Living simply..it’s a little complex

I’m a big believer in simple living.  If it were realistic to live without a mobile phone and just rely on the post and a single home phone, like the 1980’s model above, I’d be quite happy.  I have an iPhone completely void of any apps and am often asked ”why no apps, why no apps?” but for me, the less buttons, the better (I am scared of apps like ‘angry birds’.)

In fact ironically, despite being a blogger, I find myself less and less inclined to use my laptop as well.  I often feel that time is best spent on simple pleasures – cooking, reading, walking, playing, gardening, preparing a proper pot of tea…even just having a bit of time to stop and think (gasp!).

So you could say I like the idea of a fairly basic, pared-down life…circa 1920’s, but with modern conveniences, of course.

Oh, but if only leading a simple life was that simple!  Because like most people, I’m not that one-dimensional.

Despite my appreciation of living simply and unhurried – without that frantic pressure so many of us find upon ourselves nowadays – there’s a part of me that always wants to do more, to achieve more for myself, as an individual.  For quite some time now I have considered what I want to turn to career-wise.

Having kids has completely changed the professional outlook I had.  I fall neatly into the ”career woman who earnt good money working long hours and taking work home then had kids and don’t ever want to return to my old career, but now at a crossroads” cliche.

Right now I do work part-time, but it’s not a career move, more a lifestyle decision, and it’s perfect – for now.  Certainly not what I really want to do as my main ‘thing’.

But how many of us know what we really, passionately want to do?  I have so many things I like to do running through my head all the time.  I like a lot of things.  I don’t love just one thing.  That can suck when you’re wanting to carve a new path for yourself.

And how many of us get the opportunity to actually do it?  Fortunately for me, I might just have the chance to.  If of course, I knew what that one thing actually was…

Or, maybe I just think too much.

Now, where was that good book I was reading….

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216 responses to “Living simply..it’s a little complex

  1. I think you summed it up perfectly. I’ve been trying to decide over the past year or so what it is that I actually want to do – baking, photography, start my own business, go back to food tech, retrain in something new entirely – after a year or so of musing I’m no closer to defining what it is I want to do. I keep hoping something will become clear with the passing of time but so far no joy – how long does one wait for the epiphany?

    Oh and just spotted that on your things I love list bruschetta – our fav local italian in Sydney used to give you complimentary bruschetta on arrival- oh how I miss it – aside from the fact a bowl of my favourite pasta was only $13 and it was an amazing family friendly restaurant…….

    • I was getting to thinking that there’ll be a time when you just know & it’ll all come to you. But then yes, how long do you wait? In fairness though, I think it’s perfectly fine to cut ourselves some slack while the kids are not yet at school. I’ve been given that advice more than once.

      I forgot you had the food tech background…that plus your baking skills would make for a perfect entry into the world of catering or a new food product? But then you have to want to do it of course, that’s the clincher!

      • I’m not sure that moment ever comes. I often have felt the way you described. I have so many interest. I think instead of waiting to figure it out though, it’s best to just … do. Start something, and the rest will follow. You will either grow in that one thing or move on to something else. Either way, you will learn something from it and get closer to whatever is next.

        Also, what about writing? You seem to be quite good at it. Thank you for posting!

  2. This is beautiful…and so true.

    I have been recently contemplating the idea of giving up the “day job” in order to really challenge myself, taking my part-time freelance writing career and turning it full time. There’s my passion in life. The day job, I find, serves as a (secure, consistent) distraction,

    Living simple would be great — if only it were that simple! You’re very blessed to be on that path.

    (And btw, Angry Birds sorta scares me, too…)

    • Count me in! I feel glad that there are some people who are trekking the same road as me, being at the crossroads of life. It is actually very confusing. It’s like each day becomes a waste hoping for the epiphany to knock on my door. When I know that time seems to rush us to tick off a decision where we can be settled, passionate about, and happy.

  3. I could have written your post word for word. I am at that crossroads right now after having been home for almost 10 years raising kids. What do I want to be when I grow up? I hope I find out very soon. And I hear you on simplifying things. Too much technology is cluttering up my life and my mind. I am giving up blogging for the summer (just need to work on giving up commenting apparently) Great post, congrats on being FP.

  4. I love your post–especially the notion of stepping away from the laptop and really living–simply living!

    And congrats on Fresly Pressed! Blogging is clearly your thing!

    Kathy

  5. Alison,

    I am beginning to feel exactly the same way. Wonder if I need something like bee pollen to make me feel more re-connected with life. So tired of all the gadgets that distract me from the beauty that is all around me. I think, maybe, they are attempting to plug us all into the MATRIX.

    Keep Writing! It was great to read this today

    Angelique

  6. I know exactly what you mean. Living simply is quite complex — and I think that’s the beauty of it. Living simply is a daily decision we must make, I think. I suppose this is why when we don’t make that decision, the opposite of simple happens all on its own.

    Myself, I’m a jack of all trades, so I can definitely commiserate since my own life is a muddle of hobbies, plans and ambitions. Personally, I think it’d be foolish to assume you could choose just one thing that would make you happy in regards to a career. Though you try to live simply, you’re not a simple person — everyone has so many facets, after all. My own personal strategy is to pursue everything, to learn everything that interests me, and to attempt to accomplish everything I aspire to. So far, I’ve found that — within that pursuit, within that learning, and withing that struggle to accomplish — my truer ambitions make themselves known and making a “decision” becomes as easy as recognizing your own face in the mirror.

    • Thank you for this. A very insightful reply.

      It is especially meaningful for me as I have just recently begun blogging, something I thought I would never do. But, a series of circumstances, like tumbling dominoes, have and are still falling into place and here I am on the World Wide Web.

      Where that pursuit (and fun) will take me…who knows, but a decision or direction is becoming clearer.

      A consequence of that pursuit is that I am simplifying my life by getting rid of stuff. Amazing how freeing that is, and my house looks better too.

  7. Pardon me for butting in, but I’d just like to say that I am about to be 61 and am still swithering about what to do when I grow up….will have to make my mind up soon as I’m becoming a grandma in November!

  8. I loved your post. I couldn’t agree with you more and I can completely sympathize with your dilemma.

    I lived in downtown Toronto, Canada for years and got sucked into the rat race and gadget-crazed mindset. Before I started working, I was a full time student and my apartment looked like a museum setting from 1950. I had a rotary phone, a physical answering machine (I had no idea they’re still made!), and no t.v. That was my haven.

    I’m still t.v. free (my roommate has one but I just use it to watch DVDs) 5 years later and love it. I actually picked up and moved from Toronto to Nova Scotia because I was done with the consumerism and pace of life in Southern Ontario. Besides getting my dog, the move was the best decision of my life and I don’t regret it one moment.

