Downshifting

Downshifting / Downsizing to a simpler & better lifestyle

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A 10 year experience of Downshifting a lifestyle

How have things been? Success or Failure?

In many ways I'm now not 'a Downshifter' has such, I am living the result of a downshifting decision I made ten years ago.
When I made the decision my life could have got better or it could have got worse and I think that doing this is, no matter how good your intentions are, that's the bottom line - you make it or you don't.

The fear is that if you don't it's going to be a very difficult thing to reverse the decision and go back to whatever life you had before and I believe that's what probably kept me going in some of the times I had feeling a little lost and a bit of a failure.

My downshifting hasn't been simply moving from one job to another 'single venture'. By that I mean I didn't leave what I was doing for a particular work or lifestyle. In a way it was a bit 'hippyish', a kind of 'well, I'll do gardening work and see what comes about'.

This in hindsight was a terrible risk to take and for the first two years I lost the money and had the frame of mind that by some stroke of luck something would come along and I'd be OK. That didn't happen and the lesson I learnt was quite simply 'you get back what you put in' so I got up and looked for any work rather than sit around sulking in the belief the work would come to me.

I found my slot if you like to call it that. I was extremely lucky (although I tend to believe there's no such thing as luck), I got a Summer job at the Cricket Club which suited me because it was same hours, same days every week, it was when there's a match and a few days around that.
This kept me going March - Sepptemeber and the reat of the time since has been ducking and diving with casual work at the big house down the Lane and without hiding anything, making some revenue from the website.

So, ten years in and I think I can make a pretty good and reasonably honest list of the bigger things I've experienced and learnt along the way.

If you run out of money half way through the month and you pay the bills at the end of the month, there isn't a pay cheque coming - you've got to find the money.
If you're self employed, Companies don't always pay you straight away - if on a shoestring do cash jobs.
If you're in financial difficulties, a Bank is not going to help you if there's nothing coming in.
You learn how to make things work for you ie. I have a large garden, grow your own and start home farming.
You become sharper, you look for things and see things you didn't see before ie. Skips - can you recycle - can you make do and mend.
Life still has stress but it's YOUR stress and not one brought upon by Employees or other (it's a better stress!!!).
Having more freedom of work you can say 'I've learnt from that' and move on to something else, you are not tied down.
Never say never - I've cleaned toilets to pay the bills so accept you sometimes have to swallow pride and get on with it, there's no shame in it.
Be completely open to anything and never say 'No' - if you've done the job a person is asking you to do, tell them but you'd like to try - if it fails, you've learnt something.
You find skills you never knew you had and there's a chance you'll find one which could make you more well off than you were before.

I could list a hundred thins but basically it all lays in the fact that you become your own Boss, not only in work but in life as well and it's the latter that explains a downshifting move the most I think.

I don't see my life now as a downshifters life, I see it as this is my life now, I've learn to adapt to it, I see more of my family, I still live in the same house and eat the same amount of food, well better food actually because most of it's produced by me!

The one thing I do watch out for now is age, it's getting one year more every year and you know that certain things about yourself can't last forever, so I tend to find myself thinking about the future possibly more than I would if I had a 'proper job'.
So you need to watch that if you're doing this change in more latter life.

But all in all, it's been good, I can speed up or slow down to either my personal needs or financial needs.
I've learnt most of the downsides and dangers of being self-reliant and would certainly never ever say I made the wrong decision.

There's a sense of challenge and achievement, you pick yourself up when things are down and most of all have a better appreciation for what's around both nature and personal wise.

              

A Downshifter Day

At work


at rest

and at play

When you start to abandoning your old beliefs or values... you may be stuck at the threshold for two or three years. Before moving on, you have to clear away your cherished beliefs."
Dick Raymond

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