books. It was quite freeing to just let go of that.

    Cristy´s last post…29 months

    • Lily (from Italy) says:

      Cristy, I found out it’s good to donate or resell the books I don’t love. I sort of… held a grudge against those, so I decided to keep only the beloved ones on my shelves. :)

    • This was SO liberating for me, too! I realized I had been trying to keep up an image… not just of a Person Who Reads, but of a Person Who Reads THESE Books. Every paperback left the house, along with a ton of hardbacks. I kept a few books I re-read and some reference books and gave away all the rest over several weeks. My house is far less cluttered and it felt freeing — both getting the space back and finally realizing that I don’t need to prove my mental prowess (what-ev!) to anyone.

      Oh, and I make a “cheater’s” spaghetti sauce: chopped onion and diced tomatoes and meat supplemented with a jar of whatever’s on sale. :-D

  36. We live in the city, we have a tiny garden that really only provides a few cauliflours and lots of tomatoes because I forget about it for stretches. We walk, bike where we can, we make food from scratch where we can – no flour grinding for us, though. The big one for me is reducing power usage, through better home insulation, being organised about laundry and dishwashing and cooking. And for me, that’s where life has become simpler – being frugal means being organised, being organised means things are straightforward and, dare I say it, simple to manage.
    Sheesh, I sound like a real dork, don’t I …

    Ange´s last post…Justify My Love

  37. Thanks for this post. Sometimes it feels like I’ve just managed to exchange one lot of appearances for another. I try to be authentic, but it’s tempting to try to cover up my inconsistencies in an effort to look like I’m living more simply than I am. I guess it’s very much a part of human nature to desire to look better than we are to others, to worry more about our public image than having integrity in private. A good thing to remember, I’ll try to put that aside and live authentically.

    GIna´s last post…My creative space…

  38. It doesn’t help that there’s a huge simplicity industry full of magazines with glamorous pictures of zen-like homes and delicious cooked-from-scratch food — for those of us who are single and handle everything the bills, the income, the cooking, the gardening, the housework, and everything else, it’s especially difficult to live up to the more time-consuming aspects of simple living. I try, but so often fall short because of 11-hour work days (including commute) and all of the tasks waiting for my attention. Sometimes it becomes a low priority to get that programmable thermostat in, you know?

  39. THANK YOU so much for writing this post! I’ve eliminated a lot of blogs from my reading list b/c I feel so inadequate after reading them. I appreciate honesty.

  40. Very nicely said.

    Authenticity and appreciating the slices of beauty that each day presents … that’s a simply delightful perspective.

  41. This is a great post! I like the idea of living simply and naturally, but sometimes I do buy that bottle of Kaboom because it works best on my bathtub. Sometimes I buy (gasp) Velveeta Shells and Cheese! I try to buy local produce, cook from scratch, make homemade gifts and re-use,re-purpose household items so, it’s not that I’m a hypocrite. It’s just how things work for me. I want to be real.

  42. I have enjoyed reading through all the comments on this post. It has had me thinking since I read it last week. I think that while we can all say what we want for our lives, that it’s also hard for me to read people saying negative things about those who do more than we do. Only we can make ourselves feel inadequate. For me, I take what works for me and continue along. I’d never dismiss someone or blame their simple living for making me feel like I don’t do enough. I do “enough” for me and my family, but I can still enjoy seeing someone who sews their own clothes and cans their own jam without feeling like *I* am not enough. I just wish there wasn’t so much comparing and that blogs were taken in the way they are usually intended – to inspire and encourage.

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Finding Contentment

  43. Oh my, what a lovely post! “Authenticity is living simply.” How perfect and bang on. Sometimes we do project what we’d like to be on things in order to put our “best foot forward,” even though we know better. I think taking note of those moments can be helpful (to me, atleast) in realizing the inner conflict I’m having between what I think is right vs. what I’m doing….of course, it doesn’t always happen that way, truth be told, but I’m getting better!

    Excellent post!

    betsy´s last post…“making.” “seeing.” “being.” boldly.

  44. You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately! I’ve been cooking from scratch almost every night since I left my career to be a stay-at-home mom three months ago. As I was making two kinds of homemade pizza and grilled corn for company tonight, I wondered, “Am I doing too much?” I don’t know. But I do know this — I like being in the kitchen. I like making something myself rather than buying it pre-prepared (with all the preservatives and transfats those pre-prepared foods come with). So while I was maybe going overboard just a wee bit tonight — fresh pesto, homemade pizza crust, garden veggies, and fresh herbs — I know I never regret feeding good, homemade food to the people I love. And by the way, the glass patio door was cloudy with dog nose prints and the patio was unswept and littered with leaves. At least we ate well.

    Shannon @ Anchormommy´s last post…Road trip! Five ideas to make the time fly by

  45. I try not to worry about what everyone else is doing, however it can be challenging.

    I try to instead take one thing, one new challenge, each day, each week, each month.

    Crazy Daisy´s last post…Coming soon…

  46. I LOVE this post !!! Thanks for the reminder to live authentically!!!!

    sara’s art house´s last post…I almost forgot to show you what I got in the mail box!!!

  47. You know, I would LIKE to garden… but I don’t because I don’t have any outdoor space. How do you garden with no space? Well, and I kill plants regularly.

  48. This is such a powerful post, Rachel. To me, the most important part is when you say, “it gives other people freedom to be real, to be open, and to connect with you.” Exactly! This is something that is so missing in our culture: being open and real. I breath a huge sigh of relief when I go to someone’s house and it is “real” rather than “perfect.” I want to keep this in my mind as I live my life and hopefully have a positive effect on others by being down to earth.

    Mary Beth´s last post…my favorite natural cleaners