Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to the Basics

Day in and day out, we go to work, come home, eat, shower, sleep, and then repeat. The monotony of life is enough to drive anybody insane. We work so hard to have the things we want: to provide food, clothing, and shelter for ourselves and our families. But depending on the person, the sum of all these necessities varies greatly. What if you could give it all up? Would you? Could you?

When our necessities become more like commodities, we’re succumbing to our inner need to please ourselves and others. For example, we need a refrigerator; it’s a necessity in our homes. But it quickly becomes a commodity when we have to have the ice-maker, the stainless steel, and the temperature regulator for separate compartments on the inside. Do we really need that? No, but we like it, it’s convenient, it looks nice, and so we want it. And if we can afford it, why not?

But sometimes I dream of living a simpler life. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to afford really nice things, but I could work fewer hours at a regular Joe’s job, and really enjoy life, instead of feeling like I’m slaving it away.

I posted a blog about a year and a half ago (The Self-Indulgent Life) about a co-worker at Barnes and Noble who was in his mid to late thirties and had no plans to ever leave the job or aspired to anything greater. This was difficult for me to understand at the time because I was a college kid with many aspirations. I asked him why he wanted to do this, and he responded that he didn’t have to worry about work outside of work, and that it left him time to work on his poetry. I was confused back then, and at the time of that particular post, I still didn’t think it was a way of life I would enjoy, but now I’m starting to wonder if maybe he had the right idea all along.

I’m not sure what has changed in me, but now I wish to relax. And yet I can’t relax. I’m living the majority of my life only half-awake, with my energy level at just 50%. I can’t enjoy my time off because instead of going out and doing the things I love to do, I find myself home, a regular couch potato, just trying to recover from the stress of the week.

Maybe this is just a temporary quarter-life crisis I’m going through, but I think that I could live the simple life now- without the commodities. I want to go back to the basics and live the life of an eternal college student: working a job, not a career, pursuing a passion, living each day at a full energy level, and feeling excitement for whatever unknown adventures lie ahead.


  1. I agree with that 100%. My husband works for the oil fields but is left with lots of down time for his poetry. I quit my job *gasp* to raise my children and write. I was always stressed, overworked at my old job, and underappreciated. I love writing even if no one else understands why in the world I would stay home to work when I have my college degree.

  2. Thanks for commenting! That's great that both of you have time to write. And don't ever let people shame you about quitting your job, because you left it to pursue a passion. In fact, two passions, if you include your children! Good luck with your writing!