Now I ask you, “What does it mean to live a simple life?”
It seems to me that we are all different, and there are as many definitions of simple living as there are people.
It seems that I am one of those in whom the boy scout motto of “be prepared” has taken root with a vengeance.
In some senses I do simple living, my normal attire is jeans and T shirt, and I don’t much care about style or fashion, I’m more into functionality; and I do have attire for most situations. I have an:
Antarctic jacket for cold;
Fur line salopettes and mittens also for cold;
Heavy PVC waterproof jacket;
Inflatable life vest for on the boat;
Neoprene chest waders for working in water;
Gumboots for yard or farm work;
Steel capped boots, chaps and gloves for working with Chainsaws;
Crocs for general use;
Crampons to go on boots in ice conditions;
various weights of woollen jerseys;
Heavy long gloves for welding;
lighter gloves for woodwork and gardening;
several weights of socks to work with footwear;
….. and on it goes.
My workshop is stocked with woodworking and metalworking and electronic gear that allows me to fix most things, or make things I can’t buy easily but need.
We have backup generators in case of power failure (a rather common occurrence here), and are very close to installing a solar power system on the roof.
We have our trees, our gardens, our “glass house” – which is actually a plastic half round tunnel house, for extending the growing season and protecting plants from the very strong winds here.
It seems to me that most people who consider themselves minimalist simply hide the infrastructure that is actually required to keep them alive at the other end of a set of financial transactions. I like to expose as much of it as possible and make it visible and local.
So I am minimalist in some senses (I don’t do fashion, don’t do new or flash cars, etc), and yet in other senses I am usually prepared for whatever happens. I have a very active imagination and I scare easily. We are prepared for flood, famine, pestilence, earthquake, fire, tsunami, and most disasters I can think of. We have 4WD, boat, etc.
So our little house, and our garage are full of stuff, and all of it has possible uses, much of it gives me a sense of security (and I am sure there is some of it that I could throw out, and it simply isn’t worth the effort of sorting it, yet – maybe soonish).