The Next Chapter of My Life

Tomorrow I am flying to a different province to see my partner of ten years. He is currently working and living where we hope to live permanently.

I’m so excited to see him, and I’m also really excited that I will be checking out houses to buy.  One, in particular, intrigues me.  R has already viewed it and made a video which prompted me to contact my real estate agent about selling my house here and caused me to move up my planned trip to see him by a couple of weeks. So, by Thursday or Friday of this week, I may have put in an offer on a house.

Really, the whole home buying and selling experience is hardly an exercise in simplicity.  But it is the necessary means to the end of being mortgage-free and living in a walkable city in a province I love. It has been part of my plan since I took early retirement from a career that was causing me ill-health.  I need to keep my monthly expenses low in order to live on my savings.  Discharging the mortgage will certainly help with that.

In the meanwhile, I have to get my house ready for sale.  There are a lot of little things that need to be done and some bigger ones.  But if all goes well, I should be able to sell my house here, pay for fees and closing and moving costs, and pocket around $20k.   Then, I am hoping that living a frugal and simple life on about $15k/year will allow me to stay retired.  My health and happiness depend on it.

There are a lot of people who are more frugal and greater adherents to the simplicity movement than I am.  So, perhaps I should define what frugality and simple living mean to me.

First of all, I need to live a life that reflects my values as much as possible. So, I will often eschew businesses and products that run contrary to my beliefs.  For example, I would not hire someone to work on my house if I found their views about the rights of other human beings repugnant, regardless of how cheaply they might complete the job.  Also, I did tell the people who are working on my house that I want to pay a decent wage and not rock bottom.  I believe that working people deserve to be fairly remunerated for their work.

As far as frugality goes, I aim to be careful with my money, but am willing to spend on things and experiences that will be meaningful to me. I do participate in rewards programs such as airmiles and Shoppers Optimum, but won’t chase miles and points.  I rarely use coupons because many times they exist only for products I wouldn’t use.  I do shop loss leaders and use the flyers and will go to two or three grocery stores in a given week if necessary to get the best deals.  I can do this easily since I am no longer working and work the grocery trips into my daily exercise.  I try to utilize the second-hand market as much as possible.  I will need new living room furniture and maybe new dining room furniture when I move and I plan to source that from kijiji if possible. Currently, there is a seemingly acceptable living room set available for $300.

What others might view as extravagant are my ancient travel trailer and campground lot and the fact that I have four pets: two cats and two dogs.  However, all of these things have been important to my happiness, so they are worth it to me.  They may not be worth it to everyone, but they are worth it to me.

I do mostly agree with this definition of voluntary simplicity as explained by the Simplicity Collective.

My goal with this blog is to present what I think is a healthy, happy way to live in Canada for me, and perhaps to inspire some others, but I am not aiming to prescribe to others how they must live.  I have a perhaps naive idea that most people are good people and if they consciously lived according to the values of the world they want to inhabit, the world would be a better place.  There will always be assholes, but I think the genuinely overall good people outnumber them.

Please bear with me as I figure out the various features available on WordPress.  I understand that it’s not complicated, but it might take me a while to get the hang of it.


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