While I am on my way back from vacation, hope you can find some enjoyment in this article that was originally posted back in January. Look for all new articles starting next week – lots to tell!
To live simply means different things to different people, myself included. For example, I am not willing to forgo everyday conveniences like electricity, television, the internet or a few decent items of clothing – but some are. But I am willing to give up $35,000 sports cars, a mortgage I cannot afford just to try to impress people, extravagant vacations to far away lands, and going out to dinner every night of the week. Why am I willing to give those things up? So I don’t have to work 60 hours a week at a job I don’t like just to be able to try to pay for them! There was a time, back in the day, when I sold my soul for money. Sure, I didn’t make a deal with the actual Devil, but I might as well of – I hated my job, I hated the travel I had to do for it, and I was becoming increasingly lethargic and unhealthy because of it. But hey, the money was good – and that was all that mattered! Until one day I said enough is enough, and walked away without a safety net. Something in me keyed me into the fact that no matter how much money I made or how much harder I worked, this lifestyle was not going to make me happy, and I had to get out asap. So I did, and that was the beginning of trying to live a more simple life.
Ever since that day, my wife and I have worked to get away from the consumer-based lifestyle we had been living. We stopped going shopping all the time just because we were bored. We made due with what we had, for the most part, instead of buying a new “this” or “that”. One of our favorite things to do consisted of sitting in the park overlooking the water to people-watch by our apartment. And then we made the biggest move of our adult lives to somewhere where simple living would take on a whole new meaning – New Mexico. We have been living here now for 8 months and I have never felt so relaxed or at ease as I do here. There is no traffic, no keeping up with the Joneses, no “holier than thou” attitudes…just people living their lives as they wish, with no one getting in their business (or caring). And once we arrived, we started working on simplifying even further by planning our garden, buying food from local farmers and friends, and rediscovering the outdoors as an endless supply of fun and adventure. There is no mall here; no theme park; no night clubs open until 4am. And it suits us just fine…
So for us, and me especially, simple living is living the way you want to live without having to compromise who you are or who you want to be. By owning my own freelance business, I make my own hours and earn enough income to support us. Am I going to get rich doing this? Nope, probably not. Do I feel the need to get rich anymore? Nope. I am doing things my way, at my new speed, and that is what we were after. That’s my definition of simple living. What’s yours?