How Simple Is It Really?

What makes life simple or complicated? It can be any combination of activity schedule, community demands, family needs, job requirements, and joys of home ownership. And how many other things? Somehow, it seems, it is some algorithm of all the pieces, and the more pieces = the more complicated. We thought of work and the many chore aspects of home ownership as the main complicators of our life. If we quit work we would simplify at least forty or fifty hours weekly. We would transfer the spare time and energy to the cars and house and lawn and church and travel. And we end up busier than when working.

Quitting work doesn’t simplify anything. Unless we quit maintaining the house and yard and cars and all the associated habits, we still are caught up in all the business of staying busy. There’s no end to tasks we could aspire to, from prepping and painting to remodeling and trimming hedges and replanting, and improving the garage, and detailing the cars and I could go on forever. And the chores list went on forever.

Over seven months ago we sold the cars and house and all the contents and moved out of the house into a 25 ft Airstream trailer. Our lifestyle could become simple. It is vastly simpler, to us, than our previous one. But we still are finding ourselves more externally driven than we expected. We increasingly find ourselves wanting to stay longer. The longest we’ve stayed anywhere since February is two and one-half weeks. And we still don’t see longer stays within our reach through the end of 2008. Okay, we’re beginners at full-timing.

Life is much simpler for us. We have almost no assets to care for. Our household is less than 200 sf, has no high-dusting, the only floor surface is seamless vinyl, the walls are clear-coat finished aluminum, and the casework is all laminate-faced. We have one toilet, and two sinks. One bed to make. We can wash and polish all the windows in under one-half hour. Our books, the few we carry, are in one nook in the trailer. Our music is on the iPod. Our pictures are on the laptop. Nothing “goes missing” on us for long. There just aren’t many places to look before we find it. We have almost no routine maintenance to keep us busy. We have far fewer possessions. And we can focus on our interests better, we hope.

We have a lot of time for reading. Much more time than we used to. And we can sight-see when we want to. I’m studying for my next amateur radio license. Deb’s working on a needlepoint project. I enjoy small projects, like how I’ll route the XM radio’s antenna into the trailer or arranging antennas for cb and amateur radios into the trailer. These are really simple things. Our most complicated issue is our travel route and destinations for the next quarter-year. And driving through Chicago’s interstate system or Vancouver’s downtown. Still, life is simpler. For now.

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