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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Simple Life

The Stoic reading for this morning was from Epictetus, discussing how difficult it is for a wealthy person to live a virtuous life.  I think if you have spent your life pursuing wealth it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to pursue virtue above all else.  I think people who have inherited wealth, especially if raised that the wealth is a responsibility, can live a virtuous life.  They can look upon their wealth as a gift and responsibility to help their fellow men, using their wealth responsibly for the greater good.

So what does this mean to me?  I was not born into great wealth so that condition of wealth does not apply to me.  What now then?  We have recently had our "circumstances" downgraded somewhat from a six figure household income to double digits in reality.  Although, with both Michel and I looking for outside work now, this is purely a temporary state, we really want to re-evaluate priorities and look at this as an opportunity for change.  How best do we simplify life and take this opportunity to change what needed adjusting or tweeking in our life?  These are the questions that we are dealing with while we are in the process of job searching...  I have included a link to a TED talk that is quite inspiring for me...  an invitation to simplify and streamline our lives in order to find more freedom...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Back to daily living

Well I am back to "normal" life again after hubby's layoff news, and a cruise with the mom-in-law.  Now to make sense of the new landscape of my life.

"REMEMBER that it is not only the desire of riches and power that makes us mean and subject to others, but even of quiet and leisure, and learning and traveling.  -
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §4. ¶1."

To live in balance is what we are striving for, as noted in the quote above, anything desired above everything else cause unbalance in our lives.  Too much of a good thing is not a good thing but should be avoided.   This balancing act is difficult to accomplish in our modern day lives.  Work/Life balance is a buzz phrase that most time management/efficiency gurus spout frequently.  I think that at the outset though, using that formula, we are out of balance.  Work gets a whole side to itself, Life, which encompasses relationships (partner/spouse, family, friends, etc.), assets, hobbies, enrichment, entertainment has to share the other side.  There really is not much time left for "Life" in this scenario.  I think we need to try to ensure that we enjoy our work if we are going to give so much of our precious time to it.  Once work is done it would be nice to be able to leave it at work and not let it bleed into the rest of our time allotment.  Not many of us in today's society and work environment have the luxury of being able to leave work at work.  I am going to work at achieving more balance in my life so that I can devote more time to hubby, kids and self in order to continually achieve more balance.  This is going to be my main goal this winter, to learn to portion out my time appropriately.