Wednesday, November 10

tradeoffs

i was reading the inspiring little house on the mesa's honest post on the tradeoffs we make when we don't have tons of money. you know, you don't drive the swish car or have fancy new clothes, but you travel more or buy books... whatever you really love to do or have.

anyway, thinking of it as a tradeoff is a great perspective. that is, that you fully own that it's your choice to choose one thing over another.

i've found that over the last few years, as we opted out of the 9-5 grind, a mainstream lifestyle, unjobbed, and basically went to live up a mountain.... that i have shifted from seeing my choices as tradeoffs.

i think that when we give something of our familiar lifestyle up or have it taken from us (a great job, any job! large house, financial comfort) we go through stages of loss. for some of us, the relief of unburdening is too great, or the triumph of taking charge of our life too powerful, that we move into acceptance a lot easier (that would be me). but for others, the process takes time. especially of course if the choice was forced upon you. and even when the choice was yours you can swing back and forth.

denial  
buy that new dress/book regardless of how little you have in the bank, because, i mean, we're not poor for pete's sake! tsk 
anger  
darn company/economic crisis/husband! 
bargaining  
look God/Universe, next time i won't max out my credit card, honestly...
depression  
i've got a phD/my parents sent me to private school/i'm over 30 and i live like an empoverished gypsy, i'm such a loser

after all of that, comes acceptance.

the pure joy of an empty room

there are two types of acceptance. the surface kind, which is a survival mechanism. anger, depression, and such don't get you invited to parties and make you ill. this kind has you shrugging your shoulders in defeat. fine you say, these are the cards i've been dealt with, i'll make the best out of it. this is the place where you think things like - this too shall pass.

the other type of acceptance can come in place of or after the first type. this acceptance has you see that when you had it all, you didn't truly appreciate it anyway. it has you see that in having less, you have more. it shows you that you are rich with, time for yourself, your family, relaxing. that you are unburdened. that simplicity is pure gold. that a life of less ease and modern conveniences, is actually more engaged with people, the land, your own hands.

you are free. you're not defined by stuff. you think more creatively than ever. your mind and heart move towards things of depth.

not so long ago i would think -  i won't get my hair cut professionally so that i can afford another book. now i think - i'll cut my own hair, how convenient, how self-sufficient!

we tend to view a lifestyle that shifted from financially stable and comfortable to one that's not, as a tradeoff between quantity and quality. and it is that. but i think that the second type of acceptance comes when we see abundance and gain in all our choices, rather than as an either/or life.

9 comments:

  1. Good one! I actually visiting the other blog to read her post for additional insight. this has me thinking for sure :-)

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  2. beautiful, wonderful, important post...thank you! I'm going through those grief stages right now myself, being so far from home and with only the basic necessities, often wanting my creature comforts.... But it is also sooooo freeing to "go without' that I am simultaneously grieving the fact that I will soon be headed back to the States. THink I'll be simplifying even more when I get home. Thanks for the clarity and joy this post brought me.

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  3. Lovely - and so appropriate for my current situation!

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  4. Beautifully written. My mantra has been " The more I love without - the more I live within."

    Simple living is very liberating.

    Namaste, Nicole

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  5. acceptance!! what a wonderful place to be.
    i've been on this journey for awhile and am finally arriving in a place of acceptance as well. i've stopped defending myself/my choices and see that they are MINE to make.

    your writing/sharing is always on time! thank you!

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  6. I see myself doing more of the second kind of acceptance these days and thinking less of trade-offs. It feels good. :)

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  7. I recognise this. I went through many of the stages of loss, particularly last year when I left my old career behind. Not that I had particularly wanted a career in the first place. Perhaps for that reason I was surprised by the depth of loss and grief that I felt. Not about 'things', 'stuff', so much as my sense of identity. My sense of where-ness in life.

    Quite honestly, I can say now that I've not only accepted where I am, but I'm enjoying going deeper into this. Your hair analogy was a good one, because it's this kind of thing - being able to see these issues not as deprivation, but as a kind of freedom that can be so important.

    Thanks for this post Mon. Such a good 'un.

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  8. hi everyone.

    FaerieMAma, isn't grieving weird like that? this sor tof tug-o-war is a normal part of the process at least.

    love that mantra Nicole!

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  9. Very nice post! I feel that this is something I still struggle with at times.

    @the Herbit: interesting point about career = identity; I certainly feel that way about my life, especially devoting so much time and energy into my schooling and career, to be known as a "healer", but that's only a fraction of myself.

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