    I think you’ve made it through the hardest part in your quest from simplifying life. There are always little things you can do (my favourite is to literally stop and smell the flowers) to slow down your life a bit. It’s so nice to find someone who also prefers simplicity. Good luck with your quest! The right path is out there and you’ll find it when the time’s right.

  9. The longer you practice actions in order to live more simply, the easier it gets. I promise. Most of it is a process of values clarification and taking another look at the same problems, and another.

    Just as an example, if you don’t need a mobile and a land-line phone, why have a land-line? And if you don’t need apps, why have an iPhone? You do know they charge twice as much to provide the data service on smart phones as on simple mobiles, right? if you don’t need text, don’t pay for that either. The underlying rule is that coolness is worthless. Pay only for what you use, and not a cent for what you “might find useful someday”. That’s like getting a teaching certificate to have “something to fall back on”. If you do fall back on it, and you don’t really want to be a teacher, you’ll hate your own life.

    I do sympathize, however, since we are now living simpler ourselves having previously been high-powered, materialistic workaholics. I often write about it. Best wishes toward your continuing to learn to live on less, use less, recycle and re-purpose more, and grow wiser in the assurance that less is more.

  10. It isn’t in me to live simply. I tried once. I went mad and sold stuff on Ebay and bought no new electronics etc, but it lasted a very short time. I decided I like the lasted gadget and there was no point fighting it. It my only vie 🙂 LOL

  11. What a refreshingly honest look at living simply. I, too, try that unhurried thing. We don’t even have a data plan on our phones, and only got texting ability a few months ago.

    I feel very blessed to know what direction I want my career to take. Only, I’m not “career-minded.” Having four kiddos we homeschool kind of keeps the lid on that. However, I’ve been able to start slow, and plan on growing my business little-by-little, as my kids grow. I’m a certified labor doula and am working on my certification to teach childbirth education classes. It’s super-uber-awesome work, and the more I do it, the more I KNOW I’m supposed to.

    I like a lot of things too, but I LOVE birth work. It’s fantastmical! (I like making up words.)

    I’m sure you’ll find your niche soon enough – and when you do, you’ll know it. 🙂

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed today! I loved your post.

  12. Well said! I’m with you on the living simply path. I’ve even considered the old telephone concept, too. 🙂 One of my cousins lives that way…with no cell phone & he loves it. I keep my cell phone simple & my computer use simple, as well. My hubby & I even gave up Facebook over the last few months (not without a few disgruntled comments from folks because “that’s how they stay in touch”). It just sucked away too much of life for us. And people can always find us by phone or email (or even by reading our blogs!). Stay focused on your goals & you will most certainly live a more satisfied & joyful life.

  13. I too have no iPhone apps and I love this post because I feel like I can relate. I too would like to concentrate on the simple pleasures but it’s almost as if you can’t get away from technology even if you try!

  14. I think it’s not clear…every job has some drudgery and we know that deep down. I think wanting a shiny new career often means wanting no drudgery — after years as a freelance writer I’d rather do almost anything else, while people like Mikalee (and many others) fantasize about what a great life it could be for them, if only…

    I think the best jobs combine a number of the things we like to do. Then…are we qualified? What’s the competition? The pay? Tedious practical details.

  15. I’m completely with you on this! I feel as if life has become so complicated and busy because of technology. I know it’s a good thing and some of the trends are great. But I actually enjoy my simple life and think it’s better because of it. I don’t own an iPad, iPhone, or even iPod. And you know what? That’s okay!

  16. I never understood why my boyfriend is so glued to his laptop. He spends most of his down time on it and I can never figure out what you can do for that long on a computer. I work at a desk all day interning, and I get bored after 30 minutes if I have no work to do. I have the W.W.W. at my fingertips and yet it just doesn’t interest me. I’d rather do a puzzle.

    I also am looking to make sure that whatever I do in my career is something I am passionate about. It’s why I got a degree in Journalism, I love to write. It’s also why I blog (one of the things I actually enjoy doing at a computer).

    I hope that I can remain as simplistic and happy in whatever I do. Less is more in my life!

    • I, too, know a few people who are incessantly glued to their laptops whether they’re at home or at work. Personally, it’s not for me. A guilty secret of mine: I usually do all of my “personal” stuff at work on breaks so that — by the time I get home — I’m even less inclined to sit in front of a screen for even more of my day. I mostly feel the same way about television. My partner and made a pact to stop eating dinner or breakfast in front of the television. What did we find out? We have lots to talk about and we even enjoy our food more.

      But, what’s good for some isn’t good for others. Saying you don’t watch television or spend hours a day web-surfing (at least in America) is likely to get you blank stares and people tend to think you’re holier-than-though.

      • Okay… I totally didn’t mean to mistype “holier-than-THOU”. (not to mention how I left “I” out of “my partner and *I*”.

  17. Post to make one pause. Very nicely said. : ) Sometimes taking a step back and just being in a simple moment can actually be not so simple. Something I need to practice more often I am sure.

  18. My Dear Melburne Momma. Just recently I was forced into making that decision and there is no looking back. Instead of getting another full-time Job I, at the age of 43 am throwing caution to the wind and looking for part-time work so I can spend 70 hours per month in my ministry and also write full time. These are dreams that have been in my heart for over 20 years and it’s time to take the plunge.

    I must say it’s no less scary deciding to make this move then it would be finding yourself in a situation where you are forced to make a decision. But it comes down to this, Quality of Life versus Quantity of Life’s luxuries. You heard the old adage, “You can’t take it with you.” So when you die and everyone you love is at your home remembering you, what memories do you want them to have? What is fulfilling your life and giving you substance? When you look at things that way, the decision becomes easier to make because each choice comes with its share of challenges.

    P. S. I feel normal cause I’m not a fan of birds angry or flying towards me.

  19. in my opinion, if you can’t be happy because of simple things, nothing will bring you happiness. you can be happy because of simple things only if you have inside peace. That is why, so many people are looking for a happiness all their life! they are not able to wonder of small, simple experiences…

  20. Lovely post. I feel know what I truly want to do, and that is to make music. I agree that the simpler life is, the better. If there was some way that I could live with just what I need to make music, and then get paid enough to make more music and survive I would be happy. I think that would lead to the truest happiness for me.

    I guess that also brings up another point, what exactly do we define as ‘true happiness,’ I can see you getting at it a little bit in your post.

    “I don’t love just one thing. That can suck when you’re wanting to carve a new path for yourself. ”

    The more we move through life, the more we find who we are, sometimes that gets rattled up when we face adversity or situations that we’ve never experienced. It can leave us with the feeling that we thought we knew who we were, but now we don’t. I thought I knew myself, but after battling an addiction to heroin, I completely lost who I was. I’m stepping up and rebuilding myself everyday I stay sober. I look at this tribulation as an opportunity to find myself again. When we have an opportunity to carve a new path what we really have is a wonderful opportunity. We have the opportunity to rebuild our lives in our own vision and our own way. Knowing oneself and knowing who we are can provide that serenity and that happiness. Rebuilding ourselves can bring those same feelings.

