It’s OK to be Happy with a Quiet Life

Its OK

Tea

The other day I was wasting a little time on Pinterest, when I stumbled across a quote that said “It’s ok to be happy with a calm life.” You know when you happen upon a quote, idea or sentiment that just really resonates with you? That’s what happened with this. I repinned the image and went on with my day, but instead of forgetting all about it like I do most things, I kept coming back to the quote and pondering on it. Today I spent a couple of minutes typing the words up (replacing “calm” with “quiet”) and printing it, so I could tape the message on our fridge as a reminder.

I think this little phrase struck a chord with me because for a long time I didn’t think that it was ok to be happy with a quiet life. I am actually only fairly new to this way of thinking. I grew up expecting my adult self to become a high-flying editor. In my teen years I watched a lot of Sex in the City and imagined myself moving to New York and strutting around in Manolos like Carrie Bradshaw. I wanted an impressive job, an incredible wardrobe and money. Lots of money. After uni I leapt at the first opportunity to move to Sydney, so I could start my dream life in the city… And then quite unexpectedly, things changed. I wasn’t happy. I slowly began to realise the life I had always thought that I wanted was in fact, not what I wanted at all. I hated working in an office. I couldn’t stand wearing heels for any prolonged period of time. I found the hustle and the bustle of the city exhausting. Coming home to our dark little apartment and getting takeaway after a day at work and a long commute was miserable. And most surprisingly of all, having more money didn’t make me any more happy.

In our society we are constantly bombarded with the message that we should want more. Advertising tells us life will be better with more. Our families and school teachers (who only want the best for us) encourage us to work hard to we can acheive more. The media and popular culture focus on celebrities and people who have more. More means success. So deciding that actually, we’d be happy with a bit less, can require a big adjustment.

A couple of years on, sometimes I still catch myself slipping into “more” mentality. I see people getting impressive jobs and promotions, driving new cars and buying big houses and I get caught up comparing my humble life to the their successes. But to compare myself to someone else’s version of success makes no sense at all. Though I am happy for my friends’ achievements, I don’t necessarily want them for myself. I actually really like my life! I love our shabby old house. I love my little Etsy shop. I love my Reuben and our fur babies. I love our op-shop dates. I love our trips to the farmers markets. I love that we are working on this home and making it our own, all ourselves. I’ve also come to realise I value time more than money, and that Reubs and I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I now know that I find life richer, happier and smoother when we spend plenty of time quietly at home. I understand that I’m more confident in myself when I’m not totally focused on material things. I’m less anxious away from the crazy pace of the city. I’m healthier when I take the time to cook whole food from scratch. I’m more pleasant to be around when I’m not stressed. In the past I’ve had more money, more stuff and more conventional “success” than I do at the moment, but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am right now.

I now know that it’s ok to be happy with a quiet life. Actually, it’s ok to be happy with whatever kind of life makes us happy! We just have to learn to let go of irrelevant expectations, listen to our hearts and do what feels right for us. Because at the end of the day there is no one way to be happy or successful. The formula for a good life is different for each of us.

You makes your life happy?

Katie x

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Katie

About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.

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81 Responses to “It’s OK to be Happy with a Quiet Life”

  1. Naomi May 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Great piece of writing. Heartfelt and true. It takes courage for people to own and be proud of a quiet life. My husband and I often say to others in a self deprecating way ‘oh we have a boring life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way’. By boring we really mean devoid of complex dramas. We are happiest pottering about the house, playing with the kids and yes, finding more room for my op shop finds too. I will be pleased when the standard response to ‘How are you?’ isn’t a proud ‘oh so crazy busy.’

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      I do the same “Oh we haven’t done anything, our life is boring” thing.. But it isn’t really boring, it’s lovely! I suppose I just expect other people to think it sounds boring. I love what you said about people being proud of being crazy busy. It’s odd that a hectic, stressful life has become something to aspire to?!

