My approach to a simple life

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:

  • diet
  • examine expenses
  • self-sufficiency
  • technology

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.

Diet:

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.

Reducing expenses:

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
  • clothing
  • 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.

Self-sufficiency:

My goal is to focus on taking care of myself and not relying on other people to for help.

Technology:

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.

Peace Dudes!

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