Someone asked me recently, “Why do you live the way you do?”
It is a lifestyle choice. It is what we feel is important; being our own bosses, being free to juggle our days our way, not to be controlled by 9 to 5, with 4 weeks holidays at the boss’s convenience.
It is about being free and feeling wealthy in all the ways that matter to us.
So, what is wealth? Is it an abundance of valuable possessions or money?
Is it having at least 1 person to share life’s important moments?
Is it having someone who accepts you completely?
Is it living somewhere near nature to walk and gather edible weeds?
Is it having somewhere to grow fruit & vegies and hang with a few chooks?
Is it having an abundance that you can give away or barter with?
Is it having time and skills to preserve, knit, sew and create?
Is it being with people who get you, who also have skills to share?
Is it having a group of people to share a chat and cuppa with?
Is it about creating memories?
Is it having a home that people comment on – “your house is peaceful, calm and lived in… it’s a home!”
Are these indicators of wealth? Well they are for us.
More cash in the bank would be good, who are we kidding, but not at the expense of our lifestyle.
So how do you create a peaceful home, a lived-in home, a wealthy life? Firstly, live in it! Be grateful and content with what you have and not what a consumerist society says you have to have!
How does this sort of wealth happen? For us, it happened organically and slowly over the years. Our house is not modern. It is not a showcase house. It is old and slightly run down, full of old, second-hand but beautiful furniture. There is no state-of-the-art oven, dishwasher, central heating, air conditioning or home cinema with surround sound. Instead, the kitchen includes my joy Mabel, the wood cook stove on which we cook soup and keep a kettle hot ready for a pot of tea. There are messy benches, an old wood table filled with flowers, candles, a fruit bowl, plants and projects. We have one TV tucked away in a corner where it doesn’t dominate the sitting room. You’re more likely to notice the wood heater, old comfy couches, books, guitars, candles and flowers and the cat always on a chair.
Our wealth is about being conscious about our choices, of how we want to spend our days, what things can be left out and it won’t even matter. It’s about experiences and community, not gadgets and stuff.
Of course we fall off the wagon; life does get stressful, busy and complicated! But we control it mostly by our choices, from our motto…our life our way.
If financial wealth equals happiness and is therefore determined by owning more and more things, shouldn’t having the wealth to buy those things make us happy?
But if wealth equates to being less wasteful, being more mindful of what you have, choosing quality over quantity and having freedom to choose how you live then maybe, just maybe, all you need to do to feel wealthy is just to count the things you have that money can’t buy and remember that the goal of life isn’t more financial wealth but living a life that makes you feel wealthy.