lifestyle | mindwi.se edit
When it settles quietly, turning my life upside down is what I like the most. For the challenge, but also because of the idea of not being attached to dependencies. We live in a society that values fame and materialism above modesty and people. I personally preach by minimalism, but not only. I also tend to be frugal and oriented toward simplicity.
In 2010, my wife and I bought our first house at 22 years old. Then moved to a bigger one (but closer to work) at 26. Two years after, we sold it and moved on the west coast for a full 5 years (up to 2021). Through this progression, we learned so much about ourselves, what we want and don't want, but also what we need and don't need (at all!).
As soon as 2012, I started to question myself about time vs money (Why earning twice the money, wasting it on frivolous items and having no time to use them?). Now more than never, I value freedom more than anything else (like power, wealth, job status, etc). I no longer view a single item as essential to me. Everything that is physical is ephemeral. The possession phase seems to me to be over.
Current society want you to believe that to be normal, you have to be on social medias. You have to show your happiness, no matter what. You have to show pictures of your last all-inclusive trip to some remote place, you have to show your values, you have to be somebody to exist. Well, that's a lie. I'd rather have an honest one-on-one discussion than a fake public one. If you need to have a Facebook page to exist, then I'd rather be invisible.
If you do what most people do, you’ll get what most people get.
-Derek SiversI want to challenge the usual, average life of dreaming of stuff, house, all-inclusive vacations, gizmos and what else. My needs are minimal, wants simplified, dependencies abandoned. It means no alcohol, no expensive stuff, no crazy work-life balance, where time is scarce because of too many obligations. All I want is a well balanced life free of stress, anxiety and social pressure.
Then, in 2016, I moved to Vancouver. I had no debt since we sold our house, we were living in a super small 460-sf apartment, went from 4 vehicles to a single one. My wife and I have the same vision, allowing us to save money, to live frugally, to spend time outside and to focus on us instead on what people want us to be.
In 2018, we bought a condo in North Vancouver, but within a year, we decided it was not a great fit for us: too noisy (busy street, building quality isn't great) and also costs were increasing (strata fees jumped from $371 to $456 within a year, home insurance tripled within a year).
We moved back and forth from North Vancouver to Kelowna for a year because I had work opportunities. We enjoyed that quite a bit, we even tried to settle in Kelowna, but we finally decided it was not a good timing.
Living alone on our own on well-defined ground is not a sensible solution for the short term, nor for the long term. As if we had designed a lifestyle where we concede that each of us hates being in the presence of others, that we do not like being told what to do and that the surrounding noise is not accepted.
Travel, on the other hand, comes at the expense of neighborhood life. An urban boulevard is a perfect example, where passing cars create a rupture in the social fabric of the neighborhood through noise, visual and olfactory pollution and asks its inhabitants to walk more in order to fill the large spaces abandoned to the car that does not. does not stop, but just passes.
Environmental destructionThe use of an automobile first requires its construction, which consumes a lot of natural resources and energy resources. Then comes the paving of vast expanses to make them roll. Knowing that the cement industry is probably the most energy-intensive in the country (ref) despite technological efforts to lower the level, it is imperative to consider the car as a whole: construction, maintenance, use, fuel supply, etc. What also amazes me the most, are the apostles of energy efficiency who advocate that technology will allow the development of cars that consume very little fuel or use lithium batteries. Jevons' paradox "states that as technological improvements increase the efficiency with which a resource is used, the total consumption of that resource may increase rather than decrease." (ref) Developing a “low energy consumption” car that would allow each of us to own one would not necessarily make our world more energy efficient. The most fuel-efficient car is the one that is not built and / or the one that is not used. Economic destruction
The costs borne by the automobile driver are in no way representative of what it costs society to support its use. The cost externality is a very real concept and unfortunately greatly over-represented in the case of road transport. First, the oil industry is subsidized to the tune of 500 billion US dollars annually across the world (ref). Second, the health care costs required by air pollution are borne by society as a whole, and other costs such as cleaning up a site contaminated with hydro-fuels are rarely paid by officials, but rather by the states.
SolutionsCities are often seen as the antichrist to drivers because of traffic congestion. However, living differently means reducing the pace of life, accepting not to live like a king to the detriment of others.
After reducing physical possessions, realign my values and trying to see clear daily, the most important thing is being able to stop, to feel empty. The resentment of a void is pleasant. But how does this actually translate?
Take a deep breath.Let him go.
Give up.Do a reset. The best time to do it is now, not tomorrow when you think you've seen it all. There will be new throwaway content to scroll on the screen. Let go of this addiction today. Making a list of your priorities will refocus you on your real interests instead of submitting to those of others. Instead of trying to be famous in everything, focus on only a handful of areas of interest.
The truth is, we could run around trying to do everything exciting, and travel around the world, and always stay in touch with our iPhones and Crackberries, and work and party all day long without sleep … but we could never do it all. We will always be missing something.
