Living simple

I freely admit that I come from a privileged middle class upbringing and then continued to live a comfortable middle class lifestyle once I reached adulthood. It's rather ironic that we in western societies think that we suffer much materially given all that we have. Sure I have felt "want" but I doubt I have ever really been close to "need" in any meaningful way. I'm thankful for the material blessings that I received. It should motivate me to give more to others than I do.

Part of this reflection lately has been thinking how to live more simply. As I move toward retirement it's attractive to think about travel, buying this and that, and generally living a life of ease. But I'm reminded of my maternal grandparents who lived a more simple lifestyle and enjoyed what they had rather than thinking about accquiring more. They enjoyed their garden, time with family, vacationing (albeit for short stays) within just a couple hours drive from their house. They appeared to find contentment and joy that can quite often escape me these days.

To that end, I'm really trying hard to think of ways to both find and build a lifestyle of contentment and thankfulness. As one of our cars is getting older, I'm thinking more about what will last but not be flashy and difficult to maintain. I'm thinking more about buying lightly used things rather than new. It's been both interesting and sobering to think about living with less and not just for my comfort.