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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

corter 04-15-10 12:04 AM

My current life:

Work for myself
No credit cards
No car
One small student loan
2 Kittens
City priced rent, which is only because I love where I live and choose to be here. I could move to something cheap/free whenever.

I just want to live a good life. One of my goals has always been to be in complete control, because I think that's the ultimate freedom. At 23 years old, that's almost happened~ I work for myself, and I'm 1 small student loan away from financial freedom. I'm not tied down anywhere, I've got great friends, and I'm simply happy. I want to see things, meet people, teach, and learn. That's all.

I think mentally, I'm blessed (or cursed) with being very logical. I've always just had a complete blanket of acceptance. Techniques and worksheets and books and therepsts, all of which i've tried as a kid... they offer so much information that overlaps. It drives me nuts because your head is just like your living room, it becomes very cluttered very easily. I just accept that we can't control the world around us. The past has happened, there's nothing we can do to change it. Once you get this down, you can start responding with emotions rather than reacting with them (you also accept that you control your future 100%, and can walk away from anything you're doing to make yourself a new or better life...and then you go for it).

About love up there... Love is the most sacred thing we can give of ourselves, it's the most complicated thing we've ever known. I'm not arguing with the goal, to each his own, but I can't say I agree with Love being the "simplest thing of all".

Smallwheels 04-15-10 07:27 AM

It's A Tough Road Worth Traveling
 

Originally Posted by corter (Post 10673218)
About love up there... Love is the most sacred thing we can give of ourselves, it's the most complicated thing we've ever known. I'm not arguing with the goal, to each his own, but I can't say I agree with Love being the "simplest thing of all".

I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated. It's when we say I will only love you as long as you do/don't do ____________. Having expectations about another person in a relationship is where the problems begin. That frailty is within most of us and it is easy to work on but hard to fully drop.

Artkansas 04-15-10 07:50 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10673835)
I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated.

I think that love has nothing to do with relationships. It's a gift from god that you pass on to others and yourself. You can love those you don't like as easily as your friends.

corter 04-15-10 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10673835)
I just look at love as a simple thing. You either love someone or you don't. It's all the attachments, expectations, and conditions we put on relationships that make it complicated. It's when we say I will only love you as long as you do/don't do ____________. Having expectations about another person in a relationship is where the problems begin. That frailty is within most of us and it is easy to work on but hard to fully drop.

Treating someone with love and loving someone are two very, very different things. What I'm getting from you here is that you're mixing the two? I guess I just don't understand being so focused on relationships when your goal is to love everyone unconditionally, which would mean loving most people you've never met or formed a relationship with. I'd also say that if you've ever loved someone conditionally, you've never loved, because one of the reason why love is so special and reserved is that it's completely unconditional.

iron.wren 04-15-10 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by corter (Post 10674761)
Treating someone with love and loving someone are two very, very different things. What I'm getting from you here is that you're mixing the two? I guess I just don't understand being so focused on relationships when your goal is to love everyone unconditionally, which would mean loving most people you've never met or formed a relationship with. I'd also say that if you've ever loved someone conditionally, you've never loved, because one of the reason why love is so special and reserved is that it's completely unconditional.

+1

corter 04-15-10 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10648377)
It is too bad that most cities have zoning codes that don't allow structures smaller than 1500 square feet. The Tumbleweed house company sells plans for tiny homes under 800 square feet. Most people probably build them on lots outside city limits or within their own back yards.

My next move will be into a one bedroom apartment if I can find one with built-in laundry equipment. I really hate having to monitor my clothes at a laundromat or within an apartment laundry room. It wastes my time.

How small is too small for you? How big is too big for you? Since I'm single I could do it without any complaints from a spouse. .

Just read this! Tumbleweed houses, and most tiny houses, are built on trailers and actually under 400sq.ft. This way there are no codes, because it's not considered a permanent structure even if you buy land, park it, and attach to the grid. It's the same with actual RV's. There are a lot of people that live in RV's in big cities, as long as they're under 24ft (a class C I think) you can legally park at meters overnight, or in free street parking, with no problem. A couple solar panels and a gym membership for showers and facilities, you're good to go.

I think the most popular advantages to smaller living are freedom, smaller footprint both physically and environmentally, and cost. With the tiny houses, building shelter is something every living creature does except for (most) humans, and I think a lot of people that are doing this want to experience that.

