Happier with Less

I read a lot of blogs, I enjoy the insight they give in to the reality of being human. It’s true that some people blog in a very censored manner, afraid to fully open up and share who they really are with the world, but others, (my favourite types of bloggers) write very honestly about their lives, their ups and downs and the emotions they experience throughout the trials and tribulations of life.

In the past, I have tried to write ‘no punches pulled’ blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates, but I always found they made me sound moody, ungrateful or even down right depressed. At times, I suppose I was. My biggest problem has always been, trying to be someone I’m not. I didn’t do it in an attempt to impress others, I did it because I didn’t really know who I was and found myself constantly trying to fit in, to conform in the right ways to appear ‘normal’. Recently a few bloggers have really helped me to climb out of this rut, and take a fresh look at the world and my place within it.

I now, officially, couldn’t care less what other people think of me or the way I choose to live.

So, who are these bloggers, and what are they writing about that has been such an eye-opener for me? Well, they are people who take a ‘less is more’ approach to life. Call it what you will, simple living or minimalism. Suddenly I woke up and realised I’ve been on the verge of such a lifestyle for much of my life, but felt it was temporary, just while I was figuring out who to be and where to settle. Finally, in my late thirties, I’ve finally worked it all out. So what if I don’t want to earn the big bucks, get married, buy a house, start a family. There is actually nothing wrong with that, or me.

The blog I have enjoyed most (on this subject) is Minimal Student, written in an upbeat and intelligent manner by Jessica Dang. Okay, so she is in a different phase of life to me, why shouldn’t a student live an exciting, carefree lifestyle? But minimalism isn’t an option exclusive to the young. As I’ve stated to friends and family on numerous occasions, if I have very few responsibilities, why should I behave as if I have many?

So there you go, this is me, renting a room and living with so few possessions that they fit into two easy to carry bags. Not worrying about tomorrow, because I haven’t finished enjoying today. With a few small changes, I will find myself becoming wealthier financially, and healthier physically and mentally.

Future posts will all relate to my new minimalist lifestyle in large or small ways. Stay tuned!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of ’91

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1991 was an important year for me, and not just because it was the year I left school. At this point in my life, I had an amazing group of friends, every weekend was party time and music was changing for the better. Guns n’ Roses may have lost much of their raw edge, but we still went to see them at Wembley Stadium and enjoyed every minute of it. Although, if I’m honest, the support acts really stole the show, Nine Inch Nails were excellent and Skid Row were nothing short of awesome. Then in September, Nirvana released their incredible ‘Nevermind’ album!.. 1991 rocked!

It was one of those periods that, if you had stopped and taken a look around for a moment, you would wish your life could stay that way forever. But of course it doesn’t, and from where I am now, I’m glad. Looking back through the years that have past and the things I’ve seen and done, I much prefer who I am now to the 16 year old version of me. I would not give up those following years and experiences for anything, and with friends as good as mine, I don’t need to.

Whether it’s our commitment to each other as friends, or the fact that our generation benefits so greatly from social media like Facebook and Twitter, whatever the reason, we have all stayed in touch. Our group of friends have been spread across the country, at times, almost from Lands End to John O’Groats. But every now and then, we come back together.

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Terry, Jen, Sarah, Steve, Sam, Lucy, Neil, Andy, Giles and Julie. (Rob is missing and I took the picture)

It had been quite a few years since so many of us were together all at once, but thanks to Jen and Facebook (and everyone’s commitment), 9th May 2014 was the best night out in years!

In this age of the ‘selfie’, I made sure to take one with each attendee.

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Some of us, who live locally, see each other regularly. But the next time we ALL get together again, it will be Rob and Dana’s wedding.

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Rob and Dana

Bring it on!

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Thanks to Lucy and Jen for some of these pictures.