By Mike Aux-Tinee…
In my search to define what living a simpler life means, I discovered so many different sources of inspiration. Those who live a simpler life do so for environmental, personal, political and or social reasons. Some notable historical figures who advocated living a simpler life include Buddha, Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau.
While their reasons may be different, there exists a common theme; the voluntary practice of simplifying one’s lifestyle. There are four areas in which I am going to work on simplifying my life:
- examine expenses
I am setting out to define what living a simpler life means to me and why I have made the decision to live this way.
Living a simpler life is not about being lazy. It’s about establishing priorities, and being able to explore personal interests. I have every intention of working, providing for myself and saving for the future.
Here are just a few of my reasons for wanting to live a simpler life:
- I want to control my life and not have to constantly worry about losing a job and the instability that comes from it.
- Not being able to pay off my debts caused a lot of stress. I never want to be in that position ever again.
- I lost luggage on a trip and made it through an entire week with just two sets of clothes. I learned I did not need as much to survive.
- I want the freedom to explore options and travel without the burden of things holding me back.
Here is the what I am going to do to my life to simply it. This is by no means an end all be all list. It is a jumping off point and I have no doubt that I will look for other areas of my life to simply as I go along.
Reducing the food that I eat that contains corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Why? Because the extra sugars are bad for you. I have also stopped eating fast food, reduced the size of the portions I eat and begun eating more fruit & veggies.
I examined my monthly expenses and have made the following cuts:
- cable TV
- streamlined grocery shopping, I now buy what I need for the week
- going to the movies
I have instilled some self-control over buying, no longer do I feel the need to add to my wardrobe to be in fashion. I use up what I have and then replace that item.
My goal is to focus on taking care of myself and not relying on other people to for help.
Technology is wonderful. These inventions become ingrained into our lives to a point of psychotic dependence. I remember my life before having a computer, cell phone, cable and so on.
To reclaim my life and disconnect the technology umbilical cord, I have cut my TV time down to 2-4 hours a week. When I do watch TV, I have on the local PBS station. During weaker moments, I will watch a baseball, football or hockey game.
Also gone are the days of recording shows to watch later, the cable TV is gone too, I have unplugged my computer and do not use it as often; that’s because I do not have an internet connection.
Life is what you make out of it and I want to do other things than living in fear of losing a job and experiencing the guilt and uncertainty that went along with; I hope you feel the same.