    • Justin October 3, 2013 at 8:27 am #

      Everything said in this post resonates with me. I lived a BIG LOUD life for a while. I was a teacher. I worked in the inner city and I brought passion, verve and caring to my lessons. My students and bosses liked me and respected me – most days. I worked for a consulting company – highly prestegious. I’ve travelled the world. Loud and intetesting. Recently I realized tha while blessed with so much, it was not what I wanted. Now I run a small translation and localization firm out of my home. I am trilingual so I thought I’d put it to work for others. Things are peaceful. I communicate with clients over email. I work in my shorts and a tshirt. I love it to pieces. I am staying with it for a long time to come. Nice and quiet and intellectually engaging. Perfect. Thank you universe.

  2. Julie May 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Oh Katie,
    I’m constantly amazed and delighted at the wisdom of the young and think how fortunate they are to come to these truths so early in their life. Here I am at 52, still trying to figure things out and sort out wheat from the chaff to find out what makes my bliss.
    It is wonderful that you have found your peace and your happiness.
    Bless you both
    Julie x

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      You are so kind Julie. I by no means have it all figured out, but I do my best. And I bet you do your best too! That’s all any of us can ever really do :)

  3. Nadia May 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Thanks so much, Katie. What a beautiful piece that resonated so much with me.

    I have never been into partying – throughout my twenties I could count the number of times I went nightclubbing on one hand. Rather than spend weekend drinking, or dancing in the city, I preferred gardening, baking and reading my book. I worried that there was something wrong with me, that I was a ‘nanna’ or too boring. I did feel like the odd one out, although I continues with my ‘pottering’ and quiet catch ups with friends.

    When I stopped comparing myself with my peers, I realised that there was nothing wrong with slowing down, savouring and appreciating the simple things in life.

    I’m happy that you love and appreciate your ‘quiet’ life too.

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Your comment reminded me of another of my favourite quotes, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Isn’t that true?! I’ve learnt the hard way that no good can come from comparing my life and self to others’ but sometimes I still catch myself doing it! x

      • Nadia May 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

        PS: I love your blog. I live in Syd and am counting the down the months until my partner and I can leave. I remember reading your post about packing up your car and leaving Syd with your possessions in the trailer. I thought, ‘I can’t wait until that is me!’.

        I remember when all i wanted was to move to Syd, work in an office and do the whole corporate career thing. I lasted about 5 years before I was desperately over it. Hopefully things will fall into place in the next 12months and then we can relocate somewhere quieter…. your blog mirrors so many of my actions / thoughts / aspirations… very inspiring!

        Good on you for realising that a simple life is a good one!! x

        • Nadia May 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

          One more PS: :)

          Off topic… just wanted to add that there is absolute love / adoration in your dog’s eyes. He is loved and it shows. So lovely to hear of a stray dog finding a loving home.

    • Nyram March 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      I´m on my tweenties, feeling the same way. Feels good to see i´m not the only one :)

  4. Ana May 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    I also stumbled across the same quote and loved it! I instantly felt so identified with it! So I totally understand you and really liked what you wrote about it :) Thank you for your wise words.

  5. Bronny May 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I love and agree with this so much! I used to think a weekend was wasted if I didn’t go out each night and party etc but these days there’s nothing I like more than spending a whole weekend curled up inside with my cats, boyfriend and a book. I find my smaller and quieter life so much more fulfilling.

    • Katie
      Katie May 16, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      I was exactly the same Bronny! Believe it not, I was quite a party girl a few years back! And even when I began to get sick of it all, I felt like I “should” still be enjoying it, so I forced myself to keep going out even though I was really over it. Seems so silly now!

  6. jess May 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Beautiful post. After ending up by chance in the country I’ll never move back to the city. It’s so funny to me that all my other friends don’t get it! Lovely message, beautiful blog xx

  7. Jenny May 16, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Such a beautiful post Katie… resonates completely… love that there are different formulas but the one you have chosen makes my heart sing as well…

    Jenny ♥

  8. Laura May 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Your posts always resonate with me! I know EXACTLY how you feel. Over the years I’ve felt pressure to go out drinking and partying and “enjoy myself”. I still do get that pressure, from friends and even family. And what annoys me he most is that I DO enjoy my life, my knitting, cross stitching, playing fiddle. Why do so many people think that to “enjoy life” you need to spend most weekends drunk followed quickly by a hangover?

    Don’t get me wrong, I like going to a nice pub with a couple of pints with friends, (in a place where I can actually HEAR the people I’m with and not deafened by tubthumping music!) but I don’t ever see myself going clubbing again. And I am A-OK with that!

