Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I choose to simplify my life. Please!

Welcome to my Choosing a Simple Life blog.  This blog is born out of a non-simple life choosing to move towards a simpler life.  As I begin this blog, I currently work in the corporate world in mid-town Manhattan.  It is a real 9-5 job including office politics, multitasking, office cliches, deadlines, florescent lighting, pressure to bring in new clients, and plenty of pressure to perform, perform, perform.  Working 50+ plus hours a week is very common here.  Many people I work with commute 1 to 2 hours EACH WAY to and from the office.  Luckily my commute is only about 20 minutes each way.

About three years ago I stumbled upon the tiny house movement.  It was an immediate fascination with the simpler lifestyle and very efficient use of space.  At the time, Jay Schafer of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes was really just becoming recognized for his amazing work and lifestyle.  His concepts of living in a very simple way in a small space with very little environmental impact, while not completely new, were presented in a new way.  Jay, a very clean-cut and nice looking man, made this lifestyle look acceptable now, as compared to the "hippies" and "gypsies" of earlier years.  What drew me in was the assumed easy and simple lifestyle without all the stress and pressures of what many of us consider normal living.  And most importantly-time for pleasures.

Jay built his lifestyle around living in a home of 89 square feet.  Since I live in Manhattan, I can certainly appreciate the small space. My apartment of 650 square feet that I share with my husband is so cute and charming and I fell in love with it the first time we saw it.  Although I realize my small space is not "small" by Jay's standards, we were downsizing from a larger apartment in order to move to a wonderful neighborhood that is close to all that living in Manhattan offers.

At the time we were moving to our new apartment I had just closed my accounting business and had accepted a full time "regular" job in midtown.  This sounded nice since I had been self-employed for over 12 years.  Paid vacation time, sick days and paid health insurance-what could be better?  And it was great for the first 5 months as I went to work, did my work, and then left to go home and do whatever I wanted to do.  At least until about 10 or 11 o'clock so I could get to bed so I could be rested to do it all over again the next day.

Fast forward another 5 months-we have decided to start an eCommerce business.  I have always been interested in doing this exact thing and have worked with clients that are in this arena and was always fascinated by internet businesses.  My prior exposure to eCommerce through clients gave me some good insight on some of the processes and systems which helped tremendously in getting our systems in place.
I found the process of setting up our eCommerce business extremely fascinating and usually fun, but in addition to my full time job, almost 100% of my time was now full.

While I did not dislike anything I was doing on its own, the lack of any personal downtime was not the perfect situation for me. I kept feeling selfish for wanting "time off" from the eCommerce project I was doing with my husband.  We are both time line and project focused people so we were still trying to stay on schedule.  Most weekdays I would get home from work around 6:30 and then almost immediately start working on the web store.  Weekends generally were spent all day Saturday and Sunday working on the web store.  Monday morning, back to full time job, Monday night work on web store then Tuesday, Wednesday.....

 So as of this week our web store has launched.  It was a great deal of work and many many tired days and nights.  But we are officially a live working web store.  But that is not what this is about-this blog is about what I learned was important to me (or relearned or more obvious to me now) during this process.  And that is to simplify my life.  Please!