Personally, I've never lived in a huge place. My last place was a sub 500sq.ft. 2 bedroom, with most of the room being in the shared living areas. my bedroom was 9x9, and I was perfectly happy in it. We lived above the boiler room, so we got the place cheaper and we never paid more than $30/month in oil heat even in the dead of winter. I've got my current place for another 18 months, and I'm going to do the RV thing after that, travel around a bit.

Rollfast 04-15-10 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 10668602)
One thing I haven't seen in this thread is about one's inner mental life. What do you do to keep that simple?

Your brain builds bridges while you sleep etc. Don't you mean more harmonious?

jaebberwock 04-17-10 03:21 AM

By far, one of the best threads I have read on the internets. I just spent the last 3 hours or so reading 28 pages of posts in one go. It brought me back ten years when I was able to fit not only all of my stuff, but a friends as well into my '97 Grand Am for a coast to coast drive. Now, approaching 30, I have a big screen T.V., a PS3, an Xbox 360, couches, beds, weight sets, computers, smartphones, guns, you name it. I've fallen into the habit of trying to buy happiness. The accumulation of stuff happened so gradually I didn't even realize it, I hadn't realized that it was suffocating me. Thanks for the eye opener; I remembered that it was when I had the least that I was at my happiest.

Smallwheels 04-17-10 10:51 AM

How Did You Find This Thread?
 

Originally Posted by jaebberwock (Post 10683492)
By far, one of the best threads I have read on the internets.... I remembered that it was when I had the least that I was at my happiest.

I see this is your first post. How did you find this thread? What were you seeking that brought you here?

Just curious.

jaebberwock 04-17-10 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10684276)
I see this is your first post. How did you find this thread? What were you seeking that brought you here?

Just curious.

Nothing so grand as self enlightenment. I suddenly decided I needed a bike and was looking to buy a cheap road bike to see if I'd stick with it. I don't want a repeat of my paragliding hobby in which I sunk thousands of dollars into gear and training for 1 season of flying. I just never picked it back up after winter was over...what a waste eh? This thread kind of makes me want to re-evaluate buying a bike but it's already ordered and I'll probably be living closer to downtown for my work so it will be practical for getting around as well as good for my health. I usually run but it has been getting kind of boring as of late.

Roody 04-17-10 08:23 PM


Originally Posted by jaebberwock (Post 10684634)
Nothing so grand as self enlightenment. I suddenly decided I needed a bike and was looking to buy a cheap road bike to see if I'd stick with it. I don't want a repeat of my paragliding hobby in which I sunk thousands of dollars into gear and training for 1 season of flying. I just never picked it back up after winter was over...what a waste eh? This thread kind of makes me want to re-evaluate buying a bike but it's already ordered and I'll probably be living closer to downtown for my work so it will be practical for getting around as well as good for my health. I usually run but it has been getting kind of boring as of late.

Well get on that bike and ride! I don't think you will regret it. :)

SunnyFlorida 04-19-10 12:27 AM

I've learned to live simply only because Mother Nature dictates it. I live in hurricane country. I've seen rain seep through my door and windows and watched my back yard turn into a small lake. I've had to pack my most prized possession in a carry-on and run up stairs and hope the water doesn't reach and isolate me. This means I've replaced furnitue more than once.

You know around here, people don't necessarily shop in retail stores, they shop at Goodwill first. It's almost as if people don't want to get fond of their possession because it can all go away in a bad hurricane.

I've therefore become very zen about it all. I buy stuff, sometimes go to an actual store for furniure, and enjoy it. Yet, in the back of my mind I know it can all disappear in a category 3 or higher hurricane.

P.S. When I first came to Florida I use to ask what should I do when a major hurricane was coming. I mainly got one answer - "Get out of Dodge."

After sitting out a few minor hurricanes, I now know what they mean.

iron.wren 04-19-10 06:09 AM


Originally Posted by SunnyMiami (Post 10690872)
I've learned to live simply only because Mother Nature dictates it. I live in hurricane country. I've seen rain seep through my door and windows and watched my back yard turn into a small lake. I've had to pack my most prized possession in a carry-on and run up stairs and hope the water doesn't reach and isolate me. This means I've replaced furnitue more than once.

You know around here, people don't necessarily shop in retail stores, they shop at Goodwill first. It's almost as if people don't want to get fond of their possession because it can all go away in a bad hurricane.

I've therefore become very zen about it all. I buy stuff, sometimes go to an actual store for furniure, and enjoy it. Yet, in the back of my mind I know it can all disappear in a category 3 or higher hurricane.

P.S. When I first came to Florida I use to ask what should I do when a major hurricane was coming. I mainly got one answer - "Get out of Dodge."