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      I know what you mean about the pressure to go out and party. I actually enjoyed that stuff for a while after I turned 18, but grew tired of it long before most of my friends did. I felt like I “should” enjoy it though, so even though I didn’t really want to, I kept going out to clubs and things for quite some time. When I finally accepted that it just wasn’t my scene it was such a relief! Like you, I like doing stuff and seeing my friends, but I’d much rather go somewhere I can actually hear them! x

  9. Tania May 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Fantastic post Katie! I am glad that the quiet life makes you happy, it sure does me :D

  10. Nicole May 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I agree that we have to think about what kind of life we want, instead of what kind of life is expected of us. I’ve spent the last year travelling and working — coming home to people who have asked me when I’m going to ‘settle down’ and ‘get a real job’ is frustrating.
    We all live and love differently, and trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of what your life should look like is never good, even when it’s hard to tread your own path sometimes.

  11. Bec May 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Oh Katie I really needed to hear this, right at this moment! I really need to work on appreciating what I have and not care about what I’m “meant” to be be doing … (who wrote that rule book anyway?) And I think your life sounds pretty damn fine just the way it is :)

  12. Shell May 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Great post Katie, I feel just the same. I think living in Sydney, there is a huge expectation to have a big house, nice car, designer clothes and all of that stuff. It’s ridiculous. I don’t value ‘stuff’ and I find it difficult to fit in to that mentality. I’m definitely hoping to make a change soon, for a more quiet life, with more nature and more time :)
    x

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Yep, I found that pressure really, really strong in Sydney. I feel so much more free now. I can highly recommend escaping to the country! ;)

  13. Donna May 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

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  14. caroline May 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    So true Katie. I love the quote and I have one that I like too. “Live simply so that others may simply live”-Mahatma Gandhi

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      That is a great quote Caroline! :)

  15. Rita@thissortaoldlife May 17, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    I love this post, Katie. I figured out early that I didn’t need lots of money or prestige, which is why I left a job in publishing and became a teacher. (Not that there was going to be a lot of money there, but “working for a publishing company” did sound much more impressive than “teaching high school English.”)

    But it’s only in the last few years that I figured out how much I value time. I did good work for years that I’m glad I did, but it ate up so much of my life. I never really had time for those quiet pleasures you write about here, and even if I took it, I could never fully enjoy it, always feeling the weight of those stacks of papers to grade. I’m working my way toward a better balance now. Better late than never!

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      I think few people, really realise how valuable and precious our time is. We are only on this earth such a short time, it seems such a pity to waste so much of it working in order to accumulate stuff (that ultimately we will leave behind when we die anyway!) I don’t think anyone on their deathbed ever looked back on their life and thought “I wish I had spent more time working and buying stuff”. I believe in working to live, not living to work :)

  16. Mevrouw Wispeltuut May 17, 2013 at 3:30 am #

    Happy… ‘Just’ the basic of my life; God, my husband and son (and almost our second child), family, daily blessings like the sun, flowers, enough food and after that making stuff, photos, dinners for a lot of persons, walking…
    Now, when I’m writing this I realize that I am busy, the most of time, with everything, except this! Time to change!

  17. Vicky May 17, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    I love this post, and I could have written it myself – like you, I wanted the whole ‘Sex and the City’ lifestyle, but when it actually came to moving to London (I’m from the UK), I just kept putting it off. I’m 30 now, never got to London, and when I see friends my own age still going out every night, I just want to lie down and take a big nap. We’ve got two children, but I think even if we didn’t have, I’d still be happy to stay home – I’m happiest with a book, magazine, crochet and a good film. We’re never going to be millionaires, but we have enough to treat the kiddos and pay the rent – and who can ask for more than that?
    Great post as usual x

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      We don’t have any kidlets but the thought of clubbing makes me want to take a long nap too! Give me the crochet and movie any day! ;)

  18. Penny May 17, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    This resonates so much with me Katie and boy does it get better! I have just turned 43 and couldn’t ask for more than my quiet crafty and family life xx Brilliant post, thank you and I’m so pleased for you, a very mature approach indeed xxx Penny

