As we cross over the 50 year old line of our lives I am certain that many feel the same calling that I have felt. It’s is that urge to make our lives a little simpler. That list of tasks we have created to maintain all the things we own and commitments we have made is getting as old as we are.
We wake up one morning and realize that life is passing before us and many of the dreams we once had are being wiped away with something we call the daily grind. Five days out of our week are committed to work, which we all know includes a whole list of other things we need to do and money we need to spend to accomplish our daily grind each day. Our weekends are filled with a list of things we must do that couldn’t be accomplished during the week because we were just too busy working.
Throwing in something special like spending time with family or friends sometimes puts a wrinkle in the schedule we utilize to get things done and we find ourselves falling behind and becoming frustrated over it all.
All across America we have these villages of older folks called 55+ Communities. I don’t know where this idea started, but I find it to be a terrific idea for those of us who are ready to find a simpler way of life. The houses there are much smaller and we need to learn how to let go of many of the things we currently own to make the change into the smaller home. Folks there learn to gather for recreation or social times as they find that there is more time for fun things now that they no longer need to weed the garden, cut the lawn or trim the hedges on the weekend. I heard that small pockets of people actually form daily community events like cooking where one home cooks for another 7 homes just once a week and rest of the week someone else is cooking for us. Small buses are provided for transportation on those days we just don’t want to deal with the stress of driving ourselves.
It sound all so wonderful, but the only problem I find is the location of these communities is usually for out of the City limits we work in. This causes even more of a struggle for those of us still in the work field. I am certainly not willing to spend over 2 hours driving to work in the morning, or dedicated 4 hours of my day being on the road stuck in traffic.
Thoughts of early retirement we ponder only to discover that the cost of health insurance before we reach the age of 65 would break our dreams and chances of living an affordable life. The more we try to find a way the more we discover that some doors are simply closed and only time will be the key that opens those locks.
We realize that our current responsibilities are not going away anytime soon, but is there a way to just reduce the things we own, and the commitments we make? Can we start to prepare now for those things we see in the future?
We could do something totally crazy like start our own business. Yea, that seems to be the answer. We look at the costs of putting a plan like this in motion and the time we would have to dedicate to this task for at least the first 5 years and quickly discover that maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Even the best of intentions could end up in failure and much money could be simply lost. With no job, no health insurance and being close to 60 years old just might be a situation we want to end up in.
No, none of this makes too much sense as we continue to feel so many pressures bestowed upon us and each day it becomes a little more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. We must simply march forward and continue to do all of the little things each day to prepare us for the day to come. This is the rollercoaster of the life of a working person which most of us have purchased our tickets for and willfully gotten onto. We must finish this ride and come off of it in the best physical and mental condition we can.
We must find each day a day of discovery as we work towards creating a simpler life for ourselves. It is not an easy task, but I have found no other alternative. For now I will simply be grateful for the things I do have that bring me joy and continue to rid my life of those things that are not filling my heart with joy. Tomorrow will come as it always does, but for today even in this busy life that I lead there are little discoveries that will lighten my load and bring a smile to my face.