|My Ford Expedition, and my now-eaten rooster.|
|Leafy the Nissan Leaf, eating it's breakfast from the wall charger.|
This is my sub-compact Nissan Leaf, the smallest car I have ever owned, and the first car (instead of SUV or minivan) I have owned since 1998. I am in love with not going to the gas station, it's fun to drive and full of cool gadgets that my older car didn't have. Plus I charge it right in my garage.
This is more proof that downsizing is a better path to happiness for me than "upgrading". My smaller house and smaller car suit me much better than my bigger house and bigger car did. I spent the money where it mattered: for the car it was technology that saves me money in the long run, and for the house it was 3 acres of land with smaller house.
What's next to downsize? Not sure yet but I am tempted to do some monthly challenges inspired by a great, fun little book I read, 7: An Exprimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Over the course of 7 months the author downsized to 7 things in various categories. Some that sound fun to me are:
Spending money in only 7 places
Wearing only 7 items of clothing
Eating only 7 foods
Give away 7 items per day
After downsizing a car and a house, these should be easy, except that doing something every day requires a different kind of commitment than doing something once and moving on. As the author notes, it's a kind of fasting, like Lent. I tend to believe fasting is good for people, so I think there should be room in my goal-setting for 2013 to find a way to do some more of it, whether it's with food or media or clothes or restaurants or whatever. I'm currently abstaining from sugar for at least 30 days, which becomes easier and easier to do the more I do it (this is my third 30 day or longer sugar fast). I find it freeing rather than confining. I am FREE of sugar rather than being WITHOUT it.
Anyway, for now I'm happy with my little car and my little house. I feel I am going in the right direction. The path to happiness is not found in getting things, it's found in elimination. From my favorite book of 2013 so far, Antifragile:
If true wealth consists in worriless sleeping, clear conscience, reciprocal gratitude, absence of envy, good appetite, muscle strength, physical energy, frequent laughs, no meals alone, no gym class, some physical labor or hobby, good bowel movements, no meeting rooms, and periodic surprises, than it is largely subtractive (elimination of iatrogenics).
(Iatrogenics is harm caused when trying to help, i.e medical intervention or helicopter parenting). What can you eliminate to make your life better/happier? Media, unhealthy food, excessive work hours or other time commitments that don't add meaning, internet usage, women's magazines, wheat, porn, clutter, tv, people? All of the above?