My husband and I definitely do not live a grandiose lifestyle. Even during times when we had more than sufficient resources, we didn’t strive for a lifestyle that exceeded our means. But over the years I find myself yearning for a more and more simple way of living. I guess as I get older (I’m in my mid 40s) I want an easier, more carefree low hassle life. That’s not always the case for aging people, though. I see people my age and even much older spending money on even more elaborate things, taking more expensive vacations, buying bigger “toys”. I think ideally my husband would do the same, if he could, but I resist to a degree, so there is a balance. Having a mental illness, I know I can’t handle too much stress. Complicated lifestyles breed stress.
If it was just me I would probably be more than happy in a one bedroom apartment or cottage, with a nice bathroom, a big kitchen (I love to cook), a cozy living room (ideally with a fireplace), and a dining area. I wouldn’t have too many things to fill the rooms, other than the basics, like a bed, sofa, dressers, tables, chairs, and those kinds of things. Most of the stuff that fills our current basement, decorates all of our walls, and fills closets, are my husband’s things. Again, I don’t think he has excessive amounts of things. He probably has a similar amount as the average person. But I think that the stuff I call “mine” solely would fit into a few big trunks, and a very small U-Haul truck.
I’m not like the stereotypical woman. I don’t have huge numbers of clothes and shoes. If I do have many, most are over 12 years old and are hardly ever worn. I even wear pretty much the same seven outfits all of the time. I’m not working now, so there is no real pressure to change them up.
Henry David Thoreau famously wrote “Simplify, simplify”. Yes, I’d like to live by a pond or lake, like Thoreau did, and grow some of my own veggies, and watch nature most of the day. I guess I’d still need some money, but I don’t think I’d need too much. I’d need just enough to buy a few things I couldn’t produce myself, and maybe enough to keep the necessities of life up and running. Well, a computer I guess. I’d probably need that because I think I’d like to work from home part-time, and still keep in touch with others. If it was my choice I wouldn’t even have a car. I didn’t have a car when I lived in Berkeley, California, and I did just fine. There I walked where I needed to go and easily found mass transportation to other destinations. I was trim then. More exercise would be good for me now. Maybe I could have a bike or scooter. Perhaps that would be sufficient.
My husband has a dream to get away from the rat race, so he’s not completely against my idea. I assume he knows we’d have to get rid of a lot of our stuff. He and I know there are places where you could find security that we honestly may not find in our current place of residence in the future. The only fear I have, though, is being uprooted from my current long-time home. It is hard to be immersed in a new culture so late in your life. That sort of takes away some of the “simplification”. Considering that, I do wonder how easy it is to simplify your life in this world. There will always be something that is a challenge. But we just have to weigh options to see which would be the easiest path towards it.