“I make myself rich by making my wants few.” [Thoreau]
It’s that time of year when we look back on what 2014 was and what we hope 2015 will hold.
For Vanessa and I, we’re grateful for what last year held for us. The house renovations have been coming along nicely but slowed since we’ve been working full-time now. We’re still eating our own vegetables we grew last summer: potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, corn, pickles, onions and squash. The six chickens have started giving us about four eggs daily – even with winter’s cold embrace taking over. And we have each other. What else do we need?
We have our health, home, food and warmth – and with that, all of our needs are met. Then there’s the other stuff we take for granted that’s really a luxury for most of the global population: we have cars, hobbies, music, internet access and more clothes than we actually wear. I sometimes think it’s even too much.
One of the things I’ve loved most about our move has been our embrace of the concept of living with less. At one point it was a conscious decision to do without some of the luxuries we’ve always enjoyed. Dining-out together was a big one. So was buying things we wanted but really didn’t need – just because we could.
Now we just want to live a simpler, minimal life. Not militant minimalism, mind you – I don’t want to “make do” with two plates, two forks, two cups and two choices of clothes to wear. But we can do with less. In fact, it’s one of the more rewarding things we’ve done in our move. We sold or gave away a lot of items we didn’t need or want to move to PEI – and we’ve not needed to replace them as of yet, either.
We’ve found that very little is needed to make a happy life.
So for 2015, if we’re talking resolutions (and I’m not really), then it would be to stay-the-course. Keep our needs few. After all, things will never make one happy – it just creates a desire for more things or bigger things. We will unburden our lives by owning less stuff and doing more of the things we love.
For the past year we’ve been dreaming of our “big picture” together. What we want our house to be. How we’d like to farm. The wood lot we want to purchase and how we’d use that for our needs. But we realize a dream is just a dream without a plan. This year, we’ll be expanding our gardens and offering limited weekly eggs and vegetable boxes for sale. The woodlot we hope to purchase will be both an investment and a source of income.
As for you, we hope you have a wonderful new year filled with happiness. Dream big dreams, but don’t stop there, make a plan to see those dreams fulfilled.