People ask me if it is easier to live a simple, minimalist type of life when you are older. I believe that it is. Of course I wish I had started living this way from the very first day I was on my own, but then again when I look back at all of the mistakes I had made in life with handling money it makes me realize that it is the reason I live so frugal today.
My life is made up of a scheme of changes developed from reflexions on my past decisions. It certainly would have been more convenient if it were other peoples mistakes that I learned from, but as it goes it doesn’t always work out that way. I don’t know if it was lack of good information or just my own ego that caused me to just sign on the dotted line. I thought that driving a nice car meant I was doing well or upgrading to a larger house was status symbol. If other’s had the latest greatest gadgets then I must be missing something if I don’t have them too. I worked long hard hours to keep up with paying interest on a bunch of stuff I really didn’t need or want only to look back and barely remember the stuff I purchased.
When I do reflect on years gone past it is always the people and adventures we went on. The picnics, the mountain hikes and days on the beach. All the money that was spent on purchasing a bunch of stuff would have been better served just remaining in the bank. And all of the long hard hours worked to acquire these things was wasted time.
I think that when one wakes up and realizes that life is short and our years of youth ore behind us we also discover that we have a lot of catching up to do. Not only with our savings, but also with spending our time doing those things we actually enjoy doing. We understand that we were all caught up in the commercial game of getting ahead only to realize that we fell behind.
I still make purchases today but they are much different than yesterday as every purchase I make has some sense of value behind it. If I decide to bring an item into my house it must pose a significant value in my life. It has to serve me and not the other way around. I no longer care about what others own and really don’t care about what they think about the way I live. My job is not a status symbol, but a simple means of earning money and each dollar I earn is treated with respect as it is a symbol of the precious hours I attributed to it.
For me it took until the year 50 to understand modern life. For others it may not take so long or it may take longer. Either way I believe that we all have a wake up call in life and we have the choice to ignore it or finally commit to making changes. It’s not all about trying to create a comfortable life in retirement but rather finding peace through a life of less stress right now. Each day is a new celebration of the wonders that surround us and how we are all a part of it. I choose not to miss a single moment of being a part of seeing the sun rise over the mountain range or the occasional rainbow smiling down from the heavens or the opportunity to see two birds playing in the trees. I hike with the noticed feeling of the ground under my feet or just how that river is flowing next to me. The health of my garden is more important to me than the car parked in my driveway and certainly brings me more joy. I don’t just live with my spouse but rather love her more than anything else that takes part of my days and nights. It is all of these things and more that touch my soul and give meaning to the word living.
So yes, it is much easier living a simple, minimalistic life over 50. A Simple Life Over 50.