There are many different ways to live this life. So many choices, that we often don’t even realize we are making.
Much of the way we travel through life, an expression of things we were taught by the experience we were born into, for better or worse.
Living “within your means”, to me, has always meant spending less then I earn. Early in my adult life, I realized that, above all, I did not want to become a slave to my possessions. Debt makes me nervous. This may not be the recipe for accumulating enormous wealth, but it lets me sleep at night. Isn’t it interesting that living “small”, or frugally, seems to be frowned upon in our culture? Or is it just human nature to want to accumulate?
Society, media, government, all tell us that it is our responsibility to consume, acquire, buy more, and bigger. It is easy to rationalize charging it all on credit cards when we really believe we NEED all of these things. I somehow missed that part of the ‘how to be a patriotic American’ indoctrination. I am just not a big consumer. I did try it for a brief stint, but found it left me cranky. Buying is intoxicating, but the high wears off quickly, and I was left pissed off at myself for wasting money that could have been allocated to my next plane ticket.
My “Live small, Travel BIG” motto has not always been easy, I have at times questioned myself. Do I lack drive, ambition? Am I just lazy? Am I missing the boat by not taking advantage of “leverage”? (that oft-heard, cocktail party buzz word of the 90’s) For the last few decades, I watched people pass me by in the race to have a bigger house, newer cars, and more toys, and I wondered, why don’t I want all of that?
Well, I am still not sure what made me a saver, not a spender, but I am damn glad I missed the “credit” boat! (That doesn’t mean I am completely immune, we have a mortgage, and I somehow managed to clutter our little condo with way more “stuff” than we need)
We have to discover our own path to happiness, and I do not presume to have the answers for the rest of you, all I know is that living a simple life that allows me to pack up and GO, is what fulfills me. Maybe, contrary to what has been drilled into us, it is an option for you too? I guess we just continue to strive for balance in our lives.
Recently, I have been feeling an even stronger urge to purge, load the backpacks, and wander the world for a few years. Watch for more to come on those plans! 😉