Monday, July 20, 2009


I would imagine that Dear Hubby is getting a bit tired of everyone asking him "When are you going to retire?" The frequency with which he hears that question has really stepped up since his bypass surgery. At first it was wanting to get the kids out of school and established, able to stand on their own two feet, and getting his company and his two partners to the point where they can also function without him, that kept him working. Now, I think it all boils down to money. I think he just can't imagine how he will ever be able to get by on a combination of social security and what we can safely draw from our investments. I mean, that man is a shopper, and hardly a day goes by that he doesn't find something in the stores he just has to have, some new gizmo on-line that he just has to order, some gift he wants to buy for me or the kids, or something he thinks we need for the house or garden.

We were discussing it this weekend, and I tried to explain to him how that will change over time, once he joins me up here. That, once you start living the good life, you actually start living - you have time to learn new things, to join in on community activities, to volunteer, to meet and really connect with people who care about the same things as you - and the more you do all of that, the less you need shopping just to make you feel alive.

I never thought in a million years that I would now be living off of what was formerly just my food and entertainment budget, making it stretch to cover fitness classes and continuing ed., a vacation fund, books and magazines, gifts and donations, clothes, a Christmas fund, home and garden purchases, hair cuts and more. And not just getting by, but feeling more satisfied than I ever did when I had twice that amount to spend!

Unfortunately, I'm lousy at trying to explain things off the cuff and face to face, and I don't think I managed to convince him in the least. Luckily, however, I just came across a posting over at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, written by From the Frugal Trenches, and titled Creating A New Normality. She summed up precisely what I was trying to say, but failed so miserably at. I hope my Little Squeedunk, and all of you, will give it a read, and let me know what you think .

P.S. Many thanks to for the above image.


musingegret said...

Lovely article! I believe many are caught up in consumer addiction because they've chosen to not mindfully dedicate time to pursuing a different living-path. You had spent years reading books and thinking about and meditating on 'the good life.' You willfully chose to start looking for a place to 'retire' and seemed very open to finding a place that resonated with your sensibilities and imaginings.

Perhaps when "Squeedunk" has more contiguous time to settle into Wimberley's "Brigadoon" magic he may find deeper satisfaction exploring the gadgets and toys he already owns. He's a gifted photographer and may be inclined to delve into that more deeply; there are so many little unfound nooks and crannies throughout your area to explore and capture.

I love that a rain dance will be held on Wed; who's Bunny??

BTW, here's a neat site I've discovered that's all about a family who packed up and left England to move to Australia and live by the sea to 'live the good life.'

Glad you're home safely; your pics of Willie's sent me off to google Carl's Corner!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Ooh! I just took a quick peek over at Beach Cottage, and knew right away that I might as well go ahead and bookmark it. What would I do without all your wonderful tips?

You are absolutely right about John. I'm convinced that once he has more time, and now that he's getting back some of his energy, there's just no telling what passions will develop!

I have no idea who Mr. Bunny is, just that he comes with a drum, and plans to lead the rain dance. Is that a hoot, or what? At this point, we're willing to do whatever it takes!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Oh, by the way ME, why don't you have a blog of your own? You write beautifully!

musingegret said...

Well, thank you dear girl! The unexpected compliment did bring a glow to my face...LOL. I've fitfully considered starting a blog but I'm laziness incarnate; through the years my sporadic journalling has died many a lonely death of good intentions that lacked follow-through.

However, since typing is much faster than handwriting I may very well take up blogging. Any tips on getting started?

Hill Country Hippie said...

Tips for getting started, wow, that's a toughie. I sort of got dragged into this against my will, and didn't really hit my stride until months later. The most important thing to do is read lots of blogs, which you already do, figure out which ones really resonate with you, and what it is you like most about them.

I find that it helps me most not to really keep a journal per se, but instead to do the "morning pages" that Julia Cameron speaks of in The Artist's Way. Make yourself write 2 or 3 pages of brain-drain every morning - free flow, stream of consciousness. Don't even read back through it right away. Then when you've filled up an entire spiral notebook, go back through and look for something interesting that you could pull a story from, refine and expand on. You'll be amazed at what comes out. After you think you've got it perfect, go back and cut it in half! Blog-readers have short attention spans. I still struggle with that, but I'm getting better. My first postings were unbelievably long and rambling. Quite embarrassing, to tell you the truth!

Setting up a blog is super simple and free, with someone like blogger. Just go to their website, pick out a template, fill in your blog name and profile, et voila! Oh yeah, rule numero uno! Carry your camera with you at all times - you never know when you might come across something interesting!

musingegret said...

Thank you so very much for the tips---you've given me much food for thought. Also, it's time to re-read The Artist's Way--thx for the reminder!

P.S. Of course I remember Fang; I think we're the same age (high school senior 1971.)