I came from a musical family where my father spent the majority of his life teaching music lessons all over the province. This was a life filled with constant relocation so that my father could find a new crop of students. What this meant was a never-ending stream of new schools, oftentimes a new cultures, and new friends. I guess for me, this was the start of developing a life where substance and possessions were sought after. You see, with all the moves as a child, living on cash flow that seemed to have a lot of thin patches, I longed for what I thought was a more complete life.
A university degree was the first stepping-stone, followed by a graduate degree that would land me a significant job with a steady paycheck, stability, and the opportunity to acquire what I thought I had missed as a child. Then, came the rise in fortunes and new career status along with all the trappings that went with thinking that I needed them to show I had made it. But, also along came the mounting stress of more and more job demands, producing constantly at peak capacity with little time left for me, and a new family.
It got to the point where I lived each day just to reach the weekend. But, as so many realize, the weekends are far too short before you start to dread Sunday evening where your thoughts turn to the dreaded Monday morning. Each Sunday night's sleep seemed to be disrupted with work issues, and the week's toil ahead. Monday morning was no more than a constant routine of alarm clocks, showering, coffee without eating, dressing in suit and tie, and commuting one and a half hours to work.
What had once appeared as the ultimate "I made it" became "I hate it". Each day was filled with thoughts of a more fulfilling life; thoughts that took me back to those simpler days as a child. Reflecting back, I realized that while we didn't have a lot of material things, we never went hungry, we always had clean clothes, we enjoyed simple pleasures of life be it playing music, a family drive to explore uncharted country roads, a family board game, playing cards, or visiting many family friends throughout the countryside.
The ultimate change was near - there was no doubt. But, what would this mean; what would a simpler life look like, feel like? To many people I talked with, a change wasn't just a simple thing like changing a job where greener pastures soon became the same old pasture of before. What change meant to live a simpler life required an abrupt change where there was a whole hearted commitment to live more simply, where you took pleasure in the small things of life, where possessions weren't the driving force but simply things that would make your life easier.
To unfold a simpler life meant that I had to consider leaving my job, seeking new pastures, seeking a totally new way to live that didn't make me feel that Sunday evenings were dreaded. What I needed, in my mind, was to close one door completely, not just a little bit, but completely. It meant that there would be no turning back to days of a secure paycheck, that what I did to have monies to support life would have to be something I looked forward to, something that would allow freedom of expression, freedom to work when I wanted not in relation to when others wanted.
To make part of this story shorter, let me say, upfront, that my altered life style didn't come quickly, or easily. To make significant changes in my life required planning, planning that would see a change in careers, as much as a change in environment. To this end, in the final analysis, meant resigning my job, moving to a country property, and starting a small business. In truth, the first few years weren't easy going as some might lead you to believe. However, with commitment to stay the course, with a life partner who thought the same, came a life filled with simple pleasures, a life where I could do what I wanted with no hassles from bosses, no demands specifically telling me when to work.
Stay the course if you make that decision to change your life and you will reap the benefits.