Life is Free! Well, Cheaper with Age Anyway! – is an article I published in February, 2012, on my real estate blog just after we traveled to the Philippines to check on the construction of our home there. Once we returned home to the U.S., I was immediately inspired to slow down. I wrote the following:
I NOW KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD! (2/2012)
While commenting on a particular blog in a different forum, I sided with the blogger’s own personal dissatisfaction in generating income with something he really loves doing… Blogging. As I shared my love of earning an income in something I really enjoyed doing (real estate), I realized something about myself. It’s not about an idea that just surfaced, but about a hidden desire that has been burning deep within me for a very long time.
The desire for less money? Yes, that’s it!
For many years, I only understood the need for more money. It always seemed there was never enough, and when there was, we NEEDed more. For me, the “more with less” mantra has arrived within and has attached itself to my own fulfillment of life. Over time, I’ve learned that life it is not all about owning a huge home or the number of cars, boats, motor homes, and luxury items that one accumulates. It’s really about family, friends, relationships, sunrises (and sunsets), and most importantly, healthy living, and it can be easily disguised with a false sense of security by the possession of material things.
As “tried” as I am in the real estate business, I am at that point in my career where if I am the chosen one (for real estate transactions), then I will accept that I was selected based on past performance and/or experience. If not, it doesn’t matter anymore. I am okay with winding down. I have no need to be a top producer anymore (I have also learned that good customer service is sacrificed with top production status) and will work hard for those who select my services.
My real reason: For the exact opposite reason of needing more money – Life can become very hum-drum working for the next all-mighty dollar, only to give more of it away in taxes and to spend it on things we really don’t need. From time to time, I reel in my common sense and analyse the how’s and why’s, and only recently did I realize that nothing was registering on my quality of life meter. We work, we earn, we spend….and in many cases it’s simply not healthy, IMO. In addition to the listing and selling of real estate, I have also found blogging to be self satisfying, to a point, and sometimes it feels like it has become obligatory.
I arrived at a point in my online presence that I became saturated with these obligations and then realized that it was not returning the money commensurate with the amount of time I was spending cranking out all this superfluous garb. After many years of building my online real estate presence, I have slowly begun to dis-assemble my online exposure. And I’m enjoying the equivalent satisfaction of winding down.
So I have chosen the path to more relaxation and less work. I simply don’t need more than I need to be content. Being content with working hard at something with only the expectation of success is pure insanity. To me, contentment is not in the material things that we can accumulate in life. Hell, it takes more work just to keep up with it all. These days, I’m mostly content with giving advice for free. I might as well, as I’m not using it anymore!
Besides, I have relaxation on my mind and it doesn’t cost as much as I thought!
Shortly after writing this article, we decided to put our home on the market and it sold the following spring (2013), and on July 3rd, we were heading to Memphis… “one way.” And so began the new chapter in our life – Living in the Pacific (Retired in Samar)! (And I’m still blogging… just with a different emphasis!)