Monday, 11 July 2016

Work Less and Live More



I love this little snippet of a famous poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.  
See here for the full poem and to listen to it being read. 

I take it slightly out of the context it was written in, and it reminds me that we are walking a road less travelled in that we have moved away from over-consumerism.  That we are moving towards being as self sufficient as we possibly can be in many ways, and that what we are doing is considered outside of the 'norm' for many people.

Yes, lots of you lovely readers also have chosen this path too, but by and large the vast majority of the folk in this country and many others are on a path that seems to me to be like a treadmill.


Going out to work, working longer and longer hours to pay for things that they 'should' have.  Striving always for more ... more things, more space, more possessions, more experiences, just more, more, more.

When does it stop, when will it stop?  Will we ever have enough in this consumerist age, when will more people stop and realise that all that you acquire cannot be taken with you.  Most of what we have our children will not want once we are gone. So it will all have been in vain, yes maybe we get momentary pleasure from purchases but then they are added to the stack of stuff we already have and the pleasure is forgotten about and more acquiring of things is needed to get the feeling back.


I guess what I'm trying to say in a nutshell is how much better it would be to work less and live more.  

To earn enough to keep a decent roof over your head, the bills paid and food on the table and then decide to stop acquiring things and instead to go out and live.  To spend time with loved ones, talking, reminiscing, planning.  To take the time to walk the paths, the beaches, the woodlands or just around the streets of your neighbourhood.  To take the time to get to know the places and the folk around you.  It costs nothing yet gives you so much.


I'm obviously just in a musing mood .... I go off on a tangent occasionally and this time I thought I would share it with you.


Here's a cute photo ... just so you know it's still me  ;-)

Sue xx


22 comments:

  1. Perfect post, I totally agree about the treadmill too though I enjoy working very much. Working a lot gives me great pleasure even though it's hard; I don't see it as a chore. But wanting less IS the thing I'm working on now. And as for the less-travelled path, it has always been my favourite one. xx

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  2. Like cute photo's. Work is not work if you enjoy doing it. I think the realization that you don't need a lot of stuff comes later in life.

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  3. I'm with you totally on this - it's what we did 30 years ago and never regretted it for a moment/ We had someone view our house in February. She ADORED it - would have moved in straight away - but she had a job in London paying her an immense wage, though she had to work 8 hours, travel 4, and take work home with her. That's not a life. Yet because of that she decided not to take a chance and live in paradise doing B&B. I am still hoping she has the year from hell in London and changes her mind.

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  4. We just had this very conversation this morning. My husband has been off sick with work related stress and we're having to reassess our situation x

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    1. I've been there. At the time it felt like a failure and a disaster but looking back it was the best thing that could happen to us.

      Just remember: 1) it isn't your fault, 2) you haven't failed. 3) You can make it.

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    2. I too was off work ill for the first time in 20 odd very pressurized years. When I began to recover a little I chose to walk away from the long hours and immense pressure. I returned to university and am now a PG student whilst working every day with young people for a quarter of what I used to earn. I still have pressures and worries and work very hard indeed but I enjoy my work much more. I have learned to live on much less. I faced the fear and survived and so will you. Good luck!

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  5. I couldn't agree with you more, Sue, a wonderful thought provoking post. We have been much happier living a simpler life, more relaxed,taking time to enjoy the family and the GC while they are still young enough to want to visit us. Ilona is right, I think, in that the realization doesn't come until later in life that possessions are not the 'be all and end all'. Great post!

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  6. Totally agree with you. I've taken early retirement now but had to work through necessity when the children were young as hubby's wages were never enough! Our aim now is for hubby to retire early but we can't afford it just yet - working on it though. Until then we carry on sorting, selling, de-cluttering. You're right in that our kids wouldn't want our stuff - ours would get a house clearance firm in I'm sure!!

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  7. Love that Robert Frost - went to see his grave some years ago in a beautiful village churchyard. I am always interested in the concept of the road not taken.

    I agree about consumerism - living here in the country I realise how much easier it is to relax and let things float over my head.

    And, by the way, I adore that pug -haven't said it lately. Give him a hug from me.

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  8. I agree totally, just want a job that pays enough so I can have a decent flat, and do a bit of travelling. One that I actually enjoy.

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  9. I moved from a 3-storey house to live in a caravan for 5 years, so just about everything I owned had to go. But along with all those belongings went so much stress and in came the realisation that we need very little to lead a happy life. I had a warm, cosy home, a job that I enjoyed and the freedom to enjoy life. And my dog!

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  10. I live in a suburban environment and have no real space to grow anything but I have stopped buying, de-cluttered and watch my outgoing since my income is fixed. I completely agree!

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  11. We'd paid off our mortgage, and our son had finished University, so when, due to government cuts, my employers offered me more than a year's salary to go, I almost took their arm off!
    I was 53 at the time, too young to get my occupational pension, so I knew we'd have to tighten our belts a little, but I also knew it would be worth it to get away from the constant stress at work.
    15 months after I finished, DH also took early retirement, he got two years salary as a lump sum and his occupational pension as he was 55 when he finished.
    We'd been living the high life when we were both working, and it was fun having cash to spare, but now we live the life we always wanted. No more work related stress, no more leaping out of bed at 5-30 and hitting the floor running, no more weekends of being so tired we felt ill, we have a lot less money, but it's SO worth it!
    I can't believe how much money I used to spend every week on totally unneccesary 'stuff', and the amount of convenience foods I had to use due to our erratic work hours was beyond ridiculous!
    At school my teachers always said that I 'marched to the beat of my own drum'.....well I certainly do now, and it's great!

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  12. A great post. I won't go into my history, although I will mention that some things I'd been keeping ie vintage crockery, linens etc which were passed on to me by my mother and grandmother, I was going to pass on to my daughter, but I don't think she's interested. The few things she has expressed an interest in I've given to her. I don't know what to do with them and I feel they're too good for a charity shop. My thoughts are that as she gets older her mind will change, if it doesn't then she can do what she wants with them. I won't know will I?

    Joan (Wales)

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    1. Hello Joan, I am currently a manager of a village charity shop. We sell a lot of pretty crockery & linen for weddings & parties. A great deal has been donated to the village community centre for events and hiring out. I wonder if you knew of an organisation you could donate to so that they would use your lovely china & linen ? Penny x

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  13. I couldn't agree more. Over the last 20 months I've cut our spending, we both reduced our working week slightly and started growing more vegetables. We buy far less, want far less and life is simple. In 10 weeks time I retire. If only you could see the smile on my face :-)

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  14. You reminded me why I'm doing what I'm doing there, many thanks.

    Taking the road less travelled seems to get a very hostile response from some places though. In my carpentry apprenticeship I had all kinds of trouble because I quietly insisted on learning to use hand tools in my own time, instead of reaching for a machine. It really seemed to upset my boss and 'trainer' who took every opportunity to attack me for it.

    Now I'm on phase two, learning to be a work therapist and work with people with disabilities, psycological problems, and in the process find a way to live more simply and invite others into that way of life.


    We're still aiming, not sure where the destination is, just yet.

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  15. Sue I have given in notice at the charity shop. It had become so stressful for me that I dreaded going to work ! I used to love the shop so shall go back to volunteering to keep in touch with all the lovely volunteers and customers.

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    1. No one except a former charity shop manager can understand or appreciate just how hard it is to run a good charity shop. You did well to last as long as you did. Well done, and it's brilliant that you feel able to continue in the role of volunteer in future.

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