by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 2, 2012 - 3 Comments in spirit
I can’t believe it’s already December! Where did the year go? As I posted previously about being thankful, I can’t say it enough, I am so very happy with my life. One reason, and I believe it to be a really big part is the fact that I am content with my life. I don’t have the best money can buy. I don’t have everything I ever wanted. But I am happy and contented with what I have and how I am getting to live. Can you honestly say that?
If you can, then kudos for you, if not, what is it going to take to get you contented? Things? Money? Status? I promise you these things are only things, and if you base your happiness on things, well things break, things wear out, things can be lost and stolen, things can cost more than just money, they can rob your soul of contentment. The same goes for money, it’s often easy come, easy go, and status? Well, that can come crashing down around your ears with just a well placed rumor or two.
I’m not blowing smoke here, I’m not some guru trying to sell my next book on happiness, I’m speaking from experience, I’m living it, and you can too. That’s not to say that life is easy or that there will not be bumps in the road, sometimes actual roadblocks, the trick is not to get so focused on the bumps and blocks that you forget your goals are beyond them.
Living a simple life, for me is part of my contentment. I am able to do that because I made a conscious decision to leave behind the fast, busy, stressful life I used to live. I used to work 2 jobs to make ends meet, and believe me, I was often one paycheck (or less) away from those ends not meeting. So I took the money I had scrimped and saved over the years, the money I was planning on using for my retirement and purchased 6 acres on a mountainside, in the high desert of far west Texas. I am so glad I made that decision when I did, within a few months of pulling out my money, the market dropped and my savings would have gone down to nearly nothing, I doubt I would have been able to pull that back up to what it was when I liquidated. It wasn’t a lot of money, and would have made a very poor retirement if I were still living in the city.
I didn’t mention but I worked for a big box electronics company, I started out full time, but dropped back to part time, it was the last 4-5 years when I worked part time, the company decided to allow the part timers to have access to the employee stock purchase. I immediately signed up and put in the maximum I could invest from each paycheck, it amounted to about $70 a pay period (every 2 weeks), or about $140 a month, we aren’t talking about the big bucks here. But since I left it alone and only cashed in when I was ready to buy land, honestly I didn’t even know how much I had until the last year I worked. It IS possible to save money for what you really want to do, even on a part time paycheck.
I know I just said that you shouldn’t base your happiness on money and things, but there is a smart way and a not so smart way to live your life (and spend your hard earned money), I made the decision to spend what money I did have to create a more peaceful and easy to live life for myself. Instead of buying a car that would break down, instead of buying bling that would be meaningless, instead of going on a vacation, I spent wisely and ended up in a place and situation where I can eventually retire and live in a contented way.
Of course it helps to have a great man by my side to help me live this wonderful life. It’s not a requirement to be a couple though, I know many single women who are also living their dream, who took the leap of faith and left their old lives to start new lives off the grid. One notable one is Denese, aka the Desert Rose, she lives in Terlingua Texas. There are also lots of ladies I know, some are older, some have medical problems, but they still live on their own in my neighborhood, while not off grid, they are tough west Texas ladies.
For me, it was a real leap of faith, leaving my family, my friends, my jobs, everything I knew behind, some 500 miles away to be precise. I’m no spring chicken, but I’m not exactly ready for retirement either, I’m somewhere in the middle, slowly leaning more toward retirement than just starting out in life. Leaps of faith can be scary, but the rewards are priceless. I promise that no one ever wishes on their deathbed that they had worked more hours and lived less life or had more stuff. So what are your dreams? What are you doing to achieve them? What are you waiting for? You are not promised tomorrow, you only have today, right now. Set some goals, make a plan and do what it takes to achieve those goals.