Writer’s Workshop: Live Simply

December 8, 2010 · 63 comments


My Mom tells me to live simply.
She should know.
Six kids, a daycare, a dying husband, a house to clean, a lawn to mow.
She’s lived and learned and she KNOWS.
Live simply.

I should listen to her.
I know this.
I talk about expanding in business or upgrading our house
or having more babies, more pets, more.
She cringes.
Been there.
She begs me to listen to her.
Begs me to love my babies and watch them grow
and not to take on more than I need.
Live Simply.

But I am tempted by the glitter.
I must have the pretty things.
I get greedy for more.
To have more means to work more, to earn more, to do more.
To accumulate the pretty things I complicate my life.
What do you need? She says.
Live Simply.

I complicate my life for pretty things that will not follow me from here.
I do not listen to my mother.
I do not slow down.
I do not learn from her own regrets.
I do not live simply.

Who listens to their parents these days anyways?



Mama's Losin' It

Now it’s your turn!

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Simple.
2.) Angsty.
3.) Excruciating.
4.) Enchanted.
5.) Bold.

Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her


Erin December 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm

My Mom says the same thing, I say live life without regrets, and that isn’t simple!

But just for the record, I think you should have more babies! =)

Booyah's Momma December 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Parents really do give such sage advice. I wish I would have taken more of it when my parents offered it.

I’m pretty sure my kids won’t listen to the advice I give them, either. I’m pretty sure that’s how you define “payback.”

Sarah December 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Brilliant! Love the photo at the end too.

Sarah December 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Brilliant! Love the photo at the end too.

Holly L December 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I want to live simply…I hear the advice from mom and others…I just cannot seem to do it.

M.Jay. December 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

If only life could be described as simple, would it not be simpler if I had everything, that way I would not have to do anything, right?

But the older we get, the more we realize, that our parents are always right.

Stef December 9, 2010 at 12:05 am

Living simply can sometes simply be too hard.

Stef December 9, 2010 at 12:05 am

Living simply can sometes simply be too hard.

Run DMT December 9, 2010 at 2:51 am

That was lovely and so true! I have been trying to simply my life for years. As my children get older, it seems to get harder and harder to do. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the importance of just living with the essentials to get by. When I had my first baby, I had two bouncers and every infant toy and new infant gadget under the sun. Now, with my third baby, I’ve borrowed must everything because none of these things really matter. Precious life is what really matters.

I just want to freeze time and enjoy every moment.

Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation December 9, 2010 at 2:56 am

Uhhh I so do not live simply either!!! Love the photo!

Dumb Mom December 9, 2010 at 3:04 am

Don’t feel bad. No one listens to their moms anymore. I live a simple life though, perhaps not quite in the way you mean, but still, simple. Your mom would love me, I just know it!

JDaniel4's Mom December 9, 2010 at 3:20 am

Why is it contentment is hard to hold on to? Great post. I love the picture.

Paula Kiger December 9, 2010 at 3:21 am

Gotta run to work but want to take a minute to thank you for this post. YOU can do the poetry prompts!! The simplicity advice is good stuff.

Lori December 9, 2010 at 3:31 am

You have a very wise mother. :)

kasey December 9, 2010 at 3:56 am

If we all listened to our parents then we wouldn’t have to learn the hard way… where is the fun in that? At least they get to experience the feeling of always being right!

Your mom gives great advice though! I’m sure you’ll be giving it to your kids one day.

Diane December 9, 2010 at 4:21 am

Your mother is a wise woman. Great advice is not always the easiest to follow though.

SaucyB December 9, 2010 at 5:26 am

You mention your mom often in your posts. It’s nice to see what an obviously close relationship you have. Wise woman!
btw, congrats on the new dog. He’s adorable. Even with ‘the eyes’.

Pamela Gold December 9, 2010 at 5:37 am

Absolutely we don’t listen to our parents but your mom sounds like a very wise one!!

Peg December 9, 2010 at 6:01 am

Wonderful testament to your mother.

Carrie December 9, 2010 at 6:11 am

I’m not sure if my own mother would give me such advice but I know my grandmother would!

I wish life were simpler. I wish we lived in times where one parent could stay home guaranteed with the kids. I wish there wasn’t so much temptation for more more more…

but then I wish I had an iPad…I’m screwed :)

June Freaking Cleaver December 9, 2010 at 6:14 am

Your mom is one smart cookie – and you’ll be just like her…but not yet. Don’t wait too long, though, to take her advice…it’s spot on!

Mrs. Jen B December 9, 2010 at 6:45 am

What a wise woman. And beautiful, too.

I know how you feel – I live in the same house with a talking, walking, breathing example of the pointlessness of living for things and stuff. He had a stroke and all of a sudden, none of that mattered anymore. Now he doesn’t remember from day to day that he even HAS a Kindle, much less how to use it. Or a timeshare in Mexico which we can’t seem to unload, or a Lexus which he’s not allowed to drive anymore so it sits in the garage until we can get out of the lease which we can barely afford. He was always moremoremore…and now it doesn’t matter.