    Perhaps I’ve gotten a little deep in this comment, what do I know? I’m just a rapper. 😉

  21. My friend Sky is trying to become an actor in NYC. I know it’s hard for him and honestly I’m pretty sure he’s never going to “make it.” But I envy him all the same. Not only does he have one thing he wants to and can passionately pursue, the truth is he can’t do anything else. He has one gift and he enjoys using it.

    Me, on the other hand I’m more like I feel you have described above. I have a lot of interests (and honestly, I’m talented enough to pursue some of them professionally) but how to pick one thing to be completely devoted to? I don’t how to to decide. Decisions are the worst.

    Crystal

  22. I can’t keep my 4 year old from snatching my iPod and playing Angry Birds. He is addicted to it, which is scary. I want him outside or being creative with toys. Curse you technology!!

  23. I loved this post. The picture of the phone brought me back. My family had one just like it and I was known to hog the darn thing! Taking time to just “be” is important for keeping one’s sanity.

  24. Life is better when it’s simple. I haven’t a cell phone, nor a mobile phone, nor even an 80’s model phone. I have my laptop which functions as my job and my phone to my family through Skype. Technology is getting crazy, I can’t keep up. I don’t have an inkling what ‘apps’ even are, I thought they were something served before the main course at a restaurant.
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  25. I’m also attracted to the living simply, but I agree it isn’t easy! I try to detach myself from the online world, or sometimes cut communication lines just so I can focus on what I have around me. I like reading a good book too, and baking, actually meeting up with my friends (and not chatting with them online), and just appreciating what I can do without being too connected or distracted. I even turn my phone off when I sleep.

    I’m a fresh grad and currently looking for a job. Lately I’ve been very anxious about what I want to do for a career, but at this point it is not very clear to me. People tell me not to compare my life with those of others because it can put you down, and it’s true. I should just focus on my own life and embrace it. I find comfort that you said there are a lot of things you want to do. It’s the same way for me! I can’t pin down something I am very passionate about to turn into a career, but I do enjoy a variety of other things and activities. I guess that’s not so bad, it is actually fun. Some people are just lucky enough to figure out what they want in life, especially as a career. But life’s like that, we live it and figure things out along the way!

  26. great post! I can totally relate although I am early in my career and trying to balance what I am doing today with how to plan for the future. A simple life never seems as simple as it should! And completly agree with the apps statement. My iphone is void too…congrats on fresh press!

  27. Loved your post.

    I’m fortunate enough to be doing the jobs I’ve always wanted to do but then, I never had kids. People have asked me over the years if I ever wanted them and the answer was usually “No, I like my life the way it is.” I say “usually” because there has been once or twice in my life when my hormones were yelling pretty loudly. Good I have ear plugs.

    May you find a career path that you love as much as I love mine. (I’m a music teacher, performer and writer.)

  28. This August will mark one year of not working, and although I don’t have children to tend to, I appreciate the time at home. There is always something to keep busy with. Always. On a side note, I would very much dislike going back to those old phones!

    Great post 🙂

  29. “I like a lot of things. I don’t love just one thing. That can suck when you’re wanting to carve a new path for yourself.

    And how many of us get the opportunity to actually do it? Fortunately for me I might just have the chance to. If of course, I knew what that one thing actually was…

    Or, maybe I just think too much.”

    amen to that. Thinking a lot about this very thing these days, and had a chat with a friend about the same last night. Perhaps if we start dabbling more and more in all the directions we have interest one eventually will emerge as more important than the others in the competition for our time, and so the ‘passion’ for it emerges gradually over time, rather than being clear and fully-formed now?

    Thanks for your post, and for now just try all those things that interest you. Variety is the spice of life as they say:-)

  30. Great Post. Right now I am wandering and looking for that next opportunity too. I sorta have an idea of what I want career wise it is just gaining the experience and knowledge to bridge the gaps. I thought getting my MBA would open some windows and/or doors and then the economy took a downturn. I am enjoying wandering and seeing what pops up in my path for now. I try to remain positive and open for anything, big, medium or small. Congrats on being FP!

  31. Wonderful post, I come from forever busy Singapore and your post hit the nail on the head. What’s the big hurry?

    Really want to encourage u to keep enjoying your life and your pursuits. 🙂

    Cheers.

  32. I was browsing and came upon your blog and read the first post…and it was like me actually talking (or thinking?) while reading…if that makes any sense (-:
    Anyway, so true and I would not have said it better!

  33. Love your post and your writing. I hope this won’t discourage you, but even as a grandmother I still wonder about that “one thing” to be passionate about. There is so much I love as well. Keep writing…it’s fun to read. (I have no aps on my phone either!)

  34. Maybe it’s life as a whole that we are here to value and enjoy. Perhaps carving it up into bits, like one career choice versus another is another way of complicating what might otherwise be simplicity.
    Have you read the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet? It is an amazingly wise book which just gets to the heart of everything in the simplest, most straightforward of ways.
    Keep looking for the right path, I think if we look for it we find it.
    Best wishes
    Anni Kelsey

  35. I remember that a boss I had some years ago, on his 52nd birthday, said to me “I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life.” This was a man with a very high level position in his field, and even he still had that big question mark on his mind. At first his comment struck me as a bit surprising, but once I began to think about it, it seemed quite natural. After all, how many of us are so lucky that our ‘dream path’ just appears to us? A few lucky people figure out what their key passion in life is and they pursue it. For the rest of us – which I suppose is the greater part of the population – we are left wondering, and many of us wait for the light bulb to turn on in our minds. But generally it never does. As much as it sucks, we have to actively try several paths that interest (or sometimes don’t interest) us, and hope to luck out so that we finally do find the right path to true fulfillment.

  36. Thankyou for a great post! Living simply is hard because it requires us to analyze ourselves: what do we value? what do we enjoy? what do we really want to do with our lives?
    And once we figure that out, getting there can be a complex process to make simplicity happen!!!
    I’m working on it, but It’s taking some LONG hours to get there!!

  37. I love this. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately! I have a great job, doing exactly what I went to school for, and what I’ve always wanted to do, but I feel like I’m missing something… everyday I rack my brain on how I can turn the things I love to do… crafting, photography, interior design (the list goes on and on… similar feeling, right?) into a career, how I can start my own business, where I can find the money to fund it, and “why didn’t I think of that!?”.

    I wish you the best of luck in making your passion a career!

