Living with Less is Not about Going Without

Living with less is not about going without. I keep repeating this to myself. It is really about keeping what is essential and eliminating the rest.

It was about a month ago when I made my first move and wrote a blog about simplifying life by downsizing and living with less. At that time, I had an epiphany and realized that simplifying my life and eliminating debt would be a huge step towards the pursuit of happiness. This move will also support our goal of spending more time traveling the world while walking on every continent.

At the time, while reading the draft of my blog, my wife, commented, “Does this really mean you are finally going to follow through and actually do this?” She is really onboard with making these changes. For some reason she thinks I have a track record of “being a lot of talk and not enough action” with this subject matter. My response was, that by writing about this, maybe I am forcing my hand to take that first step. Getting started really came home to roost the day after the “Living with Less” blog was published. People started asking me my advice on the best way to downsize.   Yikes, this was a kick in the pants and I realized, I better move forward and “practice what I preach”; so I headed home and cleaned out my closet and shed.   This part was easy.

I am not sure if it is ego, or the resistance to change, but keeping the momentum moving forward and going through everything and really getting rid of all the clutter in your life was, and is, tough for me.   I know intellectually this is what I want. I have to keep repeating to myself that I am ready to simplify my life and eliminate all personal debt. This will be a major step towards living life as we dream.

We are now at the point of seriously discussing the possibility of hiring an Estate company to come in and sell everything that is not critical to our life. If we don’t love it or use it, it will go. We are really struggling to find a solution for all the boxes of family pictures.

The tough thing for me is selling our house and moving. Intellectually I know this house is too big with too much overhead, but the emotional side makes me want to resist. I really like our neighbors and neighborhood and love being able to walk here day and night. Morgan is ready to sell and figure out where we are moving after the sale. She is so anxious to move she even suggested that we move to a house boat. House boat? I am not sold on this idea. On the other hand, I am really trying to control our destiny and figure out moving options prior to the sale. Currently we have locked horns over this subject but I am certain we will find compromise that will take us where we need to be.

I ran across an online magazine named Relevant with an article titled “A Guide to Living With Less”. It sums it up well, “Simplicity is really about being mindful of the things you allow in your life. It’s about focusing on the things that matter to you. Life is far too precious to be spent chasing possessions and pursuing what others have defined as success. Life is meant to be spent pursing the things that matter.

Living a simpler life can help us to lead more meaningful lives. It is about realizing that happiness and security aren’t found in possessions. Living the simpler life is about finding freedom in living with less”. It is my expectation that this process will lead to a greater focus on what is important such as spiritual matters, family and friends.

I am taking that step; are you ready to do the same?  Less stuff and less debt equals less stress which equals more happiness and more choices in life.

Talk with your family, or get outside and go for a walk. Think about living with less; it’s not about going without.

To read previous blogs or the day by day account of our walking the 500 mile Camino, go to

Gregg Patterson

©Copywrite 12/01/2015




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