Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Living a Small Life
The more time I spend on this earth, the more I realise I can please myself and be myself. I don’t need to pretend to want great things and I don’t need to fret that I’ve never had or probably never will have a high-powered career.
I’ve come to realise that’s not what I’m about. I enjoy a quiet and simple life. Ever since I left school I’ve always worked at ‘normal’ office jobs. I didn’t attend University because I didn’t really know what I wanted to study, and I didn’t want to go just for the sake of it. So I started my first full-time job at 18 (although I had already been working part-time after school and in school holidays since I was 14) and have been working ever since.
My husband and I now own a small retail business which we started almost seven years ago. We have decided for now we are content with one shop and a simple online presence. We’ve talked about it and agreed that opening a second or subsequent shops wouldn’t necessarily make us any happier.
It’s all about balance. By running one shop between us we have the flexibility during the day to do things such as run errands, go to the gym or yoga, take a walk, or just disappear for a while if we want to.
In terms of a social life, I’ve had my times of going out a lot especially when single. But even then I loved nothing more than to be at home with the fire lit, knitting or reading. I knew I had to go out to meet someone though for they don’t come knocking at your door, so I did what I had to (and actually met the perfect man for me, now my husband, in a bar).
It’s not just about what I do for a job, or socialising though, it’s everything in my life. I happily share one very ordinary car and enjoy creative and frugal pursuits at home. Expensive hobbies scare me.
Even though I enjoy the dream of living in or travelling to Paris or New York City, I love living in New Zealand and can’t see myself living anywhere else. And for travel, I know it will come, I’m happy to forego it now, in this phase of my life where we are running a business.
If it sounds like I’m putting off happiness, I’m not. Every day I feel grateful and satisfied and thankful that I am where I am. I enjoy small luxuries frequently and make my own happiness. I collect simple pleasures such as going to bed early.
My Mum always said ‘bored people are boring’ when we complained of having nothing to do. I guess I took that to heart as now there aren’t enough hours in the day for all the things I love to do – reading, writing, sewing, knitting, cooking, pottering, movie-watching – as well as living my everyday life in a thoughtful and stylish manner.
I no longer feel I have to apologise for not being a faster and more driven person. I am content to live my own life, at my own pace.
That's the greatest luxury of all I think: living a life custom-designed for me.