Finding peace and satisfaction in a stress-free quality of life. Sounds great doesn't it? Too good to be true? It's all in how you look at it.
There was a paragraph about a guy who gave up his big city job, moved to the country, and actually made more money by working less.
It reminded me of one of the many detours I have taken off the traditional path. I arrived in a small blue collar town full of hard working folk, still recovering from the last recession.
I came from the big city. I had a Liberal Arts degree with a background in art and photography, and a dream of opening an art gallery.
While I did make an effort to fulfill that dream, after 18 months of struggling I realized I was just in the wrong place for this.
I needed income and a friend suggested the cleaning business. While not so glamorous, it was a job where I could stay self employed. This friend became my mentor who taught me tricks and tips that wouldn't make house cleaning seem like housekeeping. (Never underestimate the value of a mentor by the way!)
In 2 years I built my clientele up to a full time income and was able to move to a lovely rural area in lush natural surroundings.
I commuted to all my jobs but it was a different drive every day - through the countryside, or even to the next town.
I know my attention to detail, my integrity, and reliability were some of my keys to success. I treated it like a business, and not just a job.
Even when the economy bombed I still had work, but more importantly I had the quality of life I had always dreamed of; no stress, enough income, low overhead, because rural living is more affordable, not to mention more peaceful. I have enough free time to continue with my art and photography as well as gardening and being outdoors in nature.
Now, 20 years later I am still supporting myself this way. More commercial work has replaced the residential, but even the residential has evolved into cabin care-taking and landscape maintenance. Not to say that I haven't tried replacing some income with other pursuits, I even ran a small art collective while still doing the cleaning business.
My point is that you can create your own life - whatever it is you need to feel fulfilled.
It's about being at peace, finding joy, because you live a slower lifestyle. Enjoying better health, better relationships, more hobbies, whatever.
I own an older mobile home which I got for a steal. My expenses are ridiculously cheap and my business overhead is low. It really takes the pressure off my earning commitment.
I did have a plan, and I followed it. I lived in rentals, took on extra side jobs, and even lived in a travel trailer for 9 months just so I could get into another part of the county. It still took 2 more rentals after that before I could buy my first house on a lease option.
I'm not done yet. I still want another house and a less physically laborious business, but I have the formula and the desire, which is all I need to get there.
You can have any lifestyle you want - but you may have to break free from traditional methods and societal expectations.
Only you know what you really want, and at the bottom of the list - or the bare-bones desire - is peace. Isn't that the real goal? To feel good about yourself, living the life you choose?
I look forward to your comments about this. If you have a similar story I would love to do a guest interview about you!!