  19. Carrie May 17, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    Katie, your heartfelt words really resonate with me, when I was younger all I wanted was to be somebody big, make a splash with a business or idea. Family and peace were the last things on my mind, but in the midst of all my planning and big dreaming I became unhappy, very unhappy. Things have changed for me now, my husband and I have recently welcomed a child and where I could never think of staying home as a youth, I am enjoying the opportunity to see my son grow as a stay at home mom. There are still things that I want, it just takes us a little more time to achieve them. Money does not buy happiness. For me, it is the simple life that makes me happy, it is the time I have to spend with my son, my family and friends, it is the time that we have to experience life. I still haven’t learned how to manage my time or unplug as much as I should, but those things will come with time. I always thought that the life my parents lead was crazy, now that is what I envision for the future. Thanks for sharing your journey. – Carrie

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      So glad you found your bliss Carrie. I’m still working on managing my time and unplugging too – those are tricky! x

  20. Talia May 17, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    This is beautiful. I’ve just been discovering the quite life lately (admittedly, it is a bit hard with a toddler!!), and it has brought me so much peace! Glad you are happy with your quite life. xo

  21. Louise May 17, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    I totally agree with you Katie. I , too, left paid work, nearly 3 years ago. Though in my case it was due to my chronic fatigue. Since then our income has dropped considerably, but for the majority of the time, I can say we are relatively happy with what we have and the quiet life that we lead. I now spend my days making things rather than spending my day in front of a computer screen. A much nicer way to live.
    I hope you and Reubs are having a quiet and productive week :-)

  22. The Life of Clare May 17, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    I also love our quiet life. Similarly to you, I had big dreams, big ideas of where I would live and whati would be and I’ve ended up back at home, with a few chickens in the backyard. It’s lovely.

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      I can’t wait until we get chickens! These days chickens are part of my big dreams! ;)

  23. The Sensitive Tarte May 17, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    What a great post! It’s so nice to see that there are people realising that what individuals really want and need is very different to what advertising and marketing tells us we want and need.
    I know a lot of people with very high maintenance life styles and very huge money worries. Sometimes I can see them looking at me and thinking “gee she must be rich, she never worries about money”. When in truth I don’t worry about money because I am so much happier with less stuff. The quiet life is great!
    As for me I love reading and my vegie patch!

  24. Alacoque May 17, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    We too are living the quiet life but in the city. Recently my mother pointed out “It’s not a career, it’s a life” and that has resonated with me in the same way your quote has. A life that fulfils me is more important than ticking career boxes. That little perspective shift has really helped my level of contentment.

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      I couldn’t agree with your mum more. We should work to live, not live to work! :)

  25. Laura May 17, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    What a lovely post Katie – you write with such passion and I can really relate. Like Louise above I was forced to change and quieten my life because of my health – and now I am so glad that I did. I have rediscovered the real me and I’m so glad! Being content with what you have is such a good way to live.
    Thank you for this lovely reminder today!

  26. Molly Severtson May 17, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Love it! Thank you so much.

  27. Fiona May 17, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Hi Katie.. this is just so spot on.. I too used to be a ‘career’ girl.. and I never thought I’d even think about living in the country.. now I feel that it’s what I want.. I have two brothers who are very successful medical specialists and I am so proud of them and their achievements.. and occasionally I reflect and ask myself ‘why don’t I feel ‘jealous’? why don’t I feel like I ‘wish’?’ it’s because I don’t. I have a Finance degree but not in the field anymore.. we are on a strict budget but my home is a happy one, my daughter is very happy and I like it like this.. because I believe money doesn’t buy happiness and is truly the root of all evil.. it helps no doubt, but is not a guarantee.. so thank you for a wonderful post.. have a great day and fantastic weekend :)

  28. Sarah May 17, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    What a great post! I completely agree with having a quiet life, too. :) I don’t like heels, power suits, office politics, commuting to work, and busy cities, either.

    I love flats, handmade clothes, knitting, sewing, reading, and watching movies with my family. I’m so much happier in a smaller city, smaller house, and less hours at work!

