The Simple Life
Seeking life quality and fulfilling our need for happiness
There are some who define downshifting as giving up a pretty good and well paid full time job to lead a frugal or self-sufficient life and that may well be the case for many, but is it not just to simplify our life?
Downshifting is not necessarily going to give you an easy life, there are new strains and pressures you have to face up to, mainly financially.
I prefer to call my lifestyle 'a simpler life' because I don't want the routine of doing the same thing every day without quality leisure and social time.
By downshifting you are putting your destiny in your hands and not those who employ you. Sure you get part-time and casual jobs to earn money, but you learn not to rely or depend on them. People move, Companies cut back on part-time staff as well we know it.
So, the Simpler Life for me is one which is more fre of normality, it's a kind of escape but not one as in a hippy or a drop out.
Simplicity is the key to many things. How often do we look for the more serious thing wrong with the car and find out it was a £2 Sparking Plug. It's a bit like health, we get a symptom, google it and immediately make up our mind it's the worse possible scenario and we aren't for this world much longer etc!!
If you are in a position of considering 'downshifting', unless you have enormous savings, look at it that keeping chickens, growing your own vegetables and holding Boot Fairs etc. is just a part of it. Very few can survive on that alone.
One important thing is to very much keep your options open, never be in the position to say to yourself "I can't do that", because you can.
My simpler life is based around a March to September job which is my mainstay and only work where I get a payslip. This is if you like, the halfway between the old and the new, luckily I love it, so all is well.
Outside of that work, it's more or less up to me what I want to do, but this is usually dictated by financial needs - if I have enough, I do my own thing and if I haven't I go and find some work. As long as I have food in my tummy, a roof over my head and no Bailiffs banging at the door, all is well!
Another thing I have found is a great difference in view of money. I tend to see money as time. That's to say if I have a Bill of say £50 to pay, I know that equates to 5 hours work.
So the simplistic view takes you on a journey into a new world.
I mention this in the Frugal Living section, it's not what you spend, it's what you don't.
The simple life is not always an easy one, some people will settle into it quickly and others not.
We are here on this planet for a very short time, do we want to be at the end of it and look back in sorrow? There are things which will inevitably bring about sorrow, but if we can feel we've achieved something for ourselves and family plus feel we've lived at least some of it in a comfort zone, that has to be positive.
We are custodians - and it's nice to leave a legacy!
All good, but none more so, than
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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;