Many people claim to long for the simple life while pursuing anything but. It is less about hypocrisy and more about role models. They know all about the daily grind but have no idea what the simple life looks like when done right. They are all too aware of what the life of poverty and homelessness looks like. There is such a thing as a life that is too simple. It becomes so stripped of means and meaning that it becomes the model of complexity rather than simplicity.
It might be easier to realize the simple life by eliminating the complexity of the average life. Rather than envisioning life from scratch, start with the life you have and work backwards from there. Don’t think about what you can add to simplify your life. Think about what you can subtract. This way of thinking is a little counter-intuitive. Think about what it would mean to create a simpler workspace.
You wouldn’t need to buy a new desk. You would need to start with the desk you have and remove everything that doesn’t directly contribute to your productivity. Once you get it down to the minimum, you only add back the things you can’t live without, and nothing more. Here are some ways to apply that to other parts of your life:
A Simpler Wedding
Do you really want to invest $34,000 in a wedding ceremony and reception? That was the average cost of a wedding in 2019. I suspect things would have been very different had those couples foreseen the nightmare hellscape of 2020 bearing down on them. They might have made different choices and simplified their unions.
Instead of going with the biggest diamond they could fit on their hand, they might have chosen something more practical like more simple wedding rings. One’s profession of love and intent does not also have to be a commitment to lifelong debt to the jewelry store. By simplifying the wedding and all its many trappings, you will have more money for a down payment to a house, a second vehicle, a college fund for the future kids, or just about anything else that might come up.
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend $4,000 on the wedding and put $30,000 in savings? Your new life will be no less spectacular if it doesn’t start off featuring a ceremony with live flamingos. In almost every case you can read about not involving the royals, a simpler wedding is a better wedding.
A Simpler Lunch
Austin Texas is one of the more interesting towns in America because it has the flare of a big city and the relaxed pace of a simpler place. You can live as large as you like without also having to be pretentious in any way. Complicated things can be a lot simpler in Austin. Lunch is a good example.
In places like Los Angeles, depending on the crowd you run with, lunch can be an extremely complex ordeal. Try simplifying your 30 minute break by choosing one of the best food trucks in Austin. Your taste buds and dietary requirements will be met because of the great variety you have in the area. But at the end of the day, you are going to be able to enjoy the simplicity of something that could be quickly produced in a truck. It is just good, honest food.
A Simpler Vacation
At some point in your life, you are going to end up going on a vacation that was more stressful than just staying home and going to work. You will have that moment when you realize you need a vacation from your vacation. When you start over-complicating your vacations, it is time to consider a simpler life starting with how you enjoy your time off.
Instead of booking the 4-week extravaganza to parts unknown, why not schedule several 3-day weekend getaways to nearby parks. Take a delightful road trip. Go camping. Visit a nearby landmark or national treasure. Do the kinds of things that tend to create relaxation rather than stress. Stop taking vacations for Instagram and start taking them for your peace of mind.
Start living the simple life by crafting a simpler wedding, having a simpler lunch, and refreshing yourself with simpler vacations. You will find that the simpler life is often the one that is most fulfilling.