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What if All I Want is a Simple Life?

A rocking chair, and bookshelf by a fireplace
There's a viral minimal lifestyle post I've read a couple of times that I keep seeing reposted among the simple living community and it's called
"What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?" 

Read it if you have a chance. It is well-written and full of validating words that, for me, explained exactly what I was feeling about my lifestyle. What if I'm not the best of the best? What if I love living my simple life? Am I a bad person for not wanting to look like I'm perfect or the way this “perfection” is portrayed on social media?

My biggest hangup in this article though is the word mediocre. According to, mediocre means "of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate" and the second meaning is "not satisfactory; poor; inferior." 

Hold on a second... barely adequate? Poor and inferior? Since when have I ever wanted to write something that was barely adequate? Never. Since when was I interested in living my daily life as one that is poor and inferior? Not a once. Mediocre is not a comforting word, which is why this title rubs me the wrong way.

I understand her context though. It’s the question, “Am I good enough just the way I am?” Most people question themselves about this aspect. Am I good enough and do I have to do more to feel like I am truly good enough? 

Mediocre isn’t the word I'm driving for. It’s simplicity. I'm not into only giving of myself partially in all that I do, or how I keep my house, or how I dress or live, or raise my kids. I'm not into living halfway, or only partially well done. 

But, I am into living a simple life that doesn't need to be the best or have the best. I don’t need to be number one. I’m not interested in appearing like I’m put together with the nicest home and most well-behaved children when I’m actually in debt to my eyeballs and my children are disasters.

(I’m happy to report we aren’t in debt up to our eyeballs. I have the goal to pay off our mortgage in close to four years, and my full-grown sons are the opposite of disasters. I couldn’t be more proud of them.)

If I had to write an article about a mediocre life, and I suppose that's what I'm doing, I'd ask myself: What if I'm happiest living a simple life? What does it look like, for people like me, who strive to live a simple life? The kind of life whose primary ambition is to lead a quiet life?

It's not flashy or fancy. But, it's not of moderate quality either. It’s one filled with joy, peace, and extreme satisfaction. This is what my simple life looks like; the one I’m aiming for when I ask myself “What if all I want is a simple life?”

1. I don't need a blog with the highest following. Of course, I'd love to have a small, honest following, but I'm happy with that. If I can help one person destress their life, then my work is done. Just getting to write, and having my voice heard, is like winning a writing lottery for me. I’m not accepting I own a mediocre blog. I am accepting that I am happy with a simple and informative blog that tells people what they want to know.

2. I don't need social media with the hugest following. For a small time in my life, having a following was important. It isn't now. It just seems horrifically painful to keep that up. I'd rather have a group of quality friends who I follow and follow me than a profile with gobs of unknown followers whom I don’t need to try to impress. Less is so much more.

3. I don't need to work a job outside of what I love. I'd rather make little money doing what I love than make a lot doing something I dread or despise. I’ve been on the other side, working and doing things that drained me. I’m back to doing what I love, no matter the income. I understand not everyone has this privilege - I’m blessed to get to do this, and we’ve also rearranged our spending and lifestyle habits to accommodate this.

4. I don't need to keep up with my neighbors. No need for the biggest home, or the flashiest new car. That seems like an insurmountable stress that will stay with me until my dying day if I engage in that futile effort. I love my simple but beautiful home, car, clothing, and lifestyle. And at this point in my life, no one can tell me otherwise. I didn’t use to feel this way but now that I’ve embraced the minimal, simple, slow life, it’s flipped my thinking. It’s the best way to live. There is no pressure to live beyond my means or for someone else’s visual stimulation.

5. I don't need to buy new (thrift instead). This isn’t always the case, but it sure is often in my house. Did the can opener break? Check the thrift store first. Did my luggage fall apart? Check the thrift store first. Many times, I don’t find what I’m looking for. But many times, because I’m willing to be thrifty, I find what I need for a fraction of the price. Being a good steward of my money is more important to me than having a name-brand item. Besides, that’s money I can use to pay off the mortgage sooner.

6. I don't always need to eat out. This one is hard. Everyone loves a good meal out. But we have a refrigerator and a small freezer in the garage filled to the brim with food. While there’s a time to go out and enjoy spending money at a restaurant, there is also the joy of simply using what we have. A simple eating plan means I’m not mediocre about my meals, but happy to have a simple taco Tuesday night. It also means rib eye steaks when I find a good deal. Simple not mediocre.

Owning and enjoying a simple life doesn’t mean I don't want nice things, but it means my goal to enjoy the life I have is more important than trying to obtain the goal of living a life that was never intended for me. And that is a simple life worth choosing and fighting to keep. 

For me, it means peace. It means not spending money I don’t have, living beyond my limits, or wanting to have the biggest, and best of everything that surrounds me. My children are wonderful without doing all the things, my house is perfect despite needing new flooring and updated bathrooms.

I have what I need, more than I need, and I don’t feel the pull of the consumeristic, ostensible culture telling me I’m less than them because I don’t subscribe to what they offer.

And there is nothing mediocre about that.


  1. I love this, and I join you in your simplicity--nothing mediocre about it!

  2. Thank you so much! It feels better to explain it as a simple life rather than a mediocre one, but I understand the sentiment!


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