Things change every day. I know that. Most of the time, I don’t notice the changes, they are so subtle or seemingly insignificant.  Life sales along and everything is good. Then one day something happens. I mean something really big; something life altering. And just when you’re getting a handle on that one thing, something else happens. Change seems to come in bunches. It’s like all those helium balloons that kept you afloat are popping one after the other and you have nothing familiar to hold you up any more.


I’ve been seeing a lot of changes in my life lately; well, not just in my life, but also in the lives of the people around me. Is it because we’re all reaching a certain age and moving into a new phase? I’m sure that’s part of it. I look around me and people are retiring, having serious health problems, have died, divorcing, downsizing, living alone for the first time, or looking for a second chance at love. I see the ground around my feet shifting. Where once I was on solid ground, cracks reach out like lightening to topple my solid foundation. I start to wonder where I fit into all this turmoil, and I find myself scrambling to find my balance again.


Riding toward change.

All this change has been making me restless, so I decided I needed to get out of the house and move. I hopped onto my bike and headed out into the country. I rode hard, reveling at the wind in my face, and the sun on my back, while my mind traveled its own pathways. I began to think about where I wanted to land, and what kind of soil I wanted to land in. I needed to find my footing again. I needed answers, and I needed them now. Then half way through my ride, a single word popped into my mind: Simplicity.  But what does that mean to me exactly?


I took things a step a further by asking myself some questions:

  1. What does it mean to have a simple life? Is it about doing less, or doing more of what I love?
  2. Will I need to let some things go? If so, what things will I need to let go of?
  3. What things do I want/need to hang on to?
  4. Will I be able to add anything new to this new vision of simplicity?
  5. Can I have more things on my plate and still call it simplicity?
  6. Is my vision doable?
  7. Will I be able to find balance in this new vision?

I wrote out these questions a while ago and I have yet to come up with any answers. But that’s not the point. The point is that when things change, we have to be willing to adjust our thinking by asking ourselves some tough questions. Holding on to the way things were will likely cause pain and discomfort. Forging a new vision, will likely do the same, so why fight what’s going to change anyway, and make it easier on yourself by accepting the inevitable?

Of course the questions you ask will be dependent on what is changing in your life, and how you want to envision your future.  The important thing here is to ask the questions. Only then will you be able to grow into the answers – and you will, and so will I.





Categories: Life Reflections, Memoir


  • Terri LaBonte

    I agree. Change is there. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to be able to work with it. I just went through a change in my life. Andy & I work together to do things. Andy had full knee replacement and everything was left for me. Even helping him. That was an eye opener. I was prepared to a certain extent but not fully. I would worry about him falling at night, as he had to sleep downstairs and I was upstairs (Then thought, he’s a big boy & knows he has to be careful). He couldn’t drive for 6 weeks. He was getting cabin fever. We used to slip down to the shore for shot rides. Now things are going back to normal and he can drive. I think we were lucky this was temporary. None the less a real eye opener.

    August 21, 2017 at 7:04 am Reply
    • Gillian Andrews

      Hi Terri: It certainly is an eye opener when circumstances in the home make it necessary for one spouse to carry the load. I’m glad it was only a temporary situation, but isn’t it nice to know that you can do it if you have to? Love to you both, Gillian

