jusummerhayes

A simple life

“...there are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don't really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.”
Elaine St. James

Good morning.

It's just after 5 am as I write this post. I feel surprisingly awake; and, of course, the coffee is poured and being slowly and reverently enjoyed.

I'll say it again: I'm blessed. In fact, I'd go so far to say that, right now, I wouldn't change any of it. 

Let me explain.

Yes, there are lots of things I could say I miss by dint of the Covid19 restrictions but do I? 

Do I really miss them that much that I could ascribe an essential aesthetic to their daily, weekly or annual provenance?

I don't think so.

Perhaps that makes me sound boorish, ill-mannered or a whole host of similar-sounding names but I'd be lying to admit that any or all of it is truly missing from my life. You see, having moved out of London many years ago (1991) back to my beloved Devon, I've got used to a less, dare I say, cultured existence, or certainly the ability to frequent museums, concerts and the daring nature of all that London offers. Instead, I replaced and have replaced them with a more family-centric, nature-inspired and wide-open-space way of living. That hasn't always meant I've kept it simple but, certainly, I've been able, by force of circumstance, to temper my previous interest in the bright lights and pace of life that attracted me as a young man.

But this self-isolation, working-from-home gig is something else. I think I've driven three times in four weeks; I've been to the local Co-Op twice; and I've limited my daily exercise to mostly walking and a few bike rides.

This is what I want, right?

A simple life.

Yes, exactly.

If I'd wish for something different — and it's hopefully part of the future-life mix — it's to have more isolation, more land and a few more animals. 

Am I making this up?

No. Even yesterday, my wife, Allison, said to me: "You're like a pig in shit." I shrugged a faux shrug but she was right. I'm enjoying lockdown to an almost unnatural degree. 

Then again, why am I telling you this?

I don't know — and I know that's not really an answer.

I do know that with growing up and growing old I've lost interest in so many things, not to be replaced with something else, and that pleases me. In fact, I know I could go even further in the decluttering and simplification departments to the point, well, ...I might end up a bloody recluse. 

Shame on you.

No, not really. 

If I could — move that is -- I would, and I'm pretty sure that my wife would now join me, providing she could maintain contact with and see our children and her family. For the record, our youngest daughter (16) lives with us; our middle daughter sorta lives with us — it's complicated; and the eldest lives in London but will go back to full-time education this October and will need a base to return to during the various breaks in the University timetable. But that doesn't mean we can't look at moving in the near term.

Notwithstanding my confession that I'm up for an even more radical way of life, I'm not in planning mode right now. Instead, (and as cliched as it is) I'm taking one day at a time, following a strict daily routine and enjoying all the small things that previously I took for granted or certainly didn't appreciate their full import in my life. I know that this won't last forever but when I talk about things never being the same again, I might be one of the few people who want things to stay as they are and not return to the daily commute, unabashed freedom to travel and come and go as we please and enjoy all the other things that Covd19 has brought to a crashing halt. I've already said that even something as non-radical as returning to the office is going to be a challenge, not least because I'm going to make the case again for having no reason to work in the office when all my work or nearly all of it is done over the internet and could, as I've said before, be done remotely. 

In the end though my choices are mine alone but if this Covid19 'episode' is teaching me anything it's that, in having less freedom, I'm moving closer to who I am in my true nature and not someone who just occasionally has had to wear at least one if not a few faux masks to fit in. Perhaps there's a reason why, right now, I'm refusing to cut my beard 🧔 — which is looking a bit unkempt! Sure, it's not as smart as it might be but I'm not having to have a particular look even on the various videoconference calls that I'm still involved in 😂.

Take care.

Blessings,

Ju

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