Over the course of the next couple of months, we are really going to be looking closely at how we live and things that we can do to simplify our lives even more. You notice that I am using the “we” statement, this is because my wife and I have purposely decided to look at what is important in our lives:
- each other,
- our health
- lowering stress levels (yes this is part of health, but deserves its own mention)
- our time
- I have resigned from my teaching position and decided to join my wife in semi-retirement effective the end of the summer.
- We are both tired of all the hype that goes along with today’s consumer driven economy and have decided to be much less of a participant.
- Our income will be approximately 1/5 what it was in 2009 and we have done this ourselves voluntarily
- We want to be more in control of how we spend our time and energy
How did we put ourselves in this position?
- Maintain an organic garden
- Canned vegetables
- Gleaned wild blackberries and raspberries from the local area
- Supplement oil heat with wood
- Pay off the mortgage
- Avoid buying new cars and keeping up on the maintenance on the ones we do have
- Packing lunch almost every day
- Keeping things longer and only replacing what is a need, not the nice to have
- Research buying our larger expenditures i.e. wood chipper, power washer, chain saw, etc.
- Buying quality versus quantity
- Doing staycations or driveto’s for vacation time
- Doing as much for ourselves as possible and only hiring out to have things done that we can’t do safely
- book sales
Over the last six months
- Got rid of my gym membership
- Stopped monthly massage
- Paying off all credit card debt – there isn’t very much (last bill $12.00 yes app store and ebook)
- Learning that I don’t need everything I see in the Mac App store (but I do plan to buy Lion)
Now that we both will be semi-retired?
- Paying off the last vehicle
- Cancel my smart phone
- Reduce cable TV to basic or canceling, and just keeping web access (gotta have the internet)
- Reduce current cell phone plan to minimum necessary
- Stopping my addiction to trying the newest software/hardware (I want but don’t need an iPad)
- Go to u-pick for strawberries, blueberries
- Use the farmers market system
- Continue to glean the land for what we can use
- Maybe look for some free lance writing jobs
- Start writing a book after the first 3 months
- Probably a lot of other things that we will think of or read about
- Take time to stop and smell the roses
Was all of this easy – no.
I do want to thank Leo Babauta, in the years that I have subscribed to his blog “Zen Habits” and read his books “The Power of Less and “Focus”; for writing has been on my mind for several years, but didn’t know how to say it. His words have been part of my inspiration to change my mindset towards living a much simpler lifestyle and for showing me what might be possible.
“Are you doing the right thing for the right reason.”
Disclaimer: No Mr. Babauta did not hold me down and make me say those things about him or his books, he didn’t try to bribe me with gold bullion or offers of exotic trips, they are simply my thoughts. But…naw – 😉