After sitting out a few minor hurricanes, I now know what they mean.

Hurricane country will do that to you

Smallwheels 04-19-10 10:48 AM

My first real full house move was out of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was then that I got an idea of how much stuff I really owned. Though most of it was inherited it was still mine. Before the move I sold two bedroom sets, a dining room set, much of a living room set, a large screen TV, and still had much more than a truckload of possessions. I left behind one bedroom set and a garage full of stored items of all kinds. I wanted to sell much more but the hurricane destroyed the market for everything else I had to sell, therefore I took it with me to sell from my new home.

I've sold the remainder of the living room set, my major appliances, and now I'm trying to get rid of the remainder of the furniture and small knickknacks. I don't think I'll ever live in a hurricane zone again but other parts of the world have natural disasters that also require moving quickly. Having fewer possessions and living simply is a great benefit in those situations.

Roody 04-19-10 10:52 AM


Originally Posted by Smallwheels (Post 10692270)
I don't think I'll ever live in a hurricane zone again but other parts of the world have natural disasters that also require moving quickly. Having fewer possessions and living simply is a great benefit in those situations.

I think it would be psychologically helpful also. If you're less attached to your belongings, you might be less upset if they're lost or destroyed.

supercycle62 04-20-10 05:24 AM

I own hardly anything and rent a furnished room downtown in a beautiful old Victorian era house. I have no credit cards and cook all my own food (mostly). I have a guitar, 3 old bikes, a few basic tools, a desktop computer and some clothes. That's it...

Pretty simple...eh?

phillyskyline 04-20-10 06:02 AM

This is such an interesting thread. I'm enjoying reading the new replies as well as going back to read some of the older ones. Seeing how simply some folks live is amazing. It makes me realize that, while I do enjoy some creature comforts, I could live with a lot less than I have now and be perfectly happy.

There are some things I would never part with voluntarily, like the dining room furniture that has been in my family since the late 1800s, and was originally owned by my great-great-grandmother (whom I was named after). Those pieces are still just material possessions, but they have an emotional value. Then there's all the junky IKEA furniture, exercise equipment, boxes of books/CDs, dishes, etc that I've acquired over the years. Do I really need all that stuff? No.

One thing that's wonderful about living in the city is that there are shared resources available to the community so you don't have to buy something you may only use once in a while. I belong to the West Philly Tool Library and, as soon as we sell the car, will sign up for either Philly Car Share or Zipcar. These resources will be a huge help as my partner and I go car-free and try to pare down our material possessions to a more manageable amount of stuff.

spezi3 04-24-10 07:52 AM

This is a very interesting thread. Many of my friends in the States think that I have a very Spartan existence. They all live in McMansions with large mortgages and loads of credit card debt. But I'm happy with my life, and that's the important thing. Here are some of the things that I do to try and live a simpler life:

* My family is car-light. Like many of the local German families in my town, we have one car. In the winter we like to ski at some places which are only accessible by car. There are other times where I need a car. But my husband and I found that we can live fine with just one.
* When the weather is nice (translation: not raining, snowing, or hailing), I ride my bike or walk to take care of local errands. I ride my bike to work an average of 3 days a week.
* I have a clothes dryer, but only use it to keep our towels and jeans from getting stiff. All other clothing is dried on a clothesline.
* My family is making more of an effort to eat less processed foods. I can't see us totally cutting out processed foods, but any increase in buying fresh foods is a good thing. I also use my crock pot a lot for homemade soups and stews. My son recently told me that my homemade soups are so much better than canned soups. The only times we go out to restaurants are on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.
* I live with my husband and son in a 2-bedroom, approximately 900 square foot apartment.
* I don't need to buy the latest and greatest gadgets. One of my friends in the States was making fun of me for having a 3-year-old iPod Nano. But it works fine and suits my needs. It seems silly to buy a new one when the old one is good.
* Even though I'm an avid reader, I own very few books. I go to the library on an almost weekly basis.
* I only have one credit card and use it mainly for ordering things online.

bajadock 04-24-10 09:06 AM

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1186/...ad47c59d_o.jpg
Interesting lifestyle thread. I believe that travel and experiencing other cultures provides a wonderful tutorial on alternatives to super-sized everything of the good old USA.

My 2006 trip to Panama, specifically the little town of Volcan, near Costa Rica, changed my life. Lucky to get invitation to locals' home for dinner. Seeing their simple lifestyle, happy home and attitude got me researching Latin America as a possible relocation site.

Bought my lot here in northern Baja 8 months later, built house, moved in Sept 2007.

