Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy For Me To Say

Art Journal collage, May 2014
Situations vary.  We've each got our own circumstances to deal with in life that will inevitably determine what we're able to do toward simplification.

I say this because I know my situation is different from anyone else's.  Therefore, while what I've been able to let go of might seem radical in the context of your lives, it's worked for me, for who I am.

I am a single (solo, unattached), poor (financially only, certainly not in terms of spirit), senior woman.  I never had kids.  I have no family (of origin).  I live on social security only and because all my work was in the usually-underpaid nonprofit sector, and because I had to take chunks of time off between jobs because my soul hated working and I needed to be creative for unpaid lengths of time, my monthly income is low enough that it just covers my rent and monthly expenses.

It's actually always been this way for me, but I resisted reality for all of my adult life and consequently got myself in a bit of debt trying to keep up with the world.  Of course, that's all over now, the striving and the debt, and I'm a lot better off for it.  I used to feel like a victim of circumstance ~ primarily the lack of money to do what everybody else seemed to be able to do ~ but from my current vantage point, the lack of financial resources has turned out to be a huge blessing.

We've all seen photos of people in "disadvantaged" countries all over the world who are happy with their lot.  They have little (compared to folks in industrialized nations), yet their lives are intrinsically happy ones.  They value life for what it is, not for it's comforts and conveniences and worldliness and having a lot of truly insignificant stuff.  This is me, now.

It was relatively easy for me to offload 80 percent of my stuff because I didn't have any option other than to move to a way way smaller place.  Necessity was the mother of big change for me.  And not just in terms of downsizing stuff.  I've seen myself grow inwardly and spiritually, watched my attitudes and values change.

From my personal experience I can say that modern life, they way the system wants us to live it, is nothing but entertainment and distraction...and then we die.  Being the inveterate soul searcher that I am, that kind of life was never good enough for me, because it's a complete waste of a life on earth.  When I look at my entire adult life in retrospect, where I am now is the perfect place for me to be given all the experiences I've had, all my esoteric leanings, all the places I've been and the things I've learned about myself.  I seriously don't think it would have turned out this way had I had an easier time of it in life, financially.

And also ~ I am an introvert, a real introvert, the kind who regenerates her energy by being alone 95 percent of the time, the kind who prefers her own company to that of anybody else (except BeeGee).  I'm a highly sensitive person, which means I feel things more deeply than a lot of folks in the world and that too many possibilities, too many choices or options for anything can be completely overwhelming and enervating.  So letting go of a lot of things ~ possessions, the "need" to travel, massive modern conveniences, knowing what's going on everywhere in the world, filling myself up with useless entertainments and distractions ~ was absolutely no problem for me.

So there you have the context for me simplifying my life.  I'll spell out a few more specifics next time.

Meanwhile, here are two extremely good blogs, and each has a Facebook page as well ~ The Minimalists, and Becoming Minimalist.

See you in a couple days.  xo


Anonymous said...

Perfect words "nothing but entertainment and distraction...and then we die"....I shall check out the blogs you mentioned. I was realizing that while I feel quite blessed with our life, I really enjoy good old fashioned work which is why I don't mind tackling a project. There is something so soul satisfying about creating in nature for me. and I get the 95% of time on my own thing even though I am married because I am an only child and need to be alone to recharge and be creative. xox

Anna H said...

Connie, I love reading your posts, you have me "pegged". I am very much a minimalist, living on Social Security, and prefer being alone and with my dogs to being out and about.There is way too much negative stimuli in the world, and I try to avoid it. I also don't buy anything unless I "need" it, and when I have the money for it. I am also constantly clearing out and getting rid of superfluous things in my life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and lifestyle, as it helps me to know I am not alone with my ideas.

Sarah said...

You could be describing me - introverted, highly sensitive, never had much money... And happy with that. I'd rather be time rich!

Sandra Rude said...


Diana Angus said...

Wow. We have more than just a birthday to share. You are authentic and have integrity. You are rich beyond the millionaires.

Maggi said...

Thank you.

Elizabeth Bennett said...

Adding my thanks, not just for these words but all the valuable words and ideas and insight (not to mention beauty and art) you share.

Valerie Kamikubo said...

Thanks for the links. I've always thought of you as a wise soul.

Angie Willis said...

Your post really resonated with me because I have a relative in a similar position as you but who cannot see the positive side of things as you do. I copied the link to her - I hope you don't mind.

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

What really struck me about this post is that you have been able to discover the core of your being, accept and embrace it by making the necessary changes in your life to accommodate your true needs. I don't think a lot of people reach that level, which might explain why there are so many unhappy people in the world. You continue to inspire by sharing your journey... thank you!

Threadpainter said...

Being alone to work, to think, to find myself, is the greatest luxury I know.
To simplify, as you have, is a just a dream at this time ... a husband of 42 yrs, 4 adult children and 10 gr. kids keep me in this crazy busy world ... but maybe someday a little 'aloneness' will be mine.
Your words are inspiring.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I have so enjoyed these past two posts where you have written about your designed way of life and also the comments have been inspiring. Wow to the cheesecake too!

Charlton Stitcher said...

I've been thinking ever since I looked at this post yesterday - so much here to inspire and consider.
Then this morning I was reading one of Alison Britton's collected writings in her book 'Seeing Things' - a fascinating read if it's new to you. She says 'Feeling at odds with one's surroundings is often what motivates artists - there is a need to make up for deficiencies, to fill in the gaps, to provide the previously unthought of' and this seemed to me to chime with so much of what you've been writing recently.
I know that I couldn't live such a solitary life and have need for close relationships (indeed I feed off them) but I admire you for having and especially for writing these thoughts and for playing life in your own unique way ... filling in the gaps for yourself.
Now, that's an empowering and uplifting thought that I need to take away from your post.