Times of simplicity remind us what true happiness is all about

I’ve never been a fan of the heat. But as any homeowner will tell you, sometimes things just need to get done – regardless of the weather conditions. Who knew it would remind me of times of simplicity.

With the upcoming forecast predicting rain over the next several days, today looked like the only nice day to finish up some yard work I’d been putting off. And though I had no desire to stand out in the blazing sun with temperatures approaching the mid to upper 80’s, it looked like I had no choice.

While sitting under the patio umbrella wasn’t terribly uncomfortable, once I started moving around I truly got a sense of just how hot it was. Did I mention I wasn’t a fan of the heat?

Standing in my front yard trimming a low-growing hedge, I noticed a few kids across the street happily playing with a garden hose. They were in their bathing suits – squirting each other, laughing and screaming.

For a moment I thought about doing the same thing, but figured it might look kind of foolish for a 37-year-old man to be hosing himself down like a sweaty farm animal.

But as I continued to watch the youngsters play, I remembered back to my own childhood during times of simplicity when I did the same thing with kids on my block. I smiled as the happy memories replayed in my mind and marveled at just how long ago that truly was.

In short, the most enjoyable and memorable times in our lives are not found in the glamorous events and the over-the-top gifts. No, they’re found during times of simplicity when just being around people you love and care about is all you need to find delight.

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” Elise Boulding