My 1989 Jeep Cherokee use is at 4,000 miles per year. It often does not move for 7-10 days at a time.

I dine out approximately once per month. Like my own cooking too much. Tacos are my usual dinner and add variety with different local fish, pork, chicken, veggies, salsas.

Yes, I do have a television. But, most of the time, I'm playing music from the tv satellite feed. Reading, hiking, kayaking, spanish language, philanthropy
http://Golf4Ninos.wordpress.com and watching the waves provides me endless entertainment possibilities.

Only thing I miss about U.S. is the wine values. Huge wine valley with more than 30 wineries on north side of Ensenada. But, mexicans favor sweeter wines than me and the tax laws here also makes the few local wines I like $25/bottle.

For a gringo, I live very humbly. But, most mexicans think I'm muy RICO!

iron.wren 04-26-10 01:56 PM


Originally Posted by FatBaldMen (Post 10670722)
^ ride a bicycle

My place, as simple as I can possible live & its been this way for some 12 years now...its so relaxing to own nothing except what I absolutley need.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g4...3/IMG_3112.jpg

I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair

Smallwheels 04-26-10 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by iron.wren (Post 10725805)
I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair

I looks like a skateboard without the wheels and trucks (the things that hold the axles and wheels).

Artkansas 04-28-10 12:31 PM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 10676377)
Your brain builds bridges while you sleep etc. Don't you mean more harmonious?


No, I meant simple, though harmoniousness may be a byproduct of inner simplicity.

FatBaldMen 04-29-10 01:58 PM


Originally Posted by iron.wren (Post 10725805)
I've been wondering: what is the board thing in between the bicycle and the chair

Its a skateboard deck/back rest for when Im sittin on the floor/against a wall & a tray to hold my dinner plate as well as a dinner plate w/ the help of a lil alluminum foil for when I dont feel like washing my actual plate.

iron.wren 04-29-10 02:44 PM

I thought it was a skateboard deck but i had no clue what you used it for because it had no wheels, but it make sense now, that is ridiculously resourceful. Once i move back home for the summer. I'm going to go through my stuff and get it down to where all my possessions can fit into my truck, a 08 tacoma, That does not include furniture in my room which is a bookshelf, desk, drawers, a couch, a Bed, and a end table. I am keeping the couch because it is extra and so i have one when i move out of the house. As in a certain movie that we do not talk about: "What you own ends up owning you."

pwhallon 05-03-10 12:17 PM


Originally Posted by bajadock (Post 10716931)
My 2006 trip to Panama, specifically the little town of Volcan, near Costa Rica, changed my life. Lucky to get invitation to locals' home for dinner. Seeing their simple lifestyle, happy home and attitude got me researching Latin America as a possible relocation site.

Bought my lot here in northern Baja 8 months later, built house, moved in Sept 2007.

How does one go about purchasing a lot in Baja?

Sounds nice. Are they expensive?

PW

Magnificent777 05-03-10 01:19 PM

Awesome Thread! I have scaled down alot and seek to live with bare essentials.

Smallwheels 05-03-10 01:41 PM

Non-Mexicans can't legally buy land in Mexico. People who do it go through some legal twists and turns so their name isn't on the property. Maybe they've change that law in the last few years because there is a big population of Americans there.

z3px 05-03-10 02:06 PM

I've seen some people say they use futons instead of matresses and this idea intruiqes me greatly. Yesterday I helped move some furniture and it hit me that matresses take up a ton of room and can be really heavy (and expensive). Not to mention the fact that our matress, which is less than 2 years old, is sagging pretty bad in the middle and is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. I'm wanting some experiences from people moving from a matress to a futon and whether they found it gave them better sleep and general durability.

Smallwheels 05-03-10 02:57 PM

Futons
 
I've seen many futons and none of them were comfortable. All of them had big creases that made laying on them uncomfortable.

My cousin has a huge couch with very wide seat cushions and it was very comfortable to sleep on for one person. It wouldn't work for two people.

Beds and mattresses cost way too much these days. I tried a Tempurpedic mattress and liked it. They do not breathe as well as other mattresses. I'm considering getting a foam pad to put on the floor and covering it with a down top. It would be easier to transport than a bed frame, mattress and box spring. It would also be easier on my tiny dogs back since she wouldn't need to jump so high. Right now my mattress is on the floor without a box spring. It feels just as good as if it were on a bed.

Platy 05-03-10 03:37 PM

Personally, I'd prefer a hammock to a futon. I wonder just how lightweight and portable you could make a tensionized indoor hammock frame.


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