Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trading Time for Money

In the past, I wrote easily about trading time for money- working less and doing with less money- but over the past year or so I've haven't been able to keep it all in my mind at once.

I think sharing about our lifestyles is generally helpful: not buying new stuff, making food from scratch,  knowing the origin of our food, clothing, stuff, and so on. We can all at least think about our paid work as something that, if it's making you or anyone else on the planet miserable, can and should be given up. I recognize that this is not true for vast swathes of the planet, but it's probably true for most of the people who have access to the internet. And we're the ones selling our souls for money.

At the same time, whereas while Eug, Noah and I were in the midst of getting rid of our stuff and moving to South Africa we felt like brave renegades, now that we're in South Africa I just feel undeservedly lucky. We are probably a combination of lucky, divinely guided, and strategic, but writing about being lucky doesn't seem quite as compelling. It's like recommending everyone wins a metaphoric lottery. Our stepwise plan to simplicity would read a) Win the lottery b) live a simple, generous, non-consumerist lifestyle. Yes. Ok. Will do.

I'm still not sure how to write about it, but I've noticed that our course has always been circuitous, and we didn't have an ambitious end goal when we started out. In fact, we tend to get a new goal just as the old one is coming to fruition. We've very gradually done fewer hours of paid work, and we are almost always able to say "yes!" when a friend asks to come and visit or we get asked to spend time with people. And as our house is gradually less messy, we start to consider what might be next- saving for a small farm? Every season brings with it new goals.  So I'll keep trying to write about the season we're in. Um. Next post.

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