Simplifying Life Is Complicated
I've threatened to do this for years. Simplify. It certainly takes a lot of complicated decisions to simplify a life. There is one good lesson I've learned: When you simplify your life, you need to let go. Let go of A LOT of "THINGS".
I think I speak for most of us when I say that our life journey so often revolves around the things we think we just "had to have". That brand new car with all the gadgets, the new clothes, shoes, the bigger and better house.... the list goes on and on. I think it is a well designed trap. A trap to keep us enslaved into a never ending cycle of earn and spend, earn and spend ... and somewhere in the middle there is a bit of saving that goes on too (if you're lucky). Saving for those unforeseen emergencies, the college education, the new house, the new car, retirement.
Earning, spending and saving all require one thing. MONEY. One of Webster's dictionary definitions of money is: something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment. Hmmm. Let's see. Picking some of the definitive's: exchange, value, payment. So, are we exchanging value (of life) for payment of things? I believe in most cases, yes.
That brings me to my life journey over the past few years. In 2009 I was tasked with laying my former husband and my daughters father to rest in Costa Rica. It was a fast, furious, sometimes unpleasant but mostly enlightening trip. My daughter and I were only there for a week but it changed our lives forever. There was very little material wealth or worldly possessions known to the people who called my late husband "friend". But they had something more. It was the sense of community; family; faith; the sharing; loving of life; laughter. And it was very easy going. So unlike our life here in the USA. It was Pura Vida - Pure Life.
I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Belize in 2011 and stay with some exceptional people in Corozal Town. Again, I was brought back to the simpler and easy way of life without all of the hustle and bustle of what we have become accustomed to in the US of A.
Those experiences started me on this journey to live in Belize for a year and to re-evaluate what I considered important in my life. My family & friends? YES. Material things? Questionable. Money? Necessary. It was hard to simplify. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do. What to keep, what to sell, what to donate? What's important? I was very lucky, indeed, to have the help of family and friends to assist me in evaluating these judgments.
The journey we allow ourselves to take in life is one of the most important decisions we'll make.
What can I learn from other cultures, other countries, other ways of life? I'm about to find out...and trying to keep it simple along the way. Thank you for joining me on my journey!