I have always regarded peace of mind as a given in your life. I also take a few measures to ensure that my mind has time and spare energy to relax as well as devote itself to various pursuits of its own. This has allowed us to run a few blogs, freelance along with a full time job, actually unplug from work time to time and generally live a life we enjoy.
Not owning a television is another one of my ways to avoid and information overload and also to ensure that I get filtered and essential happenings only from around the world. I prefer to read multiple articles and books on any issue, interesting topic and then make up my mind instead of hearing a few ‘panelists’ shouting at each other. Feel free to call me ignorant or plain stupid but it has helped me create a better life for myself. I strongly believe that most average people (like us) will rarely achieve anything beyond anger, distrust and general dissatisfaction.
Low information diet
Low information diet has been around for quite some time; from Tim Ferris to MMM it has been talked about a lot. I came across it a few years ago when I had taken on far too many things on than I could have ever managed. It was affecting both my mental calm and the calm in my day to day activities. I was easily irritable, especially if someone failed at drawing a straight line being an architect. It affected how we engaged as a couple. We were both stressed by one issue or the other and the to-do list was longer than the grocery list of spendypants. There was a constant nagging feeling of not doing what I was supposed to do. I was hell bent on creating a successful blog which could fund our travels, but one blog was never enough. I started a few blogs, worked freelancing jobs and overall was time strapped. The only time I could disconnect was when we were travelling, but the thought process of travel blogger crept in and I now had to take a lot of pics to justify the tag. I have thousands of people clicking in to the site, how I could disappoint them with no pic of the tasty stuff we ate. Here’s something you might not know- I hate taking pics (especially if they stall me from enjoying any experience).
Let it Go
Shove came to push and I was dearly missing my own free time. I decided to stop every single thing and then decided to regroup and rethink my priorities. Even though I love writing, travelling and sharing it with numerous people and then interacting with them; it came surprisingly far lower in my priorities and responsibilities. Yes, you are my reader but for me to feel obliged to produce content is simply stupid. It just took a very long time for me to realize that. I was running after my dream of quitting my job and travelling while running an online empire. Guess what? The struggle is real and unless you can really commit all your energy it is a difficult one at best.
It is difficult to accept that you can’t do as much as the other person with a seemingly perfect life, it was difficult to accept I can’t.
Once I gave in to what I really wanted, which turned out to be a free, slow lazy life I was feeling far-far better. I miss writing sometimes because I have a lot of stories to tell and because I miss the thrill of pushing publish and waiting for reaction. When we started this blog my only intention was to get some feedback here or in the forums we frequent. Would I love to have a blog with million visits a day? Why yes as long as it does not require me to put every single free minute of my life in it.
Right now and in the foreseeable future I will have a job which will meet my daily expenses and allow me to retire early. With a job which pays above average mean I commit over 44 hours a week. That leaves very few hours to myself, my family and my house. With the frugal drive and lifestyle change we are on we are adjusting every day. There are days when we are freer than before simply because we are not out buying stuff. Others we are far busier because we are cooking or prepping food. It has become far easier every single week and a huge change in our spending patterns is visible from February to July.
Pursuit of happiness is real.
I am happier though a bit stressed and dissatisfied with the job for reasons unknown to me. Maybe one day I will get meditation mindfulness down pat and realize my reasons for not enjoying a job which not only provides for me but also challenges me mentally. I am now, back to picking up things I gave up along the route and deciding if I want them in my life at all. A lot of them are now useless like the amount of shoes I had before I decided I like to travel more. Don’t get me wrong I love shoes and would love to own a lot more but the reality is I don’t need to. It did not take me much time to realize they are not a need an definitely not the only interest I have. The fact is that walking in heels is a big pain and when you travel on cheap you definitely walk- a lot.
I am still learning and growing in my endeavor to be more mindful of what I consume both mentally and in material terms. Yes the money will grow as we cut back on our expenses. Yes we will face road blocks and we might not retire before 60. The best part is our worst case scenario is other’s default and best case scenario.