    • Katie
      Katie May 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      You sound like my kinda girl Sarah! :)

  29. Ali May 17, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    All you need is love & respect for everyone………..

    Wonderful words Katie. xx

  30. Ravs May 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Just a lovely post!

  31. Myev May 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Hello Katie, I’ve been following your blog for some time without leaving any comment – english is not my mother tongue and I’m afraid of writing something silly… Sorry if so. :)

    This time I cannot remain silent, because I really feel the same. I guess we have almost the same age and a similar career. Now my boyfriend and I are both artists and we’re earning less money than when I was working in an office. But I’m so much happier than before. We live in one of the biggest city in France for ten years and we’ve really enjoyed it for a while, mostly because we live in an almost perfect district : all our friends around, small cinema, plenty of exhibitions, farmer markets, and little groceries…
    As we move into our thirties, we’re planning one day to find a little house in beautiful countryside where we’re gonna settle with cats, my cartons full of wool skeins and a veggies patch.

    Sometimes city life makes you forget that things can be really simple and happy. Thank you for reminding us. :)
    Nathalie

  32. Marcelle May 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I so understand you. Honestly: the less I needed, the better I felt about my life and myself.
    Who can measure succes? Succes was never about a big house or lots of stuff for me. To me a succesful day was a day I made someone feel better, or had quiettime, or saw something so beautiful it took my breath away, those kind of things. I used to see not wanting a businesscareer as a failure in myself, but I know better now..

  33. Carolynn May 18, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    I totally learned this last year…so true. thank you for sharing!

  34. Alice May 18, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    I love this sentiment. I spent so long trying to be the bold confident person, and that just doesn’t come to me naturally. I’m still trying to accept it about myself, but I’m so much happier now than I used to be xo

  35. Margaret May 18, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Wonderful post, I am sure those sentiments are what a lot of people are feeling.
    You are very fortunate to have come to this decision so early in life,before you lose touch with friends and family, waste years and ruin your health , we humans have evolved for tribal or village life…food, shelter and relationships, pretty basic really.

    Another quote I like is ” What is it you will do, with your one precious life ? “

  36. Katie May 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I loved your post. You are so wise (I was going to say lucky but I don’t think it’s luck) to have made this realisation at such a young age. I t took me a lot longer in some ways. By having this knowledge at a young age you will be living a much more authentic life, as will your partner. Good luck and bring on the chickens!!

  37. Elle Mental May 19, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    I am very glad to hear that you are happy! I am also glad to hear you tell others that happiness isn’t one size fits all! I am adamant about living a simple, quiet life, to march to my own drumbeat, but that life has had many faces… we now live our quiet life on a homestead in the Piedmont of North Carolina, but we have also had a lovely, quiet life living on a mountain top in Costa Rica, and in the Philippines. Life’s journey has many stages, each one is important and integral to the next stage. Your time in Sydney was necessary, without it you might never have seen that it wasn’t a good fit for you. Now you are beginning the next leg of your journey… You have had the courage to make a big change, I hope that you enjoy every step of the way!

  38. sian May 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    hello! i read this and then couldn’t stop thinking about it…
    i totally agree with all you’ve written. and i think it’s almost a relief to say ‘i’m happy with what i’ve got’ so that you are not constantly searching for something when what you already have is lovely.x

  39. Dee Wilcox May 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    This is a lovely post, and that quote resonates with me, too. I work in downtown Nashville (I’m in the US), and I have the hustle and the commute and the traffic and all of the things that are the antithesis of a quiet life. But when I leave, I leave work for my quiet life at home with my husband, our little girl, our two Labs, and our garden at our rented house. We’re working at marrying a slow life with working lives in a big city. We’re working hard to pay off some debts to so we can have more time freedom in the long run – hopefully just a year from now. It’s not easy, but it is SO worth it.

  40. Rachel May 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    YES! Exactly what I needed to hear. My best friend just came home from a rather luxurious vacation, right after a promotion and a bonus. I kept thinking about it while I was at my “lame” job and I realized that my life is awesome too! It’s totally different than hers but it’s just as great! Thank you for reminding me!

  41. sophie May 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m only 14 and to be honest, at times, I’m really worried about wasting the time I have now and not living in the moment. Though rich. fufiling writing like this really comforts, and makes me look forward to the time and living ahead of me. Thank you Katie.

