Yearning for the Simple Life

As I immerse myself more and more into the FIRE community, I find myself yearning for a simpler life. I see the pictures and read the blog posts of those who have already achieved financial independence. Some are living life constantly on the road, others take a period to slow travel and more still just sit back for a while and embrace a new, simpler way of life.

Maybe this yearning is partly to do with age and partly just general weariness with the prison sentence of working life. Certainly in years gone by I was happy throwing myself into work, giving my all to climb ever higher up the corporate ladder, scooping up the financial rewards that went with it.

But the passing of time brings ever-increasing resentment. Not just of the hours lost at my desk that I can never get back, but everything that goes along with it. Sitting in traffic. Getting angry with other drivers, knowing there is nothing to be angry about but feeling wound up anyway. Time and money spent on make-up, haircare and clothes in order to conform to the corporate standard. Irritation when yet another late night call is added to my diary. Stress on top of stress on top of stress.

It’s the latter lifestyle that appeals to me. I spend so much time in an office every day, staring out of the window as I endure yet another endless and soul sucking conference call. Daydreaming as a survival tactic just to get through the day. But contrary to what I would have thought even six months ago, I’m not dreaming of a palm fringed sandy beach, the ice in my cocktail chinking delicately against the glass (although I can conjure that picture up nicely if I want to 😊). Nope, my daydreams are centred around home.

I have always been a home bird. The phrase “no place like home” was written for me. Not because I live anywhere particularly special – although I admit I have lived in the same house for 18 years and have wonderful memories here. Thinking back to when I was at my poorest – living in a room in a run-down student house – when I shut my bedroom door and left the world outside, I still loved that feeling of being “home”.

I have written before about being a single parent, holding down a high pressure job and working towards financial independence. I may not have a partner to help but I am not super woman by any means. To hold all that together and be even remotely successful at any of it requires a team. House cleaner, window washers, gardener, handyman, dog sitter – these are all essential and highly appreciated members of the team. In years past, it also included child-minders and until very recently also grandparents, transported in from eight hours away to help with the family when I needed to travel.

All of the above costs money and adds a hefty chunk to my expenses at a time when I am doing everything possible to keep expenses low. But I have never felt guilty about paying for help. I am only human and I am very aware that I can’t be full-time Finance Director at work and still keep a clean home, the lawn mowed, do all my own house maintenance, run rental houses, make money on the side* and have energy left to be present for my children in the precious few hours I get with them.

But there’s a difference between feeling guilty and feeling resentful. I still resent paying other people to do things I could so easily do myself, if only I had the time.

I want to mow my own lawn.

I want to vacuum my own carpet.

As mundane as those things may seem, I am craving the opportunity to be bored by them. Boredom sparks creativity and I am curious about where that will lead.

I want to watch The Great British Bake-Off and be inspired to fill my home with tantalising baking smells.

I want to clear out the spare room, sell off all the things we don’t use and feel lifted of the burden of having so much “stuff”.

The simple things, the everyday boring household tasks, the taking control of my environment, the being both boss and labourer in my own castle – these are the things that are pulling me.

So it is control that I am craving. Control over my day / my surroundings / the people I interact with. Nobody comes in to my castle without me first opening the door after all.

I’m aware there must be an element of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence. But once I have hopped over, the grass on this side will wither up and die for a while. There will be no looking back with envy for a working life – of that, I am sure.

Over time, the prison cell will crumble and nature will reclaim this plot of land that was once my working life and fill it with something new and green and vibrant. A whole new life to look forward to and aspire to and create. Where the grass is equally green on both sides of the fence.

grass hd wallpaper lake landscape

 

* (affiliate link relevant only to UK folk)

 

 

15 thoughts on “Yearning for the Simple Life”

  1. Beautifully written. This sounds wonderful. You speaking of taking control and caring for your own castle makes me think of a domestic moment I had recently: I accidentally got wrangled into watering my neighbor’s plants daily (my bad for not asking for specifics before volunteering) and it felt like a chore. The days were consistently 90 degrees and I had to walk over there, battle some spiders and water all these veggies outside. But after doing that every day for 2 weeks I started enjoying it. The vegetables started growing and changing colors and I thought “I did that! I helped it become a real bell pepper!” I have never felt that kind of accomplishment from house work before – it just felt like one more annoying thing on my endless to-do list. I’m going to try and infuse this feeling you describe when I’m frustrated I have to do the dishes or vacuum the carpet 🙂 . Thank you for your wise words. I look forward to you hopping the fence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well anything that makes your domestic moments less frustrating is good, so I’ll take that! I imagine you reading this post with an “eughhhhh” since my aspirations are polar opposite to yours 😀

      Like

    1. It does – and I’m making the most of it more than I have ever done before. It’s helping my mental well-being a lot. Surprising what a difference taking a lunch break in my own garden, throwing the ball for my dog makes. Plus she sits with me all day and sends me love like my very own cheer leader 😂

      Like

      1. So much this! That’s awesome. Working from home has helped me SO much. Being able to go over to my partner and ask him for a hug after a hard meeting is hard to beat (though having a pup hug sounds even better!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, do I ever love this post. I agree 100% about the simple life, and I especially like the point about control. There’s a certain level of fulfillment you attain by setting a goal and then completing it yourself as opposed to being told what to do. I know that feeling of having simple tasks that you want to do. I’m an introverted person and more of a home body too. This life you describe sounds fantastic. I’ve blogged about mine before and it’s similar. I just want time to blog full-time and work on investing more. I want more time to cook healthier meals and to be able to take mid day walks. I want a slower pace. Mostly I just want to control the time and I actually want to work harder on my own stuff. Thanks for sharing this post. I really enjoyed the read. Well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you on the be at home more. I’m not interested in lots of travel when we FIRE. I’m looking forward to feeling like I have enough time to make bread, to bake, to be out in the garden daily rather than once every so often to blitz it. What I want is time, my time, my days, my weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The palm fringed sandy beach, with cocktail in hand does feature in my plans but I don’t yearn to be on the road travelling all the time – like you, what I’m looking forward to spending more time at home doing the things I enjoy doing. With these sunny days we’ve been having, I’ve been spending hours in the garden just reading but come Sunday evening, part of me feels like I’ve ‘wasted’ the day doing ‘nothing’. When I no longer need to go into work on a Monday, I won’t have these feelings of guilt any more.

    It is all about taking control – with you, the work/life balance isn’t quite there and the work is sucking all your energy. Small wonder that you are counting down the days til you can FIRE.

    Mowing your own lawn and vacuuming your own carpet? I don’t mind doing the latter but when I’m not working, I’ll still be paying for a gardner as I know I would ‘never get round’ to doing the garden and it would be a mess (and I won’t do such a good job!)

    Anyway, wishing you and your family a fabulous holiday!

    (sorry if this appears twice – I got an error message first time)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I think I am the opposite – on weekend days when I’ve had loads going on I feel like I’ve wasted the day when I could have been at home relaxing and reading 😊
      Thanks for the kind wishes, here’s to returning with a new lease of life.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.