Glimpse of Yesterday

Glimpse of Yesterday

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Simple Does Not Equal Stupid

A few years ago, while chatting with my husband, I made the remark that we were 'simple folk'.  At first he was offended.  You see, he was taking the meaning of 'simple' to mean 'stupid'.  I began to explain that I was referring to our lifestyle, our approach to how we live and the values we live by. We were talking about how we don't have a lot of 'extra':  our house is little (under 1500 sq. ft. and I really don't want to clean more than one bathroom); our cars are modest (we didn't purchase a brand new vehicle until we were married for 20 years); I prefer to shop at thrift stores for clothing for myself ($40 for a top and jeans for $100 are you kidding me?!); we never go out to eat (I cannot, in all good consciousness, pay $20 for a pasta dish when I can cook a whole box for less than $1 at home and eat it in my comfy clothes);  and I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

I personally feel that as long as we have all that we need, we're blessed.  Sure, there are things that we want, but will those wants add value to our life?  I've always said that if we're warm when it's cold, dry when it's wet, and fed when we're hungry, we're doing pretty darn good.  We have worked so hard over the past 30 years, that I don't want that hard work to be represented in things.  I don't give a flip if the Jones' have more than us.  I don't care if we're not fashionable or that if you drive by our house and blink you'll probably miss it.  I. don't. care.  What I do care about is that we spend quality time together - being together at the end of our day - talking, checking in, enjoying each others company.  I don't want to have to babysit a bunch of expensive things that will just make us look good in the eyes of people who don't even know us or care about us.  What I care about is falling asleep every night knowing that our house is OURS because we worked really hard to pay off the mortgage and that my car is MINE because we paid off the loan early and we don't owe anyone anything.

I would rather have an emergency fund than a vacation.  Been there done that.  We went through a horrendous year 18 years ago when one summer:  our roof and septic both failed on the same day, and weeks later our daughter suffered a life-threatening illness (and we did not have health insurance).  That was a really hard and humbling lesson in finances.  But, we got through it, learned from it, and took measures to make sure something like that won't happen again.

I believe that to live 'simply' is a huge lesson in patience.  Because you have to wait. You can't buy it if you cannot afford it - because that wouldn't be smart and just doesn't make sense.  (I thought about putting the word 'shouldn't' in that sentence, but if you don't have the money for it - you really 'can't' buy it!)  Do you want something just because you think you need a 'new' one?  Research an item that you're thinking of purchasing. Consider thrift stores and consignment shops.  So many wonderful things are found there because really good, quality products don't go out of style and they oftentimes exceed the products that are manufactured today.

Living simply takes intelligence, patience, gratitude, humility and hard work.  I know, you can be grateful for your great big house(s), or your car that you paid more than the value of my house for, but are those really smart choices? Personally, I don't think so.  I don't begrudge anyone who has those things.  I just know that I would not feel comfortable having too much.

I don't require more than I need.  And I'm pretty happy with that.

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