And yet I still want more. I don’t know why.

Christan/MamaBearPing December 9, 2010 at 7:09 am

Yeah, who listens to their parents?
I’ve always envied those women who can entertain their children with a shoe string and a box. I keep buying more stuff for my kids . . . more stuff for me.
And why? You’ve got me thinking. I may (if I can conjure up enough energy) go through the play room to discard and donate. I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of useless stuff!

KLZ December 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

This poem makes me want to go throw things out in my house.

Momma December 9, 2010 at 7:21 am

It is sad that we realize this when the kids are grown up…..

Momma December 9, 2010 at 7:22 am

This poem makes me want to sit in a corner and drink my difficult life away….


CDG December 9, 2010 at 7:53 am

Such perfect advice our mothers give. If only we could stop long enough to heed it.

Jennifer G. December 9, 2010 at 8:26 am

I absolutely loved this post. Your mom is so right, but I can see how it would be hard for you to heed her advice. Ten years ago I would not have wanted to simplify my life but now I do…and I am. And I’m pretty happy about living simply. Maybe when you get older (and more tired) like me, you’ll change your mind :)

mom taxi julie December 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

I totally agree with your mom!!

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:48 pm

@mom taxi julie, Well you should…she’s usually right!

Allison @ Alli 'n Son December 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I’m the same way. I always ignore my mom’s advice. When I do finally take it, I’m smacking myself for waiting too long. What is wrong with us???

Angelia Sims Hardy December 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I’m with your mom on this one.

I’d like a box in a decent alley with a good stuff dumpster nearby. No bills. No work. No worries.

Ohhh yeeeahh

Angelia Sims Hardy December 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I’m with your mom on this one.

I’d like a box in a decent alley with a good stuff dumpster nearby. No bills. No work. No worries.

Ohhh yeeeahh

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:45 pm

@Angelia Sims Hardy, Sounds so nice when you put it like that! Haha!

Shell December 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Your mama is a wise woman.

Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud December 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Ah, what a wise woman! Your mom, not you. ;)

Jennifer December 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I couldn’t agree with your mom more (except on the babies part)…I just don’t always put this advice into practice. I’m trying, though!

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

@Jennifer, More babies!! ;)

Alicia December 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Listen to your momma!!! She is a wise woman! And moms never stear their children the wrong way!!!!

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

@Alicia, Well…except for that time she encouraged me to get a bowl cut…

kisatrtle December 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Oh if we could all just listen to your mama

Natalie December 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I swear, I’m constantly reminding myself of this. Living simple is so powerful…your mom has the right idea :)

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

@Natalie, I wonder if it’s going to take me another 20 years to live as wisely as she does!

Dominique December 10, 2010 at 12:30 am

I too wrote on this prompt.. Living simple is really very enlightening.

ElizOF December 10, 2010 at 3:54 am

Beautiful post! Please listen to your mom on this one. Stop and watch the birds fly south for the winter; smell the pine; relax with a glass of wine…
Happy Holidays!

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

@ElizOF, Thanks! I’m trying!

Crystal December 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

I think this post was beautiful. “SImple” is not an easy concept. The glitz and glam call most of us…we want what others have, covet the greatest gadgets, fashions, and such. But to count our blessing and be truly, truly greatful -and satisfied- is to go against the grain of our society. THis was a very thought-inducing post…and I thank you for it!

Mama Kat December 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

@Crystal, I’m right there with you. Even as I sit here I think about things I “must have” or ways to make “more money”. I wish there was a switch I could just turn off!

Lauren December 10, 2010 at 9:49 pm

This is very nice. Sometimes it’s hard to simplify our lives, it seems there is so much to do. But then we miss so much, yes listen to your Mom.

LenaLoo December 11, 2010 at 12:05 am

Snap snap snap…

Heather G. December 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Thank you for doing this each week. I love your post too and so very true.

Sugar Mama December 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I haven’t been by in a while, not because I don’t love reading your blog (because I do) but because I’ve been too busy to read many blogs because I too have been adding too much crap to my life. I like glitter also. And camera lenses. And new shoes.

I really want to quit doing daycare. It makes me want to cry by how much I want to quit. But I take more kids so that I can bring in more money for our family. I LOVED this post. Thank you for the reminder.

Nicole@MTDLBlog December 13, 2010 at 9:24 am

This post really resonates with me. I often wish for more when I already have SO much. I have a hard time slowing down and enjoying the little things. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life is important and such good advice. :-)

carma December 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I have longed for the simple life for years!!! one of these days I’ll live in a tiny house with a few possessions and lots of freedom from maintaining crap. You did a beautiful job on that poem :)

Tracy P. December 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

Ahh, she’s got it right, your mom. Simple can be just as addictive. Going into stores this time of year makes me want to hyperventilate. Glitter be gone.

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