Zen Habits - The 39th LessonTo unplug from the online craziness, my usual suggestions are: read a book, go analog (pen on paper), take a nap, do nothing.
A 2-minute meditation seems to be a simple, no-requirement solution to recoup, refocus and let go of negativity. It's easy to create the habit to meditate on a regular basis.
As a guideline, I'll use a key sentence while breathing.
I inhale, and I know I inhale.
I exhale, and I know I exhale.Meditation is simple, but also complicated because of distractions, thoughts and social pressure. My goal is to inject long-lasting benefits in my life to be able to aim toward where I want to be, spiritually, physically. I want to take time to sit still and breathe. Just make it happen. A great resource to start meditation: How to Meditate - Mindful
(2021-04-07) Three weeks ago, my heart was saddened by some bad news coming from family back East. My grandmother was in intensive care unit, and we knew she won't leave the hospital ever again. From her 98 years of serenity and happiness, I can't wrap my head that we had to go through this. She was a quiet, but strong woman, holding a somewhat large family since three generations, living solo since 25+ years, hiding small health issues like a champion (but we managed to know later on!), inspiring us every single day.
On March 19th, she passed away without any complication or further critical condition, but rather took off after her last breath. She is my model for all my upcoming days. Flora, we love you! Rest in peace.
It is strong to bet that your friends are in denial about their excessive consumption and their perspective and lifestyle will inevitably range. In a way, it is a form of Stockholm syndrome where they have developed an affinity for their master slave corporatist and have a lack of ability to understand freedom.
If you expressed your disinterest to stay a slave, these people who are your friends will probably find ways to ridicule you or make you feel * different because you think otherwise. In fact, being a slave is a form of comfort, because to make it say what to do and what to think is much simpler than making its own decisions and take risks.
Whether for lack of compassion or jealousy, a minimalist could very well be advised by his friends to resume bad debt habits to get short-term gains or simply in case . Do not let them make you believe that life out of slavery is excessively dangerous or that one day you will be disappointed not to have followed their advice (often obsolete). The logic and reason are better knowledge to make original and adapted decisions and all the more better than the instinctive fear to guide you.
If you decide to reject your life of materialism and consumerism without vision, do not be surprised when your friend will discover it and denounce your way by bringing Whataboutisms (attempts to discredit his opponent's position by accusing him of hypocrisy without refuting or rebutting his argument directly). After all, it is inevitable that you need a house with a complete set of furniture, a giant TV, a commercial kitchen for a chef, an automobile that displays your masculinity, maximized credit cards, a 30-year mortgage , shelves filled with books that you will never re-read (or have never read), a garage storing paint cans and Christmas decorations and draws filled with waste just in case . Everyone life this way, what's going on with you?
Your friends and family probably do not have bad intentions, but you must recognize that their perspective of life is tinged by a consumerism from birth and have the courage to keep tracking your own path despite what people think of you. If everyone lived a conventional life, there would be no progress or change. Learn what kind of life is destined for you. If everyone understands the ideas of the great personalities, they would never have been qualified as a great personality.
Sometimes they will display jealousy because you live a life easier and more meaningful than them, by your radically different choices. They will think of your minimalism that it is a cheating of the system, which you are actually lazy.
Friends can especially be difficult to manage when they fail to grasp your perspective and your lifestyle. If they can not respect your choice, it's time to question if you want to continue to attend these people. You are probably better not to turn around people who are wasting their time and money, but rather from you surround those who share your values. Friends who have your values will help strengthen your existing ideas, while adding new to consider.
The family also poses similar problems, with the difference that their ammunition are more damaging because it wants you to return to the ranks and give your vision into conformism. I do not suggest that your family members have a tooth against you, but they will try to find ways for you scare to live differently and leave the family vision.
Parents can be a huge discomfort given your biologically programmed love to them and respect you have about them for what they have to say (even when you know they are wrong). Your mother and father could say that they "want the best for you", which is a source of guilt if you do not do what they think they are in your interest. If you can overcome guilt, it's even more serious when you know what they think is "the best" for you is not good for you. Their tips could be completely overwhelmed and they could take it personally if you do not take it.
For most people, I would not suggest cutting the links with their families, but may need a safe distance to not only develop a sense of independence, but also to hear more positive messages and more values-oriented that curious and pessimistic messages. friends and family concerned.
A simple life is not necessarily an easy life.But respecting its values should not be postponed until tomorrow.
Being 32 (in 2020), I don't feel young so much anymore. Bike crashes might have worked against me, but whatever. The last 4 years were the best ones so far. And I want to make the best of the ones to come. However, should I feel that third-life crisis?
