To be happy, we don't need as much as we think. For me, happiness boils down to knowing that I am in God's will. Beyond that, it's all "gravy." And it is the "gravy" that I want to talk about here.
For many years, I wanted stuff. I wanted what I saw others around me accumulating. That led to big debt and its oppressiveness. Then one day we realized that having a big house full of stuff was only making us miserable. So, we chose to downsize. The only way to keep going down the road we were on was to send our kids to a government school, and get myself a job, in order to pay for a big house full of stuff that I did not love. We did not want that path.
So here we are, four years later. We are debt free and renting a nice house in a nice area near our church home of 17 years. We have a great landlord who is putting lots of money into this 50 year old house to keep it nice. We have nine months left on a three year lease.
Still, I struggle being content here as I know the rent is at the maximum we can afford and really, I am not sure we can afford it, as we are not able to save much for our future, something that bothers me. However, we make multiple trips to church during the week, so it seems wise to stay here as moving to a more affordable area might mean we spend the savings on gasoline. Unless we change churches and after 17 years, which is not what I really want to do.
Instead of moaning about what I don't have, I am taking stock of all I do have towards my dream of a simple life...
- A hard working husband who supports us well!
- I stay home with my kids and am responsible for their education.
- I cook all our meals from scratch (without a working oven for the last 4 weeks! )
- I compost.
- I have a small garden.
- I recycle.
- I have two old vehicles and a pop up which are paid for.
- We are debt free.
- I camp instead of taking trips to Disney or other resort.
- I rescued a cat instead of getting another pure bred Siamese.
- I buy as much organic as I am able.
- I buy eggs from a farmer!
- I line dry when able.
- I use the library as much as possible.
- I don't have cable. (Nor do I miss it.)
- We say no to organized sports so that we can do things together, like camping.
And what exactly is a simple life? I think it is different for each individual. It is not going down the exact same path as another. But we both could be living a simple life! I think I will take some time to define "a simple life" next post.
Thanks for reading,