I took it as a compliment. I do think I am quite simple in my living.
Yesterday, we skipped church..again..and stayed home to have a wonderful day at home. On Sundays, Oprah comes on at 1:30pm. We usually miss it because of church. But we got the chance to watch it. I am not the biggest fan but I tend to gravitate towards any TV show that is not a spanish soap opera, a nigerian movie, or swahili news.
The show was on living simply and profiled the lives a few american families who just collected so much 'stuff'. One mom lived in a mansion with her two sons and gave them everything they wanted. She also had a closet full of $400 shoes that she had never worn. The other family was a mom who just bargain hunted like a monster. Any bargain she would find, she would stock up on. I mean, bargain hunting is great, but this lady had 100 boxes of cereal...a little overboard. (Actually, Kenya never has bargains or sales in the supermarkets. I miss that. The prices do go up and down a lot though depending on the supply. Currently milk has sky-rocketed in price while ugali has gone down. I miss sales, bargains, 2 for 1 deals.)
The show made me a little sick considering where I live. Kenyans live very simple cause they don't have the means to be extravagant. But then I had to remember that I do come from the land of excess and too much. I can be guilty too.
In both of these families, when they cut out all their 'stuff' and started to live a little more simply they found that their families grew tighter. They ate their meals together and played games in the evenings. THey walked to school together and became more creative. It was a healthy change for their families.
It inspired me to take a look at my life and see how I am clogging up my time with things that are not building me or my family up.
The biggest thing for me (us, Kelvin too) is technology or our phones. We both have phones that have internet so we are constantly browsing. Sometimes it is the first thing I do when I wake up. What would it look like if we turned off our phones for a little while and just focused on something else like each other?
Just before we left for vacation, my iPod and our iPhone both died. I was pretty bummed. I mean 13 hours on bus with no music? That's no fun. Then I also forgot my camera and was pretty upset about that too. But I did indeed manage. I had to entertain myself on the bus which resulted in more talking with my husband. Not having my camera allowed me to be fully present in the moment rather than constantly figuring out how to capture the moment well so I can post it in my blog.
Once we reached Kelvin's mom's place, my simple lifestyle was challenged. I just finished a yummy chocolate bar and asked Kelvin where the garbage bin is for the wrapper. "She doesn't have one." What? Who doesn't have a garbage can? She doesn't have one cause she doesn't need one. She lives with so little waste. I was so embarrassed over the next couple days with my 'simple' life. I went to bath with a sponge, shower gel, and conditioner (not even shampoo people). Everyone else went to bath with a bar of soap. I had a gigantic suitcase just for me while his sister showed up with a backpack with clothes for 2 weeks. I had my handy flash light, travel pillow, and fluffy socks for night time where everyone else slept in their clothes with no pillow and no light to see at night. I looked like a princess.
I am not poo-pooeing stuff. I like stuff. I like my technology but when it is getting in the way of building relationships or fully enjoying the moment, I think it needs to put away. Everything in moderation right?
Right after we watched the show, we decided to turn off the tv and go for a walk at the beach. I only put 200shillings ($2.50) in my pocket and our keys and we headed out the door. We spent $1 on transport and 50cents on two bags of cassava chips. We had a great 2 hour walk on the beach with no distractions. A perfect outing with my hubby.
As of now, the tv is off, the cat is purring on my lap and I am drinking a sweet cup of black, lemongrass tea. The simple life...