This is not a recommendation on how to live; this is just sharing MY viewpoint.
A combination of my self-imposed isolation due to COVID, the end of a long-term relationship, this stage of a very full life, my heritage and probably some additional things I’m unaware of, find me in a different and much appreciated place. (Note, though, I’m avoiding that “aging gracefully” term I’ve always felt implied an excuse to not keep fully living and enjoying but rather not taking chances, not learning new things, etc.).
My parents grew up in rural Maine and my childhood was primarily spent there in less harsh conditions than they had — indoor plumbing, heating with something other than wood, automobiles, new stuff like that by the time I appeared. But it was still rugged country with severe winters and not a lot of plush distractions. Appreciating what you have when you don’t have much, especially during impressionable years, is a lesson in itself.
I don’t know how many others are fortunate enough to say this: I’ve never had a better stage of life than what I’m having right now. So many of my contemporaries were never able to even experience these years, and others are relegated to the aforementioned aging gracefully.
I don’t have a big screen TV entertainment room. I don’t even have a TV. But I know the ads all aim to make us think that to be cool, to have fun with others, we need something more. We need to dream big. We need to set goals. We need more new clothes, a new car, a bigger house, to travel to exotic places and so on. I’m not saying any of that is misguided. I am saying I don’t need any of that. It’s a simple life for me these days and I’m not needing, or even wanting, anything more.
I find a life of thinking, writing, reading, researching wherever curiosity takes me on the computer is very fulfilling. (OK, and watching Netflix). I take long morning walks with my dog in the woods near the barn where my horse is kept after feeding him breakfast. Riding my horse in the fall and winter all through miles of woods is about as relaxing as anything I can imagine. I have plants and bonsai trees to care for, which is a peaceful hobby.
I have clients I’m helping and whose company I appreciate. They make the fact I found meaningful work (that isn’t anything like work) something I never take for granted. And family. My daughters and son. None of the above would be as satisfying as it is without their love and support.
Now, if all this sounds self-congratulatory or as if I’m gloating, I promise it’s not being written with anything but feelings of thankfulness and an interest in sharing with others who may have felt some of this need for simplicity in their lives. We don’t need more more more all the time. We have so much all around us. Simple things we‘re so fortunate to have.