  38. Man, God must have put this right in front of me to read today. I’ve never visited your blog, and have been struggling with this very thing for a while. I just left my job as a teacher because its not what I’m passionate about, and I don’t want to get stuck. But I am a “jack of all trades” so now I don’t know where to go next. What to pursue.
    And trying and looking ALL over the internet makes the living simple life really hard to pursue, because you see all that you’re not connected to, or don’t know about -sigh-

    And my husbands plays angry birds on his nook and I hate it.

    Thanks for the encouragement, even just in your unsure journey, it’s inspiring.

  39. My (29 yr old) daughter came home playing that thing (angry birds) and I made her turn it off! LOL
    I have been studying and practicing different aspects of how to use the tools we have on Earth to get The Best out of life all of the time. I have self taught, self written and published, invented, marketed and promoted my ideal career, my passion, the thing I would do for free for almost two decades now. I am at the threshold of embarking on the life path I was meant to have, at The Best time for me and everyone else. I thought at one time I would always be in the corporate world, but now I know that soon this will be a memory and I will spend my days teaching, helping and showing others the easy tips and tricks they can use to attract and keep their Best Life!!
    For those who are not sure what or where their passion in life is, try this: Write a note on a piece of paper simply saying “Please send me The Best way to make a living and provide for my family doing something that I truly love. Thank you for your help.” Sign your name
    Then tuck it away in your wallet or purse, in the Helpful People area of your room/house (if you are standing in the doorway facin ginto the room it is the near right corner), in a silver box or sit it under a bell. This will help send the message to the Universe so the Creator will know you are ready for The Best Thing!
    Fantastic post!!! Congrats on FP! Focus on being your best each day and the rest will fall into place! I look forward to watching as you grow and hone in on it!!!

  40. Living simply is an important value that should be reflected on constantly. Great post, always good to create buzz/ talk about important life fundamentals. I believe in living simply but with my line of work and study I could never give up my laptop/ phone/ internet/ and all the new digital applications that emerge daily. Still, I think there are many ways I can live simply. Everyone has to find their own.

  41. I totally understand! I even write a blog about simplicity, and some days it feels like my life is anything but. Though I take comfort in the thought that, even when it seems like there is still a long way to go to figuring everything out, I’m miles ahead of where I was and I’m also ahead of those who are too afraid to pare down their lives and drown in the chaos. Good luck!

  42. Great post! Oddly enough, I’m an IT who steers clear of 98% of apps; after seeing how much personal data flies through the air, I’m just not a fan. Plus to make things ‘simple’, I’ve turned my cellphone into my main phone, removing a landline and saving a bit of money- rarely would anyone call my landline who wasn’t a telemarketer/looking for the original owner of my condo.

    I had a great date last night with a gal I met on OkCupid [a free online dating webpage]. Like others, she found it odd that I don’t have a Facebook account, even made humor about it saying ‘how do you talk to anybody without it?’. It’s crazy how reliant we’ve become on digital mediums but I definitely enjoy the simple things. An email can’t top a text, a text can’t top a phone call, and a phone call can’t top a face to face greeting; the more ‘real’ someone is, though simple, the more meaningful something becomes. My thoughts =)

  43. I enjoyed this…I’m a totally “plugged in” 20 something who is in transition. I have been teaching for the past 6 years but I am going from teaching dance education here in the states to teaching english in Korea. I totally understand how it feels to not be able to pick just one direction. However….I absolutely LOVE Angry Birds! :0)

  44. What a great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I, too, feel the constant struggle between wanting to live a pared down lifestyle while at the same time still satisfying my inner desire to accomplish “great things”. Thus far I’ve found it difficult to strike a balance since the more we put ourselves out into the world, the greater the demands become. But still, I think the key in some ways is just striving for the balance, even if you never fully feel like you reach it. It’s the constant reminders to slow down, to disconnect from internet/cell phones/distractions and focus on the real in your life – the stuff that satisfies you to your core. Even if you only spend five minutes doing it in a day initially, that’s five extra minutes of peace you didn’t have before!

    Also, your list of things you love is fabulous! Miss Dior Cherie, chocolate, bubble baths, cottages, flowers, skinny hot chocolates, my goodness are you my twin?! 😀

    Again, thanks for sharing!

  45. I was drawn to your post on my desktop this morning. I am trying to live more simply. The problem is that I cleaned my house, threw all kinds of stuff away, made a “place for everything and everything in its place,” and now I can’t find anything! Including my mobile phone. I misplaced it 5 days ago but I haven’t really missed it but people are mad at me because they can’t get ahold of me (God forbid they call my home number).

  46. You just took the words right out of my head. That is exactly how I feel, and what I think about every single day. I could not care less about the new iPhone, iPad etc.. I just want people to stop, take a look around.. and enjoy, or cry, og scream, or lie down and close their eyes. It’s like… we only live once, and everyone wants to make the best out of it all the time, but at the same time people need to stop being so damn serious about everything. I still don’t get the world we live in. Where do we come from, where does the world come from, what is life. Haha. Can’t stop wondering.

  47. I like the concept of simply living and I’ve been trying to slowly pair down for a long time. One phone, one laptop, lots of books…eck! And that’s where I struggle. I genuinely enjoy perhaps eight or ten separate interests. Unless I stop those interests I am going to have all the stuff that goes with them.

    In terms of working I’m on my path, self employed corporate trainer, and that’s great. But on the wider issue of ‘stuff’ I’m unsure how to resolve the ‘I actually genuinely like doing that’ conundrum!

    Nice blog.

    Regards

    Stephen

  48. Lots of interesting points here. But it’s easy to drift when the kids are small (and, why not?-they need you). Take it from me: breaking back into work is really difficult. lol, it’s what my blog is all about!

  49. Love this post… I, too, feel that it’s difficult to choose a career when you’re interested in so many things. But that is a characteristic that makes a good writer and a good psychologist, too… being open and well-rounded. I don’t think everyone is meant to carve a niche though. Some people are like butterflies that wander and flutter…. others are bees that drive hard toward one goal. Both are worthy and both have purpose.

  50. I have no television. Yep, you read that right – no television. I don’t miss it at all. I have noticed that my computer usage at home has gone down, too. I use the computer at work all day, so I probably just am sick and tired of using one by the time I get home. That doesn’t explain, though, the fact that I don’t use it much on the weekends.

    Gadgets are nice at first, but then they become complicated. If you buy a television, you need cable. At least in the U.S. you need cable. Then you need a DVD player and maybe some speakers for that nice surround-sound feel. Top that off with a movie collection, and that $700 (U.S) television is up to about $1500 (U.S.). To me, it isn’t worth it.

    My next goal is to get rid of the cell phone, but I need it for work. I am all for living like in the 1930-40s. Very simple.

