January 24, 2013

Is there less to life than this?

I don't know when I became a planner, maybe I always was one....I do remember driving my ex nuts with moves and trips because I'd want to have an idea of what we were doing before we did it.  On that same hand I have a tendency to just jump into things with both feet, as usual the "Liz Conundrum".  I've been hit in the last year with this incessant need to strip my life down to bare basics and start over.  Like from scratch.  Currently, that is not an option; at least not a comfortable option that I'm willing to jump into.  My mom made a statement once that is dead on:  we spend the first half of our life trying to run as far away from home as we can get, we spend the other half trying to get back.

In a physical, geographical sense, I'm not sure I could live back home and be ok with it.  I've lived in cities around the world, I have a very diverse view of it.  I don't know how well received my attitude would be if I were to try and blend back in.  I was considered "odd" when I was young to begin with, all age has done is cultivate that oddness.  I do, however, want to find some level of simplicity, something that is less stressful, less chaotic.  I'm not the only one who feels this way, I've been hit by a friend or two recently who have either already carved their lives down to base needs or are in the process of doing so.  I want to be one of those people.  Unfortunately, doing that is not so simple as selling what I have and gypsy wagonning it to a different everything.  There are contingencies, and bills, and other people involved in those choices.  So how does one go about achieving said life?  I have no idea.

I know that our home is not horribly excessive, we don't have toys for everyone in the house plus the newest of the new when it comes to the necessities.  We have a modest house, decent running vehicles, most of what we want and all of what we need.  Compared to others who live in this city we are probably one of the most scaled down households.  We do live in a city though, with a city lifestyle.  Nothing but work, leisure that costs money and that ever present need to keep up with those around you. 

Maybe I should clarify "simple life".  There is an argument that having such is equated with poverty or not having the kind of comfortable life that would be considered the "American Dream".  The original American Dream, if I remember correctly, was 40 acres and a mule, not a $250,00 home, two vehicles, a 35' camper and a garage/shop big enough to fit it all.  Enough gadgets to keep the kids out of your hair for days on end?  Mom simply threw us out of the house, shut and locked the door and said don't come back till either I call you or it's sundown.  I remember being locked out of my  house, my best friends house and the neighbor lady's behind us because we weren't supposed to be underfoot causing issue, rotting our brains on tv and eating everything in the pantry.  We were long, tall, skinny girls who could life our weight and run barefoot on rocks and glass. 

On Saturday or Sunday afternoons, the tv in our house (one single tv) would be off, every person would be on a chair or on the bed with a book.  We had one television in the whole house, and ton of books and each of us girls had a radio and games...games coming out of our ears.  Mom cooked no less than twice a day, and my mom worked a 40 hour week at the school dealing with other peoples children.  She still managed to teach us how to take care of a home and how to fend for ourselves.  Life seems to move slower in the country, you learn to make do with what you have, not run out and replace everything that is broken or old.  Bills are going to happen, you pay them when you can.  For years and years I had the notion that I didn't care who I owed, as long as my daughter was fed and warm.  Many times I wiped out the bank account on groceries instead of bills.  I would always make other arrangements.  These days...if a bill is late I panic because along the path money became important.  It never was before. 

Yes, there's a fine line between being poor and living in a simplistic manner.  I know now how to budget in a way that I won't be poor like I have been, but that doesn't mean I need to live in a stressful environment that causes me not to sleep at night.  My child hasn't had the joy of running around all day forgetting that there is even one tv in the house, much less 4.  I mentioned something about living in the middle of the city a while back in front of a surrogate aunt, her reaction was "on purpose??"  At first it bit, but once it sunk in I knew exactly what she was asking me.  She knows me, watched me grow up, and knows that country people can't live this way for long.  She knew I had to be where I am out of bare necessity at this point in life. 

I can't just up and move and reprogram my life right now, Goddess knows I'd do it in a heartbeat if it was a feasible option.  But that day is coming, and when it does, I'll be there, truck full of whatever fits and that's all.  I just hope I make it in time to enjoy it for a little while.



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