That title is enough to make a lot of people cringe these days. Who wants less? More is better! Eh, not always. I’m actually learning to embrace a life that used to drive me nuts and make me constantly depressed. I’m actually looking at the rest of the US and thinking people are pretty much crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I like having stuff. I also like having money. However, I’m realizing that stuff and money aren’t what make a person happy. They’re nice, and money helps get stuff done, but it’s not all there is to life. I’ve been “poor” most of my life, and for the longest time it was horrible to me. I’m better off now, but by no means well off, and yet I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.
I put “poor” in quotes because the word indicates a state of lack and conjures feelings of “oh poor me” and of their being something wrong with the situation. I was poor and happy once, but I didn’t really appreciate it. The changes I’ve been going through in the last year have made me remember how that was possible, and made me embrace the simple fact that poor is largely a state of mind.
There are people in the world who hardly have anything. They might have three sets of clothing, no TV, no car, little or no money, and yet they’re immensely happy. “But how is that possible without money and stuff?!” you ask. It’s possible when you learn that there’s more to life.
I don’t have a car or a cell phone, and I don’t really care. There’s transportation when I need it and I can always borrow a phone. The TV isn’t mine, but we have a nice one. I share a home with three other people, but it’s safe and nice enough. I can sit outside, I can have long talks with people I love. I have good food and a cat and bird that I love. Having a bunch of stuff would likely only distract me from what I already have.
Over the years I had to sell off a lot of my stuff, I had things stolen and things got destroyed. I learned to live with less, and I got to where I mostly liked it. The lack of money has taught me the joys of online TV with someone you love, playing board games with family, and sitting outdoors enjoying nature. I make things rather than buying whenever I can. I reused out of necessity, now I do it just because I want to. I’ve found good and happiness without all the clutter.
Do I want more stuff? Not much really. I actually went through my amazon Wish List last week and took a lot off because I realized it was just useless stuff. Do I want more money? Yeah, but I’m not killing myself to keep up with anyone else’s income anymore. And oddly, the less I care about money the more I seem to get, so I guess it all works out.
In the end, I’m grateful for what I have and I appreciate the things I get a lot more than most people. I don’t take things for granted and I’m not wasteful. I’m happier now than I’ve been in a long time, even though I have less than I’ve had at other times and a lot less than some other people. I guess my priorities have shifted, and I’m thinking that’s a pretty good thing.