  51. Dear Alison,
    If you don’t like the idea of the Angry Birds App, then please may I suggest WorldWide Cruise Line’s Caribbean Cruise at the iTunes store
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wwcl-caribbean-cruise/id410802639?mt=8
    Which will take all players to one (or more) of 160 different Caribbean Islands each day for the 400 days of the game/cruise, leaving plenty of time for reflection and meditative thoughts as players learn about the people, cultures and the adventures to be had while visiting this magical destination.
    Happy Sails
    Clive Ramsden

  52. LOVE THIS!! I think I am a minimalist in theory. I love the idea of simple living but unfortunately find myself at a loss without certain things. So then, I find myself clinging to being minimalist in small ways that i’m not sure matter so much. hahaha. I think you’ve inspired my next blog post!

  53. It’s a very familiar feeling. We were brought up to be good consumers and employees; to have an income so we can consume were the priority of our education systems, above and beyond any other human desire.

    In a whole lot of respects this has worked. General progress can be seen in technological development, and the very simple concept of successive generations doing “better” (deliberate quotes) than our forebears.

    However, as we’ve become more fulfilled in terms of the more basic needs – food, accommodation, entertainment – we’ve become more aware of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. This is the basis of the so-called “mid-life crisis”.

    So we are lucky enough to be able to be in a position where we can both (i) comfortably re-evaluate our ambitions and desires, and (ii) indulge our desires if only we can figure out a decent enough business model to sustain them.

    This might sound cold, but look at the successful authors, musicians, even businesspeople like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson: the most successful in what they do arguably do a job they love. And as Confucius said, “they who love their job, never worked a day.”

    Smart guy that Confucius fellow.

    The only cliche I can see is the assumption that it’s just women who have this experience after having kids… 🙂 Some of us have had this all our lives.

    And that brings me back to the point about successive generations: don’t we owe to OUR KIDS to try to ensure they have a better life than we did? I’m sure our parents tried in their own way to make OUR LIVES amazing!

    We are very lucky humans. Let’s work to make the next generation happier, smarter, healthier… but then again they’re their own people, and they’ll find their own way. I just hope they are genuinely MORE FREE, from the social tiering point of view, than we were.

    • Oh gosh, thanks for your comments. Agree with your take on things and on your point its not only women who feel that way. In fact probably men, especially if the breadwinner, feel a sense of duty to provide, ruling out any chance of opportunity to ‘follow your dreams’. Thanks for reading.

  54. To try to live a simple life nowadays is indeed a complex thing. There are so many distractions here and there. The computer world could easily dominate our lives. That wanting to have more than what you have which in a way is hoarding is not good for the well being of a person.
    I hope I can keep my strong willpower on call when situations like these come my way.

  55. I randomly came across your blog. The title to this post caught my attention. I often find myself being consumed with technology. Especially facebook and/or twitter. The constant need to update everyone with our lives seems to get the best of us. We are consumed with it. Im turning 20 this summer and I am also disabled. I dont work nor do I go to college. So my days consists of trying to stay busy. Of course its easy to get sucked in by the tv or my phone or laptop, but I try my best to stay active. So I paint, write, enjoy the beautiful weather and much more. Living simply is easy if you dont expect things. Patience and be willing to entertain yourself without electronics. Thanks for your blog! Happy I found it! look forward to reading more!

    • Thanks Chloe for reading my post and I agree. Now I no longer use facebook or twitter, it’s hard to see the real value in either, unless you want to promote a business..but otherwise connecting with people in a traditional way is far, far better!

  56. An extremely helpful post. Owning too much stuff is a voluntary submission to unnecessary tyranny. Our well-funded marketing industry makes it difficult to practice “simple living, high thinking.” Thanks for writing such a beautiful blog.

  57. Thank you Alison, this so perfectly sums up my life at the moment. I don’t even own an i-phone, just a basic mobile! But I’m also finding myself at a cross road, though I think I’ve made a few very wise decisions – touch wood! Having been torn between my heart and my head in terms of where to go with my career, I think I’ve found a nice medium. Thanks for sharing and showing me I’m not alone in the search to find the right Mummy career fit. Also great to see and Aussie Freshly Pressed!

  58. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    We are such strange creatures – perverse all most! We rush forward wanting the new, the shiny and the latest like some bower bird on steroids and then as though we have moved forward too fast we yearn for what is familiar and filled with our rose coloured love in the past. – is it any wonder we feel torn?
    Thank you for capturing so beautifully what living in the present now is for most women!
    Bless-sings of the every day to you!

  59. Thank you Alison, this so perfectly sums up my life at the moment. I don’t even own an i-phone, just a basic mobile! But I’m also finding myself at a cross road, though I think I’ve made a few very wise decisions – touch wood! Having been torn between my heart and my head in terms of where to go with my career, I think I’ve found a nice medium. Thanks for sharing and showing me I’m not alone in the search to find the right Mummy career fit. Also great to see an Aussie Freshly Pressed!

  60. My husband and I are also trying our best to live simply. I’m not really finding it nearly as difficult as I thought. I deleted my Facebook account nearly a year ago and have been delighted to recapture so much of my life. And, although I do blog occasionally, I find it not much different than journaling. I love to write and when I find I have spare time and a little inspiration, I put it to use in my blogging.

    Detaching (mostly) from technology has been refreshing. 🙂

    • I’m the same, I left Facebook and don’t miss it one bit. I think complete elimination of technology is unrealistic, but I definitely agree with cutting out social media for social purposes 🙂

  61. I think sometimes when we stop “searching” for what we want to do, or what we should do…things just fall in our lap and a light bulb goes off in our heads. Often it isn’t even something we had ever thought of before but it suits us perfectly. Great thoughtful blog.

  62. Simple living. Doing what you fancy. And enjoying it to the hilt. A lifestyle decision.

    I retired early , and now loving every moment. I love traveling, being with family and friends, and “working” just enough to sustain my lifestyle. It is a gift to know when it is enough. Retirement suits me. I am now able to discern which are the things I truly enjoy, and which are the distractions. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment…I still need to earn an income so it’s about balancing the two. But I agree with working just enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle, and paring down what you don’t need. So many of us work unhappily in order to obtain more material things!

  63. I can empathise with this. Although I have no children, and didn’t manage to get into a ‘proper’ career yet. I find myself at a crossroads due to moving abroad for my partners job. I am just enjoying the opportunity to try out as many things as I can and hopefully I will work out what I am passionate about.
    I’m glad to know their are others out there too.
    Lucy

  64. Loved your post on living simple. I am right there with you. There are days when I would love to have the simplier times of back in the day.

  65. Not only am I anti-app, but my non-smart cell phone only does calls and texts. The only thing that would interest me would be phone GPS directions, because I am often lost.

  66. I love this post. My problem is that I can’t even organize my thoughts well enough to implement a simplicity plan. I just end up further complicating things. There has to be a way. Currently I find myself staring at my dog in envy of her laid-back lifestyle.