    • Katie
      Katie May 21, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      Oh Sophie, you have so much time to do so many wonderful things. You have a whole, beautiful lifetime ahead of you! I think, as long as you are enjoying yourself or learning something, you are never really wasting time. And I bet at this point you are learning so much (and hopefully having some fun along the way!) Learning to live in the moment is tricky – it’s something I still struggle with all the time. But I think just being mindful of it is a really good place to start! You’ll be just fine. :)

  42. Bec Zacher | At Penny Lane May 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    This is such a lovely post, i love that quote. It’s so easy as a blogger to compare yourself to others constantly as it’s only a snippet of peoples lives that we see online. I don’t think life was ever meant to be so busy, we fill it with so many things these days. Gone are the good ol days pre technology when things were simpler. I strive to find these moments where i can. Thanks for sharing. Bec

    • Katie
      Katie May 21, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      I know exactly what you mean about comparing yourself to other bloggers. Sometimes I actually have to take a complete break from reading blogs because I find myself getting far too caught up in comparing myself and my life to the beautiful things I see online. We just have to remember that what we see is not the full picture. It’s tricky though! x

  43. Kathryn May 24, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    Oh, I cried and cried reading this post. It really resonated with me. I am in the process of making some big decisions and changes to create a simpler life for my young son and myself and your lovely words have helped confirm that I need to brave and forge ahead with my leap of faith.

    Bless you!

    • Katie
      Katie May 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Oh Kathryn, it’s made my day to think my post helped you, in any small way. Sending love and happy thoughts your way and wishing all the very best for you and your boy. xx

  44. Tania May 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    This was a really touching post, and one that really spoke to me. I guess I too like the quiet life at home. I used to think something was wrong with me in that I didn’t have any interest in a career. I loved and still love nothing more than a day at home to recharge. Now I’m at home most of the time and often people ask me how do I handle it. I actually quite like it and I don’t know how others can spend their lives rushing from one thing to the next. I know some people have no choice, but if you can I think the less rushed life is better. I think you come to a point in life where you weigh up just what you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of money. There is no mistaking that it is a necessary evil, but if you can strike that balance of working for only what you need (which we are still working on!) then I think that can lead to true happiness and contentment.

  45. San June 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    This touches me on the inside of my heart. I felt the same way, too. But I only just realised a couple of month ago that I don’t have to live my life like other people expect me to.

    I always felt different and not worthy because others were more communicative and outgoing than I was. And my mother and tearchers and friends seemed to want me the way they were.

    A couple of month ago I came across the definition of an “introvert”. Of course I had heard of “extroverts” and “introverts” before. But I never really took the time to understand those words.
    But then I understood that I am just an introvert who tried her whole life to be what most other people are: an extrovert.

    Now I am learning to be okay with me being me and fighting for myself. Most people don’t seem to understand me but now that I know “what I am”, it’s easier to cope with that. I know, I’m not “wrong” or “worthless”, I’m just different. And it’s okay to like silence and reading and crafting instead of going out drinking and dancing and partying.
    People like you give me hope and peace. Thank you!

  46. Jbronwan June 26, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    What a lovely post. I found it by googling “living a quiet life”. I wish I’d realized long ago how much I longed for a quiet peaceful type of life. Now I have a semi-quiet life (still one daughter at college who pops in and out frequently–wouldn’t be without her though). Planning for an even quieter, yet fulfilling life after retirement.

  47. sharon June 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi Katie
    I just discovered your blog and thought ‘wow’. I love your way of thinking and have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I’m in my late 40′s and find myself preferring the quiet life and not wanting to keep up with all the pressure of socialising. And it’s nice to come to the realisation that it’s okay to be happy with a quiet simple life. I find I’m a much better person if I live simply…I love Melbourne life, but it can be a crazy rat race. Is it okay if I use your quote? You write a lovely blog!

