Time for some reflection – how did this journey to live a simple life begin? I’ve spent the last cup of coffee giving it some good thought, but no single event or pivotal moment comes to mind. I would suppose then that this evolution was fairly gradual. A slow but steady process of living true to our attitudes and values, the things that matter to us in life.
It wasn’t always this way. Only six years ago I was a carefree young man who’d spend all my spare time at the gym or on the back of my motorbike, and all my spare money at the pub.
How things have changed.
These days you’re more likely to see me “working out” riding my pushy to work, pulling weeds or digging-in fruit trees. I loved riding my motorbike, but I sold it to put the money towards buying our house and knocking down the mortgage remains a high priority for us. And as for the pub… well it’s fair to say that I still love a tasty beer, but my patronage is far less frequent, serving mostly as an assembly point where I will catch up with my closest mates, once a month or so.
Since these early days we’ve made many more changes to our lives.
We now grow many of our own fruit and vegetables, keep chickens, produce much of our power using solar, practice efficient use of energy and minimise waste. We cook many things from scratch and use natural cleaning and hygiene products wherever we can. We work hard, avoid debt, and the temptation to “have it all now”. We value quality time with friends and family, and don’t watch a lot of television.
Some of these changes were brought on because we wanted to save a bit of extra money, some of them because we wanted to pay respect to the environment, and others because we were searching for a more enriching life experience. These things make sense, and they are all aspects of simple living.
Despite the number of changes already made, there are many more to go. My job is an outstanding source of frustration for me. Every day I sit at my desk, do my job and do it well, but I dream of being outside, working the land, growing much more of our food. I want to be able to raise our future children at home, spend more time with my family and friends and form strong connections with my neighbours. I’d like to apply my own hands to fixing and improving things around the house rather than paying others to do it, for lack of available time.
I have a plan. It will involve less money, but I expect to feel more rich than ever.