I used my favorite search engine (NOT Google) to look up for a simple way to define what a third-life crisis is.Result:
So you have your twenties and “What am I GOING to do with my life” (future). You have your forties-fifties and “What have I DONE with my life” (past). Enter the third-life crisis in your thirties and “What am I DOING with my life” (present).(The Third-Life Crisis and How to Handle It, Jennifer Ostroski)
In five years (from 2016 to 2021), a lot can come and go. Especially when you set your mind to be simple, minimalism and focused. So, what happened in those last 5 years on the west coast?
I discovered to lower my needs. Luxury items are more and more expensive, but I have no need for them anymore. Wanting less always equals owning less.
I now want more time, less money. The true currency in life is your time, nothing else.
Family comes first, job title doesn’t mean anything. As David Graeber told us 8 years ago, chances are your job is bullshit anyway. I realized that what I do daily at work doesn’t reflect in real impact in our world, it just keeps me busy, so I don’t protest/complain.
Cars (and everything else) should be tools, not social status. If you shine your car each week because you like it clean, you probably use it was a symbol. If you can’t drive it down a logging road without a second thought, it’s not a tool and it restricts you. Plus you probably spend way too mich money on the thing. Or a house, or a smartphone, or expensive sport gear or clothing.
Living in a high cost of living area is doable with dual incomes above the average, but it is not austainable on the long term and it forces you to slave yourself to work and a broken money system.
Taking time to read, in a world surrounded by ads and screens, is priceless. Libraries are your best friend too.
Most of people are brainless anyway. They act the way they do because somebody else told them to, not because they thought themselves. I learned to be mindful in my actions, so they reflect my core values. I keep thinking about the article by David Cain titled You lifestyle as been designed.
The less you own, the less you have to replace.The less you own, the less money you need to earn.
The less you own, the more time you have for other things (and people).
I'm not trying to deprive myself, just to focus on the important things in life. If it doesn't add value in my life, I pass.
Unlike your smartphone that sometimes roams between networks when you're close to artificial boundaries, I want to explore my current behaviors towards having no fixed point of return in my everyday life. Is roaming through life possible?
We are told from the childhood to go to school, to get great marks so we can go to University and then get a real career. As the succession of decisions and milestones happens in your life, you end up at the same wall as everybody else. House purchased, kids born and daycare aligned with your schedule, cars bought on debt to go to work, kids will evolve in the same environment as you did, for the sake of success and a dog that roams (!) around your backyard. You are supposed to have found happiness in this manufactured lifestyle, where you have little time for real, meaningful projects of your own, no time for your children, no time to contemplate nature or to roam.
No, you don't need all that shit in your life. With a multitude of techniques, you can regain life from your dead, dull lifestyle. Leave the style to industrialists and marketers, go live on your own terms.
My plan since few years has always been to:
As we are moving really soon to the east coast, we won't give up on our plan to live further away from the city, in a small village surrounded by trails and ski hills. Jobs will take a dip, but we don't plan to work both, and we don't plan to work for more than 7 more years. At 40 years old, I want to be able to work part-time and coast towards retirement.
When I think about it, roaming is what people do: the shuttle between their house and workplace. I want to stay put in a low-cost of living area, where I can enjoy living, not working.
We are all weird in our own way, aren't we?
My goal today is to convince you to stay weird because it is good for your wellbeing.
Stop trying to be normal, to act like everybody else to blend into normality. Be weird like nobody else, but you. Me per example, I'm fucking weird at times. I can look totally normal from outside, good looking if you want, ugly if you don't, but inside is where the wild begins.
Wanna know? Ok then.
Whenever I need to take a dump, I have to read something. Anything to read really, just something to spend the time on the throne to learn something stupid. Like the back of the shampoo bottle, a freaking tag removed from a t-shirt, hell the sticker of a banana. This weirdness appears way before the smartphone era, where now everybody reads stuff on a screen. I'm still reading tags, labels and useless stickers.
What else you asked?
My work brings me to many different locations within the country. All offices have a provided lunch room. Whenever I enter it, I look at the microwave. Why should you care? Because you know when you buy a brand-new one, the screen has a protector film on it? I found out that people don't bother to peel it off. So, a big, rewarding pleasure in my life is to find protector films to peel off from microwaves and any other devices with one. The sensation of a complete day, one film at a time.
Freaking nuts I know.
So stop trying to hide yourself under a blanket of lies, be real.
We want to have fun and act like real life.
That seems just like most of the people I see living a stressful, busy-filled, money-centric life by following trends, buying expensive stuff, pretending to be somebody else with all kind of labels and brand names on their expensive stuff. It's like they created a parallel life, totally fake, and they know about it, but they can't avoid faking it still. They need this thrill to continue to have fun.
I decided years ago that I no longer want to be part of this race. Consumerism, anthropocentrism and predator lifestyle is now my #1 enemy.
Instead of pursuing fakeness for others, cultivate honesty to yourself.