What to do When Simplicity feels Unattainable

Posted on 27 July, 2016 by Sarra Elansari

swimming simply

Have you ever heard of Kinfolk Magazine? It’s a lifestyle magazine that explores ways for readers to simplify their lives, cultivate community, and spend more time with their friends and family—all things I love!

Every time I open the latest issue of Kinfolk Magazine, I think YES… ‘I want an Indian summer, I want to be sitting in a wooden canoe laughing, feeling the breeze rush through my hair and the sun on my brow—just me, nature and my loved ones’.

Then I close the backcover of the magazine, and glance around the kitchen table. It is usually piled high with Lego, my cup of tea is ice cold and there's a wisp of burnt-breakfast smoke rising from the pan on the stove. The day already feels like a staccato of mini-emergencies—I have to remind myself to breaaaathe.

You know the feeling don’t you…the one where we crave a breather from our daily busy lives.

To find respite, I love looking at simple, lived-in house interiors. I could loose myself in sfgirlbybay—it just feels so good.

Take a peek: http://www.sfgirlbybay.com/ It’s an addictive lifestyle blog about 'bohemian modern style'. I can’t get enough of it.

Another escape I adore, is looking at (and savouring) big, and colourful-storied cookbooks - Tartine Gourmande, I’m looking at you.

Even though I am so keen to create that beautiful, simple life for myself, the truth is, whilst I’m in the mess of my every day life it often seems so unattainable.

My intention, dammit, is that I’m going to live that life!

I recently went to a seminar held by the wonderful Megan Morton. Megan is a stylist extraordinaire who has taken the international interior design industry by storm. She is a force of nature who seems to combine a big hearted family life with gorgeous homes effortlessly. She explained how, in reality, she had an ‘Instagram life’ and a real life. How things look in the frame of a photo (or in our imagination), and how things look in reality are often very different.

We know life can get in the way. She spoke about her house, where there is a ‘ledge’, a small surface where Megan creates and changes the space just as she wishes it to be. It is a calm, artful space that is untouched by the crazy (family) chaos that swirls around it – the eye of the storm.

And there it was, my lightbulb moment. I now have a ledge, and it is the best thing I have done for myself in a while.

Coffee ledge

It doesn’t look like much but it is my well-loved ledge. When I make coffee - usually once a day - every movement I make feels right. Simple, practical and effortless. I love the stovetop machine, the unassuming stainless steel jug, the wonky grinder, and my trusty mug. This motley collection of things represents the simple life I seek. It is both, a reminder of what I want, and a reminder of the fact that I have already have it—no matter how small.

I see my ledge as a living and breathing reality. A space. A ritual. My eye of the storm on the path to simplicity. Just as it can expand into other areas of my life, it can also contract. No matter what, my ledge is always here, because I am committed.

It reminds me that simplicity is attainable – always. It’s a journey and it’s okay to start small.