October 10, 2017

Choosing Simplicity For Wellness

Getting off the merry-go-round has allowed me to spend more time enjoying the healthful benefits of nature. 

One big reason that I retired to a more simple life seventeen years ago at age 40 is because I wasn't sure I could maintain my mental health while plugged into a 'regular life' in a western consumer culture.

I was not afraid to let go. I was ready.

John Lennon had already taught me, in the song Watching The Wheels (Gimme Some Truth), that it was okay to want to get off the merry-go-round. Like him, "I just had to let it go". For fast acting relief, try simple living. I found out later that he also enjoyed the homey task of baking bread.

Overall wellness increases when we reduce our focus on the acquisition of money, possessions and status. Stress levels drop and there is more time to rest, be physically active, eat healthful foods, and spend time with friends and family.

Creating a simple life for you and your family is more of a gift than a sacrifice, even if it is often more work. The majority of people who choose to live this way report improved mental and physical health. What is that worth? Is there anything else worthy of our effort?

Imagine what happens when your life consists of doing only the things you love to do. Or does living simply allow one the time to love all aspects of life more fully, regardless of what is going on? Either way, it is good for you.

Live simply to break free, or save money, or to live more sustainably - those are all awesome outcomes of this lifestyle. But definitely do it for your overall wellness, mental and otherwise.


  1. I love that I am more available to help, to chat, to say "Yes, I'd like to do that."

    1. Slow is the way to go. Things that go slow live longer lives.

  2. Everything we do affects our health and well-being in all sorts of subtle ways. Slowing down has such enormous benefits.. I am interested in your own story - how did you retire at the age of 40? Is the story on the site somewhere? If not, I would love to see a post on how you got to where you are today.

    1. Hi Gregg,

      I'd love to hear the story of you steeping off the work merry-go-round too!


    2. Jo,

      Linda and I are already thinking about doing a post on how we got here. For the most part, we both only had one foot on the merry-go-round to start with, as we never did fully embrace a mainstream life. That helped set the stage from the beginning, and it helped us realize our vision of the life we wanted together.

      The turning point was when I took a leave of absence from teaching, Linda did the same from her job, and we took a year off to travel the world. I celebrated my 40th birthday in southern India, and at that point I knew we would not return to a regular life at the end of our trip. It was exhilarating, and still is.

      More detailed post to come. Thanks for the request - you got us thinking.

  3. Anonymous10/11/2017

    Nice puffball. I can relate as I'm on the path to recovery from complex PTSD due to a psychologically abusive childhood. Never received any official support, but treated it through meditation, exercise and diet. Doing well now.

    1. Alex,

      Congratulations on your recovery, and your leap into a more healthful life. Your comments help us recover from our cultural programming, which can also be quite abusive. "Conform or be cast out." Canadian band Rush sang those words in their song Subdivisions.

      I have seen many puffballs, some quite huge, but I have never seen one like the one in the photo. It must be of the punk variety. Or is it an alien craft? Amazing nature. I also saw the remains of a turtle hatch on the same hike. I might post photos of that later, as it was quite the sight. No little turtles, though. They had all crawled away to find a new watery home.

  4. Anonymous10/11/2017

    At the end of this month, I am stepping off the work merry-go-round (although it really hasn't been all that "merry"). I say I am retiring, and I will not work for a bit, but I am in a place now I can stop working at what I don't like, and take time to find work that is most meaningful to me -- whether it pays well or not. But first up is time to get back into good physical and mental health and to give myself all the time I need for that. My boyfriend is already retired (5 years now!) so it will be nice to be with him, our home, our kitties, and an easy, simply life. Thanks for the article, Gregg, and thanks to everyone for their nice comments. -- Mary

    1. Mary,

      Congratulations. How exciting. We will be interested to hear how things progress for you in your new life. It is sure to be more merry, and healthier. Enjoy.

  5. Hi Gregg and Linda,
    I have only recently stumbled upon your blog and I love it. I am not a consumer but I still have to work for a long time yet (just turned 50) My ultimate wish is to buy an old home in Scarborough on the Redcliffe Peninsula, knock it down and build a small sustainable home and have a large area of earth to grow our food and raise chickens. Why Scarborough?it has amazing red fertile soil. This plan is one I am working towards and hope it comes to fruition. My biggest stumbling block is my hubby, who at this stage doesn’t share my vision. Maybe one day.
    Have a lovely day.

    1. Fi,

      We are glad you have found us. You will find that the people that drop by here are very helpful and creative in their efforts to live more simply, and happily. Not to mention sustainably. Lots of inspiration to be had, that may help you realize your dream.

      We looked up the Redcliffe Peninsula, and it looks quite awesome. We are definitely envious of the climate that you Australians enjoy. While we live in a nice climate compared to the rest of Canada, we can't grow lemons, or oranges, or avocados, and lots of other things. And now, winter is coming. Happy spring to you and your not-yet-simplified hubby.

  6. Hello from Portugal

    I have been reading your blog for some time and it has changed the way I see life and preceived that we have other optinos than just work untill we drop. I can´t complain about my work because I am a teacher and love to teach and my pupils but today being teacher is also having a lot of meetings and a lot of burocracy ( papers, papers, and more papres ) and I am begining to be tired... Very inspirational. Loving each and everyone of your posts ( already read all of them)
    Have a very nice day


    1. Elizabete,

      Welcome to our blog, and thank you so much for sharing your story. So many of us can relate.

      I was also a teacher, and Linda helped a lot in my classroom. We really enjoyed the kids. The rest of it - not so much. I taught for 10 years, took a leave of absence to travel, and never went back. I have no regrets.

      We appreciate your kind words, and hope to hear from you again.


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