Ever hear your grandparents(or maybe great-grandparents if you are younger than me) telling you how far they had to walk to school, through snow knee-deep, wearing shoes with holes in the bottom? How far we have come when now we buy $100 or more shoes only to take an escalator instead of actually walking up a flight of stairs
I was reminded of my grandfather this spring (well it felt like summer but was only March) when I began to clear the field outside my apartment. The first few days I was so sore I could barely crawl into bed at the end of the day. After being closed up inside for a few months, for the winter, springtime I had found muscles I hadn’t used fully for a while.
My grandfather was born in 1914, yet never owned a car until 1960, the year my mother graduated from high school. He raised his two children and found his way to work every day without a car. I had a car the entire time I raised my children and couldn’t imagine how hard it would have been to get them off to school and myself to work without one.
Today not only do we own a car, we drive everywhere, even a block away to stop at a convenience store. We ride the escalator, and the elevators. We use the drive-thru to pick up food, alcohol, prescriptions, and do our banking because walking inside is too much trouble. Let’s not forget the foods we have delivered because we are too tired to cook dinner. And how many times have you seen an able-body person use a handicap parking spot because it’s the closest spot to the door?
The irony is that while we constantly seek the easy way to get the things we want, we often pay an exorbitant amount of money to work out at the gym or to buy expensive exercise equipment(much rarely used) for the home. Yes, I have a few pieces of exercise equipment at home click here to see what I have, I’m not saying we shouldn’t, just that it doesn’t have to be expensive if we use our muscles throughout the day. For those of us who have desk jobs, or physical limitations like I do, getting some exercise after work is important for our health and investing in a few pieces of inexpensive dumb bells or resistance bands is much cheaper than the gym membership.
When changing our lives to live simpler and looking at ways to save money, seeking out the no-cost forms of exercise may be the easiest way to cut your expenses.
One of the things people have noticed about me this summer is how tan I am this year than in years past. Not driving and working in the garden and field have given me more time in the fresh air and under the sun. My skin glows as a result, and I am healthier from the work. My free exercise allows me to be healthier, look healthier, and sleep better! No paying for a tanning salon for me, but then I was never one to frequent them in the first place, I just accepted my fair skin as the way I am.
I think we have a lot to learn from our (great) grandparents that can help us today. Which stories from past generations have stuck with you and helped you to live simpler?