Finding the Joy in the Simple Life

Yesterday started my seventh week of being furloughed. It also marks the last week of digital learning for our kids. By week’s end, our children can shift into full-on summer mode, not knowing what a summer during a pandemic entails.

They have already hit the mid-summer boredom blues. Understandably they are tired of being cooped up in the house and yard. We are thinking of ways to entertain our kids, and also ourselves while sheltering. What we have come to find is that, sometimes, the simple answer is the best one.

Our first project was to tend to our little slice of land. If we have to stare at it for a while, it might as well look nice. We edged the landscape and laid mulch down in the planting beds. Our 6-year-old, Ben, enjoyed going behind us and disposing of the mulch bags. We finally got around to starting a garden, something we have been talking about doing for years.

When the temperature started to rise, we pulled out the sprinkler. Ben’s face lit up with excitement. Sarah and I stood back and watched him run and jump through the water. The feeling of joy written across his face. It was as if life slowed down, and he was moving at half speed.

During that moment, all of my worries faded away. I was completely in the moment, finding joy in Ben’s happiness. There were no email alerts, no text messages, no miniature screen in my face. I was present.

There were no email alerts, no text messages, no miniature screen in my face. I was present.

My wife and I plan to live more simply moving forward. We are going to re-evaluate everything that we bring in to our daily lives and make sure it is adding value to it. We will make sure we take the time to notice life’s simple pleasures.