Americans are entertaining themselves to death. New cars, big houses, dining out, sporting events, rock concerts, television, the movie theater: these are the things that Americans love, and I fully believe that these possessions and events are making them absolutely miserable.
My Simple Living Yesterday
I woke up early yesterday morning, poured myself a bowl of cereal and made my way out to the porch. My house rests on a narrow city lot with a fairly deep backyard, so while on the porch, I was able to see small bits of wildlife (which basically means watching squirrels climb crazily from tree to tree to gorge on berries) during my Raisin Bran Crunch experience.
This moment was fairly simple, but I was rather enjoying it. The cool breeze of the morning was flowing through the porch screen windows and was creating quite the relaxed atmosphere. I had nothing that I absolutely needed to do, and as I ate my last spoonful of breakfast, a book caught the corner of my eye. It was resting on my coffee table and was titled, “Joni”, a story about a young woman that had a terrible accident and left her paralyzed. I had read the majority of the book weeks before, but had still not quite finished it – I had maybe 30 pages to go. Because of the nature of the morning, I instantly opened the book and enjoyed myself until the very last page.
Then, it was back to watching the squirrels…
While the squirrels were rather interesting, one can only watch them for so long (especially this guy, who can’t typically sit and do nothing for more than 20 seconds) – it was time to bike into town. With my helmet strapped on and my backpack in its place, I pushed myself out of my driveway and onto the road. The ride was uneventful and relaxing. I was able to pick up my new contacts and also purchased a bit of cologne from the Dollar Tree (best retail store ever).
Then, on the ride home, I developed an enormous grin on my face. So many of this world’s citizens were scrambling to get from one place to another, accomplishing many small menial tasks along the way. They always seem to be in such a rush and are simply not enjoying life and all of its special moments. I, on the other hand, was on my bicycle enjoying the exhilaration of powering this simple mechanism to top speeds, allowing me to get from place to place solely by only the strength of my lower body. There is just something about this that made me smile.
Slowing Down Time
Throughout the day, I was able to slow down time. Instead of allowing myself to hop in my car to run a million errands, I watched the squirrels, listened to the birds, and observed God’s creation through a peaceful bike ride. My grin was for two reasons: (1) I was simply enjoying the use of my arms and legs through this seemingly simple activity, but more importantly (2) I stumbled upon a profound realization: the quality of life is better when simplified.
At this point in my life, I could easily go out and buy an Audi, upgrade my house, buy an amazing wardrobe, and walk around with a smart watch on my wrist, an iPad in my hand, and brand new smart phone in my pocket….
But I don’t.
And why not?
Because the quality of my life would be improved by such a minuscule level that it’s not even worth the time to think about such things. Not to mention that these devices would actually cause me to speed up an already out-of-control entity we call “time”.
Instead of wishing for the next gadget on wheels, I suggest that you hop on your bicycle, observe the amazing details all around you, and do your best to slow down time. You might just develop a grin of your own.
As is customary this time of week, here is the round-up of articles that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you get a kick out of them as well!
3 Underrated Travel Destinations – by Squirrelers (my hometown is in here, woot!)
Costco Member Benefits You Didn’t Know About – by My Personal Finance Journey
Improving Your Net Worth by Managing a Budget – by Untemplater
Should You Get a Credit Card After Paying Off Debt? – by Narrow Bridge Finance
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.