      August 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm Reply
  • Nancy Broadley and I must be on the same wavelength this morning my friend. 🙂 Following is the post I wrote for one of my writing groups…sounds kinda familiar…lol
    Life here on the homestead is one of hard work and simplicity. One of trials and tears and lots of laughter. And as I sat on the front porch, up before the light cascaded over the velvety sky, I wondered. What led me to this lifestyle? Is it a calling, passion, a touch of madness? My day usually begins at about 4 a.m., in the dark, swamping through the dew-covered grass to feed the chickens and ducks, collect the eggs and let all the critters out. For me, this is a routine zen. My peaceful meditation to get my day started. It is when the rest of the world slumbers and I can hear what my heart is speaking in whispers of contentment. I remember a time not so long ago that I woke up dreading each day, heart sick and wandering. Getting ready for a job that was too loud, too demanding, too overwhelming and that ate away at my soul. Being among people that were too loud, too demanding, too overwhelming and eating away at my soul. It resembled the madness of a busy world with the callousness of neglect. I longed for a place of quiet, of simplicity, of connectedness.
    And thinking about this longing, I realize….this is what my heart has ached for all these years. Hard work, quiet solitude and the connectedness of living a lifestyle that is simply….just simple. Is it getting back to my roots? Is it the movement and flow of this lifestyle? I can breathe when I’m touching the green of a leaf, I can sigh in relief when I’m busy stacking wood for the winter, I can settle into peace when I am baking bread for the week and the aroma fills my small kitchen and is carried to the door yard out through the open windows. I can sigh in contentment and dizzying pleasure when my husband smiles as he bites into that first buttery slice of warm bread. Can this lifestyle lead me to money and fame? Nope…but it leads me to more than that…so much more, and the payment I receive are fresh eggs in the morning. A body that responds in good health from the work that I do. A contentedness that fills my heart and soul as I move through my day. So calling? Passion? Madness? Perhaps a touch of all three…perhaps none of the above…perhaps loving acceptance of not needing more and gratitude for simply the lifestyle I have chosen and been blessed with.

    August 21, 2017 at 11:21 am Reply
  • Gillian Andrews

    Hey Nancy: Your words brought tears to my eyes. Not just in the way you wrote it, but in the feeling behind it. It got me to thinking about how I want simplicity to look. I already see things falling away in my life, but not yet what will replace these things. I struggle when I should be accepting. I can certainly see the busyness of the world takes us away from our true selves where we cannot hear the beating of our heart, nor the beating heart of the world. But you, my friend, have found that place. You had the courage to make the changes necessary to live the life you wanted to live. It’s not for everyone, but it is definitely for you. Love, Gillian

    August 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm Reply
  • Linda Marshall

    After my husband retired, we embarked on our Great Adventure. We moved up north, and had a place on a lake in the bush. We travelled 150 km into town to buy supplies once a month, set up our own greenhouse, and cut our own firewood. Whatever we needed, we did ourselves, or we did without. It was hard work, and for a long time we revelled in it—even in snowbound winters! After 12 years (and getting older), we decided we needed to be a bit less isolationist. Last year, in fact, we moved 800 km south to a small hamlet where life is easier. With less time spent on doing what we need to survive, we have more time to spend on exploring the more enjoyable pastimes that make life worth living and enjoying, such as my yarn crafting, my husband’s painting, and rescuing kitties that need homes from time to time. After all that time spent on our own, interacting with other people again has been a challenge.

    Reading your piece reminded me of my choice for my senior year high school yearbook quote, from Ranier Maria Rilke: “Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” It’s from Letters to a Young Poet, well worth reading. Did I find my answer? I don’t know. I don’t know if we ever do, not completely. Maybe we’ve gotten all the answer we’re going to get, and it’s up to us to decide that it’s enough to help us when we move on to the next question.

    August 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm Reply
    • Gillian Andrews

      Hi Linda: I’m familiar with the quote from Ranier Maria Rilke. We begin with the questions and grow into the answer over time. I don’t think we ever stop asking the questions. It is in our nature to want to grow, change, be better. We try something on for a while and when it no longer fits we can change it. That’s what makes life so interesting and mysterious. Thanks so much for your comment. Gillian

      August 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm Reply
  • Carole

    Nice reading your article and all of the different and interesting responses!! Amazing how everyone’s ideal of joy and peace is unique. Living life full has many faces!! Thanks for posting!!

    August 23, 2017 at 3:49 pm Reply
    • Gillian Andrews

      Hi Carole: I’m glad you enjoyed reading my post. It’s wonderful to get the lovely responses that I received about change. Yes, every phase of life is different if we dare to live them all. Best, Gillian

      August 23, 2017 at 5:06 pm Reply

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