  67. I totally agree, it’s amazing how much time technology takes away from living. And also because we are so worried about people being able to get a hold of us it almost ruins our down time. That’s why when I get away I try to keep my phone off and only check at the end of the day for really important things. Irresponsible maybe? but how did we ever survive before cell phones and social media networks? 🙂 Loved this piece totally agree with you 🙂

  68. Man I can relate to this post! It is just so hard to do the simple thing when society is pressuring us to do more, be more all the time. I try to resist but sometimes my ego gets in the way. I hate that ego, I really do. x

  69. I have a few thoughts.

    Firstly, go and have a look at Cal Newport’s blog “Study Hacks”. His idea is that passion isn’t discovered in a blinding moment of inspiration, but slowly earned over time, by achieving mastery over a subject and receiving recognition and rewards because of this. By his definition you can be passionate about anything with sufficient depth.

    Secondly, here’s another thought – you may never be passionate about anything. Passion is waking at 4 in the morning, doing laps of a pool, eating tasteless, but nutritional gruel, possibly injecting yourself with performance enhancing drugs, missing social engagements, for 5 -10 years, to maybe, maybe win an olympic medal. It’s bordering on psychopathic. That’s passion though.

    I don’t feel like this about anything. I have many things I enjoy, but I am not passionate. I am more and more giving up on finding a passion in the workplace, instead I am thinking about exiting that stream altogether. I am not worried about being passionless, I am not trying to impress anyone.

  70. I’m young and I cannot imagine a life without my mobile phone, but I do not depend on it.
    It sometimes is not nice that everone can call you all time (if you are going on holidays …).
    But it can save life (if an accident happens …)
    So in my opinion, there are positive and negative arguments.

    I’m sorry for my bad English!!!

  71. I guess at some point, we all have thought about wanting to live simply, even trying to do so perhaps. But then, we start to question ourselves: can I afford to live simply? Can I survive without the convenience of technology? Can I really push myself to go back to basics? And more often than not, we are faced with the awful truth of ‘maybe I can’t’. Maybe we are too used to the fast paced world we have today such that we can’t find the heart to find the simple life we want for ourselves until we’ve gotten really old and we’ve decided that retirement is about going back to basics – to fully relax. However, I don’t think we should be pessimistic about the fact that we might not be able to live a really simple life (unless we are really extremely determined to do it – which is rare). I think we can still lead a simple life by enjoying the little things that happen to us in everyday and by enjoying the things we feel we are passionate about. It’s not really simple actually because we’re still obsessed with ‘Angry Birds’ and with cars, but to some extent, it is a simple life because we don’t force ourselves to be obsessed with something. It comes naturally. We are following our “natural rhythm”. It’s who we are. Leading a simple life is about staying true to who you are. You’re not being who you are because you are forced to. You’re not pressured. You just do it because you love to do it. It’s your simple life.

  72. I completely relate. So much that it scared me when I got to the bottom…and saw my name. Took me a minute to realize another Alison felt the same!

  73. At the rate things are going, what with the different social networking sites, news coming in 24/7 , I completely understand the thought of us losing ourselves in the chaos. NO time to sit back and think. How sad is that?

  74. >>But how many of us know what we really, passionately want to do?

    Live “unhurried,” that’s a great one. That by itself is an awesome career goal.

  75. Hey Alison,
    Something I picked up along the way and totally live by now is: “you make a decision, any decision. And then you turn it into the right one.”
    Hope it works for you too 😉
    Hugs,
    Isadora

  76. ”career woman who earnt good money working long hours and taking work home then had kids and don’t ever want to return to my old career, but now at a crossroads”

    Thats a well-rounded description

    I ace the same dilemma. So I gave up practicing the guitar and put in all my free time for writing

  77. I still think about what I wanna do when I grow up 😉 And I also “like” many things, but not particularly love only one. I always envy people who have such a passion for something that they are completely absorbed in it.

  78. I left Melbourne to follow my passion of the snow and moved to Japan. I work hard but it is a much simpler life here in the countryside. The lifestyle transfusion has totally changed my perspective on what is important. Thanks for sharing your post.

  79. It’s hard to let go of the internet as a tool of communication, which in its own way can make life slam right into your face on the big screen, so to speak; but other than that, I just up and left the States, selling/giving away/or throwing away the majority of what I had gathered about me in burdening possessions for years, and moved to Costa Rica. I think the Earth is crying out for us to live simpler/simply. In its own way, with its own wrath, it is trying to downsize us. We might as well do it for ourselves and be a bit more prepared.

  80. Nice post, congrats on getting FP. I strongly concur about the crossroads feeling….. have been there myself, especially in the past year with a corporate layoff and 3 kiddos. I’m going to follow your blog– I like your style!!

  81. I try to live the same way: simple, uncomplicated. I feel so much happier and clear-minded that way. And anxiety level is at zero! 🙂

  82. I support you in your quest. I believe Instead of creating more ways to occupy the mind, we would be much better served finding ways to quiet the mind instead. All this “stuff” is just a way to avoid feeling the emptiness we sense at our core, and fear is our truth, when in fact it is not. But we’ll never know the truth if we never listen.

  83. Very much like this post.

    I think that living simply is different for different people. For me, I know that abandoning technologies is absolutely not living simply – my laptop stores ‘my life’ on it (pictures, work, documents, my blog). Without it I would have stacks upon stacks of papers around me, and many things would take me ten times as long. Although I am certainly with you on living without some technological frills.

    On career paths…I think that there is not one right career for everyone. I say choose something that is in line with your values – that fulfills you in the sense that you are working to improve the world. Of course it would be nice to eat and live with that, too :-). But again, what that means for different people is different. One piece of useful information I’ve heard from a career motivational speaker is that you need to decide the two or three things that are MOST important to you. If your work allows you to take care of those two or three things, you are on the right path. I think that this is really freeing, and can ease the anxiety of making a ‘wrong’ career decision.

  84. I love your ideas about simplicity. Taking pleasure in gardening, or simply making some tea. That is the life, if you can be present in your day to day tasks, that’s all you need. I do the same with running, I run long distances 20 miles 26 miles 31 miles and I run with no ipod or gps. It is the most freeing thing you can do, just you and the elements for up to 7/8 hours. LOVE IT.

    Great post.

  85. I guess I’m just as typical as you. My how having kids causes one to re-evaluate their life. So enjoyed reading your blog. I just wrote yesterday about following both whims and passions… Don’t know if it helps, but I’d be open to whims, because they might just turn into the passion you seek. And don’t limit yourself to just one thing (which I see others have written, too). Life is amazingly complex (even a simple one!) isn’t it? All the best.

  86. ah! I do agree…each one of us misses those simpler times. irony is that man created technology to simplify life but the truth is somewhere we’ve made it pretty complex for ourselves!