  48. Alexa July 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I absolutely love this and completely agree :)

  49. Tim September 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Reading this made me extremely happy. For the most part of my adult/young adult life, I have lived an extremely quiet life. For the most part I have focused on my studies to build myself back up academically and mentally from a low point in life that I did to myself. I know what its like to not have much to your name, to know the honest and simple fact that if it wasn’t for the strong bond my family and I have, and left to fend for myself, I might not be so fortunate to say that I could make it. So when I think of earning a small space to call my own through the fruits of my labor and hard studies at college, and when I think about having a simple diet and clothes on my back, nothing makes me more excited than that. When I look back on my entire life, even down to the signals my body gives me in regards to heath, the more simple the better I am. I don’t want to play the overly humble card, but I am truly appreciative to have the simple things in life. Thats not to say I don’t have large dreams. I’ve always dreamed of building a home from scratch to house a family I would one day build, I dream of being a school principal or guidance counselor and I dream of natural self sufficiency and beautiful health. To me there is nothing more that I want than that. All I have to do is work for it.

  50. Jess October 7, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    Love this! I’m a 21 year old grad and whilst everyone I know is swanning off to London I am at home in Devon, doing work exp at a primary school and baking cakes. It’s a little lonely but I know I’ll get to a place I feel happy in, I know these things can’t be rushed. :) Lovely blog, will follow I feel!

    http://www.thebloggingnovice.blogspot.co.uk

  51. EAhmed November 28, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    A quiet life to me, is a perfect life. I hate living in London. When I’m a bit older and make enough money, I would want to escape to the countryside and buy a small house in the middle of nowhere. I want my own land, surrounded with trees and flowers. I don’t want to be part of civilization. I want to find a pretty girl to marry and raise a small family. A good, quiet life. I want to be in my own world with only my family in it. :)

  52. Rach aka stinkb0mb November 30, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Brilliant post. I also like to live by the quote “it’s ok to be happy with the status quo” – meaning you don’t NEED to be striving for something better, something more be it money, job, house, situation or life – you CAN be happy right where you are, with just what you have right now.

    I think this is why happiness eludes so many of us because we think our happy is just down the road; that complete happiness will be found once we’ve got more money in the bank, a better job, a bigger house, a better life but that’s rarely the case. Happiness is the journey, not the destination.

  53. Joe January 17, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    Watch or read: Alone in the Wildernss. You’ll Thank me later. Great post Katie, very thought provoking!

  54. Pea Phillips March 11, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    Thanks for this. It just resonated so much for me. I’ve just retired because of ill-health, and am 46. I had the shining university career, and trying to come to terms with a different life now, and your thoughts have really helped…

  55. Jesi July 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    This is an absolutely lovely post Katie and I couldn’t agree more. My whole goal in life is to have it be ‘quiet’. To be happy with what is and contain myself in the present while achieving my dreams calmly. I try not to worry too much about flashy things or impressing people with anything more than who I am. I want to be authentic and true.

    Right now my husband and I are saving up to buy land in my home state of Florida and start a small flower farm and citrus orchard. It’s an active dream, something to realize bit by bit everyday, but I try to remember to stay open to life’s possibilities. Thanks so much for sharing and I’m so happy I’ve found your blog!

  56. Mel July 21, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hi Katie,

    I’ve only just stumbled across your blog and I must say that this piece and your wider story resonate with me on so many levels. Like you and Rueben, my partner and I were lucky enough to be able to purchase our dream property – just a little house with some room for a garden and some animals – with the help of his mother. We love it and our quiet lifestyle, though as we are only young, we sometimes feel that people think our lifestyle is a little ‘boring’ or that we’re acting too old for our age. It’s been a learning curve for me though and I’m totally ok living the way we do! In fact I’m aspiring to make our lives “quieter” in even more ways – career pressure recently is getting a bit much and I’d really like to take a step back. Thanks for sharing your story and will be following future posts with interest. Mel xx

  57. Emma August 22, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve only just stumbled across your blog, but this post was the first one I read – that quote really resonated with me too. I love your post; I’ve never ever had a career-oriented kind of life, it’s always been pretty low key and, I felt for a long time, kind of ‘boring’. A couple of years ago – probably after becoming a mum for the first time and taking stock of my life and what was really important to me (existentialism whilst hormonal and sleep-deprived at 3am breastfeeding time, got to love it) – I realised that not striving toward a ‘career’ and ‘just’ having a ‘job’ that pays the bills so you are free to explore whatever takes your fancy at any given time is actually okay. Thanks for reminding me, whilst I am sitting here at 3am, heavily pregnant with my second baby and hormonal and sleep-deprived, that living a quiet life is, indeed, okay. Cheers, Emma x

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