You have probably heard the saying, “never say never” — alluding to the fact that those things we sometimes think we are least likely to do, we do in fact end up doing. I’ve been thinking about how my attitudes about some things have changed over my lifetime.
When I was still in the workforce I was a pretty gung-ho guy. I took my job seriously and aimed to excel at pretty much everything I did for my career. Over the last 5-10 years of my career I started easing up. I still worked hard but I was wiling to be more sociable, I enjoyed my time away from work more, and I threw away my suits and ties so as to begin dressing down instead of up. Then came retirement.
Obviously we downsized in order to go from living in a 6500 sq ft home/business into our first 230 sq ft RV. We’ve been in RV’s now for 5+ years and during that time a sense of disengagement came over me. I learned to dislike large cities (I was part way along that path even before retirement); I learned to dislike protocols, and rules, and dealing manually with anything I could automate and not have to think about. I cared (too much) about all those things when I was working and had no choice. Now that I have a choice I allow myself to actively dislike all of that.
For once I am free to read, to enjoy the outdoors without having to keep cutting my visits short, when I have the energy I can get out my cameras and be creative, and when I’m not inclined to drag 40-50 lbs of gear around I content myself with an iPhone and using my eyes instead of a camera. I cook more. (Well, to be precise: I cook more often. The doctor’s on my case and the quantities of what I cook are reduced significantly) We walk more often as a couple. We have always walked as a couple, but when we were working our times to walk together were limited to weekends most of the time. I write, I research, I do a few physical projects. I enjoy my life as long as I don’t have to deal with insurance companies and banks and employers and all that garbage that once filled my life.
I’m not disengaging from life. I’m disengaging from the trite, the trivial, and the boring. Heck — I find myself staying up a little later in the evenings, used to be I was in bed by 9:30. And I’m finally able (occasionally) to sleep past 5:30 — and periodically I’ve even been known to stay in bed till 7:30 — which never used to happen ever.
The fact of the matter is I’m trying to make life as simple as possible. Not because I cannot cope; but because I like it that way. I’m still the guy who wants to do business with people face-to-face; I still like hand-made items even though they typically cost more than machine made, and even if they might not be as flawless.
The modern world has sold itself to automation. In the name of higher capitalist profits business has embraced machines to such a point that the machines now have the jobs that once employed humans. Now the purpose of humans is to wear out the stuff those machines can manufacture so as to keep the machines busy making more stuff. We — collectively — have made ourselves slaves to an automated world and I for one am tired of it.
So, I find myself making life simpler and simpler. I find myself disengaging from uselessness. And, to tell the truth — It Feels Great!
Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow. Why not stop and say hi!