  87. I wrote something similar to this called “Living a Minimalist Lifestyle” but on a different note I was descibing having less “techie” appliances in our home.
    Like you, I too often feel that doing something that requires a little less applications, lol, how do we get back to those days when it was ok to play outside and not be held down by our phones, laptops or ipads? I think we are headed in the opposite direction…. let me know if you find that one thing, I have yet to find mine.

  88. I’d suggest you take up writing, or something close to it, because you seem quite good at it. And don’t be scared of Angry Birds. Believe me, they won’t come out of your iPhone’s screen and eat you. They’re actually quite pleasant.
    As for a career, I’m only 20. But I’d decided long before that that my career would be something to do with the technology industry. I’m currently a freelance graphic/web designer, coder, developer, and I plan to continue with this for some time. After that, I’m not so sure….

  89. This made be breathe a sigh of relief just by reading it. Simple living is so peaceful. I have been looking for a telephone similar to the one you posted, they are pricey: (, but i’ll keep searching until I find “the one.” Thanks for taking the time to share it this—absolutely beautiful.

    http://blog.sweet522.com

    …Be Sweet.

    -Elana

  90. I couldn’t agree with you more. I love your title for this post, because it so accurately sums up what I have found to be one of the greatest struggles in our society today. I share your desire to live simply, with modern conveniences, of course, and I highly doubt we are the only ones who feel that way. My day could be complete with some fresh flowers, a cup of tea, and a good book… were it not for all those modern, convenient, distractions that decorate a day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here; I enjoyed reading this.

  91. Your blog is awesome! 😀 two thumbs up!! You have very lovely sons! Mrs, Melbourn Mumma
    When I read a few topics of yours, I feel like we have something in common. I am a man of multifarious interests. You are that kind of person too rite? 😀

    Talking about writing, writing is not about liberating your thought but its about collaborating ideas and make it meaningful. I really want to learn how to collaborate ideas as well. You have tendency to improve yourself, I can tell you that! 😀 To be honest, even though I majored in English and I graduated 4 years ago, I’ve already forgotten many rules of English grammar, so academic writing is very hard for me. Sometimes I feel like my brain is empty, and I don’t remember anything. Maybe it’s because I am so carefree and drink too much alcohol. Now I am studying English grammar again. 🙂 Keep up the good works! 😀 I am your fan here! 😀

  92. I enjoyed reading your post about simplicity. I have been thinking along the same lines recently but it is hard to put into practice. Seems like we are being attacked from all angles with people trying to sell us new gadgets these days. Anyway, good luck with your quest!

  93. I really enjoyed this piece, and I see a great deal of room to expand upon it. I have written some similar pieces myself. I am something of a technophobe. One thing I find especially interesting is that I actually don’t own a cell phone, yet I am ofetn easier to reach than many of my friends who are always on theirs, talking or texting.

  94. Ah, technology. We operate under the delusion that it makes everything easier. In reality, it adds so much noise and clutter to our lives that we don’t have time to think. Thanks for the reminder to unplug more often and practice simply living in the moment.

    Time to just be….now there’s a novel idea.

    Your post reminded me of my favorite poem. In “Summer Day” Mary Oliver says, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Like you, I grapple w finding what I’m passionate about and figuring a way to make it happen. I think you’re on the right track, Allison. By opting out of (or at least scaling back on) 24/7 information overload and constant electronic connection, you’ve made some space in your life for simple silence. My guess is that you’re now better able listen to what’s in your heart. I enjoyed your post. Thanks.

  95. Good to know i’m not alone. Often my friends look at me with shock because i still don’t have facebook or a phone with apps. I barely have this wordpress account (brand new btw) and i need to get the hang of it lol.

  96. I wonder if more and more people are turning toward a more simple life? I, like many others who commented, recently decided to step away from the grind to take it slow, cook, read, and think. It suits me! I just wonder if I can swing it long-term.

  97. Great post. Except that as an engineer I love all of the latest technology. But the other point is great. I believe if I really knew what I wanted in life, I could get it. Problem is that I don’t know what I want, so I am rapidly on my way to having nothing! Maybe when I get to the absolutely nothing point it will prompt some insight…

  98. oh wow ~ this post hit home for me. i too, am a believer in simple living. this is my life long goal, but i agree, life is complex and so are people. so i guess i can say that i just strive for simplicity in my life. happy 4th of july to you!
    xo ~ kristina

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  100. I tried to be simple as well and find a mobile phone with no bluetooth. But its impossible. So now I have a $79 phone with apps that I don’t use. And I have to buy a seperate cord to get the photos off my phone. They couldn’t just put the cord in the box free could they?

  101. I am entirely the opposite, if the internet went down or my phone broke I’d be lost. We don’t even have a home phone because we all have mobiles. I am constantly using twitter, Facebook, reading and sending e-mails. But i do believe i have become a slave to technology in particular the internet.

    I had no mobile a few weeks ago and ended up using a payphone, but i can only remember 2 numbers, my mobile and my nans house number, so i had to ring my nan to text my mum to ring the payphone i was at.

    we rely too much on technology, no one wants to go back to basics like saying to friends ‘I’ll meet you at such a place, at such a time, on such a day’. instead of a text asking are they coming out.

    I think we should start testing ourselves by leaving our mobiles at home just to see how much we need the technology, and maybe it will make us see what we really have, for once.

  102. Yeah. We are in this big modern connected world of cookie jar. So many tasty cookies that keep all the kids / adults / kidults high, yet we all know it is not good. A simple life is indeed not that simple to attain.

    Once upon a time, having 1 dark cycle per eye is a sign of sleep deprivation. Now 2 / 3 per eye is not uncommon.

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  104. I loved your post. I’ve been blogging about exactly this type of thing. I have decided to make time somewhere in my crazy days to find out what it is I like to do – I think I have found it but I’m having fun looking! I hope you find yours soon – there is most definitely more to life than apps!

  105. This is sooo true. I’m still looking for my “thing” as I approach my mid-40s and am disappointed that I haven’t found it by now!

  106. I am not so sure I’ve embraced a simpler life but there are some things I still implement to maintain some simplicity…dinner with the family every night (yes, I cook), no toys (including cell phones) at the table (and I don’t take calls during dinner).

    Also, I enjoy a good book and like the feel of books and all that go with them…however, my husband purchased a Kindle for me last year and admittedly, I’ve fallen for it. It is so lightweight that I can carry it around in my purse and read it any time I have a free moment…

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  108. When I graduated from college in 1977, I lived with 3 other adults and a small child on a subsistence level farm in southeast Ohio. We had chickens and milk goats, farmed a huge garden, canned and froze much of it, baked our own bread. We had no running water. It was a real eye-opener to live the way much of the world does. We spent most of our time focused on the work of living. It was hard. It was rewarding. We went to bed tired every night.
    To this day, when I turn on the faucet I sometimes marvel at the miracle of it. It’s a shame that the more technologically complex our lives are, the more insatiable and unhappy we seem to be. Tis a gift to be simple…

  109. Gee, it takes forever to get down the line of comments.
    I like your thoughts very much. It is so refreshing that there are still people left who make an effort to live mindfully. Wonderful that you share this.

