A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep. When this happens, I usually find myself watching a TED Talk. Michele and I were in the middle of trying to sell my car (see Good Bye Awesome Car, Hello Future for the whole story) and I was thinking about stuff. The kind of stuff that fills up our basements, attics, kitchens, garages, houses, and lives. We have a lot of stuff. Michele, Carter, and I live in a normal sized house… but we have rooms that we haven’t opened the door to for months. That brings me to the talk I was watching a few nights ago. In it writer and designer Graham Hill explores if having less “stuff” can actually lead to more happiness. Michele and I think so. Check it out for yourself below.
Americans have so much stuff that its possible to have shows like Hoarders and Storage Wars… maybe its time to look at the alternative?
I’ve never been the girl who spends hours in the bathroom or at the mall. In fact, most days I can be ready to leave within about 20 minutes of waking up (or at least I could before I had to prepare a miniature person too.) If I’m really being honest, I have nursed a certain pride about how much time and money I’ve saved by not getting my hair and nails done, foregoing makeup most mornings, and wearing the same dry-clean only outfit multiple times before finally giving it away.
This year for my birthday, most of my gifts were money/gift cards to clothing stores. Was my family trying to drop a hint? Possibly. Anyway, I went on a general shopping spree for some new summer clothes, including a shirt that I didn’t realize was “hand wash only” until I had taken the tags off and worn it. Ugh. Rule #1 of clothes shopping: don’t buy anything high maintenance!
And then it hit me: my whole life is about to become high maintenance! Every article of clothing will suddenly become one of two options: hand-wash or no-wash. Not only that, but all those “maintenance” chores that I hate so much are about to become much more plentiful. If I think laundry,* dishes, and mopping the floor are a pain, what about checking the bilge every morning, varnishing teak, and yearly haul-outs on top of making my old chores harder? Just a reminder that we aren’t planning on going on a permanent vacation, but living a new life, complete with all the chores!
Of course, if I’m gonna do chores, I’d rather do them in a tropical breeze.
*I hate laundry. To me it is the least efficient of all chores: unless you are naked, you will never complete it.
We are normal (well ok, not so normal) people that have a dream to see the world and live life as it was meant to be. We both have successful careers in the healthcare industry, even in this terrible economy. We want to break free of the current cycle of trading time for dollars and dollars for more and more things we don't need. So, we have decided to forego the fruits of our economic success and "retire" well before we are 30 and set out to see what is over the Horizon.