We spent last weekend in Lancaster, PA. This is definitely the most unique area that I have ever been to visit. The area is city on top of country. Suburbs do not exist. You can shop at the outlet mall and literally directly behind you will see a dairy farm. It is absurd, but if I’m going to visit a city, this is the one that is most fitting for me.
I am enchanted by the Amish lifestyle. I enjoy reading about them and learning as much as possible about how they live and why they choose to live the way that they do. We have a small Amish community in the area that we hope to buy a farm in, in the future. While many people find them odd, I look to the Amish as role models.
While I am obviously reliant on most modern conveniences, I look to the Amish to find ways to simplify my life. A simple life is a happy life in my opinion.
Some of the most important Amish influences that I would like to adapt to my life include:
No Judgment: Although I hate to admit it, I tend to judge people who live a certain lifestyle. I often disagree with or don’t understand why people live the way they do or like the things they like, but really it is of no importance to me. As long as I can engage myself in the activities that I enjoy and that make my life better, I should not be concerned with other people’s choices.
Family- the Amish are focused on caring for their family. Their homes often include many generations and they rarely rely on social security or nursing homes to care for their elderly. I think this is a good reminder for me to help out my own family. The majority of my family lives nearby, while life may be busy there is always time to help out!
Recreation- I’ve heard so many times that you are never bored when you have a farm. I’m not even sure we can consider ourselves to be a farm but I also know that we are never bored. The Amish tend to rely on activities around the home for entertainment. Alternatively they often spend their free time visiting people. I think Jon and I tend to focus our entertainment in the same manner. We are NEVER bored at home (and never watch TV, it isn’t even plugged in ). We have so much to do and we love it. When we do leave home it is often to visit friends and family (or to ski in the winter, one luxury we have no interest in giving up!). I much prefer that to an evening at a movie theater. Not only do these things make us happy, but we also save lots of money by limiting or time out and about!
I can honestly say that the more we have simplified our life and our activities the happier we have become. I go to bed each night happy about what I have accomplished and looking forward to what needs to be done tomorrow. While we do get overwhelmed at times (like when the garden produces 2 bushels of tomatoes in just a few days!) we always find a way to manage.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
To me success is being happy, eating well, and having everything I need and a little of what I want. I do not define success as an expensive car, big house, flashy jewelry or lots of toys. Material goods do not bring me happiness or success and I have nothing to prove. A long day of hard work that leaves me happy and content will ALWAYS be my preference.
What values are important in your life? What is success to you?