My Mid Century Goals

June 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm (Uncategorized)

As I approach my 50th birthday I find I am thinking about my values and beliefs more and how I live my life. I have been living an ultra minimalist life the past two years  and especially the past year.

The experiment: Live on as little money as possible. Enjoy as much as possible. Clean out those possessions which no longer suit my lifestyle of my beliefs. How much do I need to live? What do I need to live? What is a sustainable degree of living?

I live with my elderly parents so that saves them a load of cash. It also saves me money but, seriously limits my social life.  I own my car which currently needs tires. I own a bicycle in good condition. I own too much furniture from my days raising a family of five. I have sold on Ebay my collectables, antiques and other dust-ables and honestly do not miss any of these lovely items.  I do not own a tv but I have a laptop and internet.

I have great friends who mostly still live the old American dream lifestyle and are supportive of me but, don’t necessarily “get me.” I have dated the unemployed and the ridiculously self-absorbed rich.  The difference was never in wallet size but willingness to share whatever they had joyfully. The guy with no money and few prospects was generous and loving and the rich man was tight, cruel to servers and maintenance people. He believed Darwin had placed him above others because he was somehow genetically superior.  The end result was one was rich in friends and children and loves and the other was impoverished by his own ego and was estranged from his children and had no friends. I guess he wasn’t very rich after all. Wealth is subjective.

I have another friend who dropped out from her preplanned college life a year ago and has been a gypsy across this great state of California just finding herself along with her boyfriend without worrying about mortgages and car payments. A grand adventure of the kind few take on these days when everyone is worried about maintaining their FICO score.  When did pleasing banks become our raison d’etre? 

I have time to spend with my son even if I have no money to spend. I have time to spend helping my daughter move across country even if I have no money to spend. I have time to spend running my son’s puppy on mountain trails even if I have no money to spend. I have time to visit a friend in the hospital. You get the point here, spending time is better than spending money everyday.

So today is get it up on Craig’s list day so I can spend another month not worrying about how to pay my car insurance but, instead wonder who wants to go on a hike today or take grandma to the park. I spent yesterday cleaning my tiny studio and was shocked at how much I was able to remove as absolutely unnecessary to my life plan. I made my work space more efficient and am ready to tackle the clothes closet and office supplies.

This week my entire family will be together for the first time in over two years and I am thankful I don’t have a 9 to 5 to keep me from maximizing my time with them. We will hike and go to the beach and garden and make delicious dinners. We will go swimming in a friends solar heated pool and bike ride through Balboa park with a sack lunch. I live in am amazing city and am lucky to have so many great activities which are free or low-cost, while providing maximum enjoyment.

So maybe re-evaluating our lives is something that merits some serious thought about where this is all going and how you want to look back on your life. I don’t care about what I owned just who many people I loved and took the time to really re-evaluate what our priorities are.

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