  110. The phone pic made me laugh, because being nearly 50 we used a phone like that… but my 13 yr old daughter recently had to use one like this and was completely at a loss! I, like you, crave some simplicity. I tend to not answer my cell phone very often, much to the chagrin of my friends and family… but I refuse to be a slave to a stupid phone! I also am looking for my “bliss” tho unfortunately the thing I love most costs money, not makes money… so I need something else as well! My husband is currently following his own dream and has started his own business and we have never been so poor! It will come, though, I believe! Good luck in your searching and I hope you find that thing you love to do.

  111. Interesting, my daughter is still saying, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up…”. Now she is 52 with two teenagers, one in high school and one in college.Perhaps it is tougher to sort out what you want when it is so intertwined with what the kids want. I believe that doing some real soul searching in “your quiet time” will help you realize your passion. I, by nature, am an encourager and I love helping people.

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  114. I think the biggest obstacle is actually just choosing one thing you are passionate about and realizing there are no right or wrong answer to this…it’s really just about choosing and experiencing yourself in whatever the choice is.

  115. Great post! I left my former career in the medical field and decided to stay home with my children. I am currently back in school, although I only have a “cautious” idea of what I want to do! My hope is that I will continue doing as many things I love, and allow my education “lead” me to where I “belong” in the working world, while somehow combining most, if not all that I love. Best of luck in your journey! Now back to my book! 🙂

  116. Technology has become so much imperative to our lives that we can hardly think of living without all the comforts that we derive from it. Our priorities change as we enter into different phases of our life. I am quite fortunate that despite my busy schedule i engage in activities that i like to. Great post.

  117. Yes. It can be overwhelming to have so many interests. One paradox of modern society is the imperative it creates to actually choose, to make a decision, and for many people, a number of decisions that work to collectively define one’s identity. Lately, I’ve been telling myself almost everyday, scale it back. I too want to do more, be more, read more, but I’m constantly confronted with the impossibility of absorbing the smorgasbord of information and choices. In reminding myself to scale it back I have to believe I’m subconsciously refining my choices. I totally agree living simply is complex, but we have to keep trying everyday.

  118. Fantastic blog, Alison! Obviously, I’m not the only one to relate – a lot of women are at that same crossroads. Growing up I always wanted to be a “Jill of all trades” (and master of several!), I actually just wrote about how that same love of variety drove me to become a career contractor so I could bounce from one client to another, learning new things, exploring new fields. That also put me on the path so start up my own company that would work to make it easier for contractors and other flexible workers to find new opportunities. A job site dedicated to work/life balance that lets you search by the days, times and even time of day you’re looking to work (perfect for mums working around their children’s schedules!)

    Today’s workers simply aren’t willing to work yesterday’s jobs – they’re demanding more choice. So, bravo for forging your own path! I hope more people do because I think we’d all be a little happier if we got a little more flexible.

    And, a true vacation does not involve a mobile, laptop or TV! It’s amazing how attached we’ve gotten to technology that’s not even that old! Sometimes I just want to pull out my old embroidery or paints, but then I get distracted by an email or something on TV — pathetic, really.

  119. Wonderful post. It’s great to know that there are other people out there who feel the same way as I do 🙂 I too am searching for that perfect balance between doing what I love, living simply and yet…having a good career. I have been reading a wonderful book called ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ by John Williams. It is the first and only career book that has actually done wonders for me! Perhaps it could help you, too.

  120. When I graduated from college in 1977, I lived with 3 other adults and a small child on a subsistence level farm in southeast Ohio. We had chickens and milk goats, farmed a huge garden, canned and froze much much of the world does. We spent most of our time focused on the work of living. It was hard. It was rewarding. We went to bed tired every night.
    To this day, when I turn on the faucet I sometimes marvel at the miracle of it. It’s a shame that the more technologically complex our lives are, the more insatiable and unhappy we seem to be. Tis a gift to be simple…

  121. One of my Lifestyle wish list is also to live in a simple way. Free of complications, of stress and complicated daily concerns, less of the modern gadjets, just to be one with nature without the constant knocking of the material world. congrats.

  122. u kinda make me remember what i always felt. living in the olden centuries…. sometimes even i feel like living it simple. being simple for a change. sometimes dealing with the complex symbols of work and life gets so taxing, i wish i was born a few decades earlier when things and wants were so much simpler.

  123. Given how many comments are on here, more and more people must be thinking like this. I am only 25 and don’t have any children but am already questioning my choices. Part of me really wants to go and live a simple country life whilst part of me is pushing me ever harder in my career. I think the latter comes from insecurity – we all want to prove that we are something or someone rather than just accepting that the simple things are what make us really happy.

  124. Brilliant post! I know the feeling you describe above so, so well myself… Disconnecting the internet would be the best thing for me all times, but then I would miss posts like the one you just wrote! What a dilemma 🙂

  125. Oh , i just love your post ! i like it so much as the sunrise on the beach .It reamind me of something :when i was a little girl i was dreaming about having a job in TV or mass media . . Guess what ? Today i am not a VIP , i am not Oprah , but i work from 20 years old in TV . Some time ago i met the boy of my dreams..After years of waiting and hoping , when i thought we will never be together he came to me and told “i have feelings for you , let’s be together”…So , my point is : don’t you lose hope ! Someday you will see/find that something that you REALLY LIKE AND you really WANT . When you want something truly , you will get it . It happened to me , it will happen to others . I strongly believe you don’t know yet what you really like and what you desire for yourself . Time will help you . Thanks for writing those beautiful words.Keep going !

  126. Good luck with finding a new career path. I know I felt that way when I was going to college and had so much pressure just to find one major. And now of course, my job has nothing to do with what I majored in. That’s the way it goes!

  127. I like this post!
    I’m 17, so I’ve grown up with technology, but I find that it’s definitely taken away the simplicities of life. I admit I wouldn’t wish away technology, but some of it I just think is unnecessary. For example, EVERYBODY my age has a blackberry or an iPhone, ‘BBMing’ each other constantly. And it’s strange how quickly all of this has developed.
    Only a few years ago I was begging my mum to get me the Nokia 3210, purely for it’s polyphonic ringtones… that’s embarrassing…

  128. You know a lot of people stress how important a career is and look down on women who stay at home with their children. But I like staying home with my daughter and it has nothing to do with not being able to do anything else. It’s a choice. I have a degree and am certainly smart enough to have a full time well paying job, but I enjoy spending time with her. Having children does change your perspective. And for those who have never spent that many hours with a child, it’s way harder than a 9-5. Kudos to you!

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