It’s Middle Ground

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

For those of you who have been reading my posts on this blog over the past few years, you are aware that I am somewhat eccentric.  My dream home is under 300 square feet, I would love to Homestead a chunk of land and I am somewhat against not only me having children, but I think there are probably enough of us around that other people should probably give it a rest as well.

I have noticed that over the past few months or so, I have gotten more and more into reading topics either involving some sort of survivalist (think Zombie apocalypse) or off-grid living, such as a van, the aforementioned Tiny House,   or some other situation that would put me away from people.

My wife and I have had discussions about what would happen if she wasn’t around, and I think she’s pretty aware that there is a possibility that I would turn into some sort of eccentric hill-billy somewhere.  Given that I am not really alone in my current interests (there are more than a few extensive blogs that I can read that must have some sort of audience) it seems there are others that are a little disenchanted with the way life is currently going.  I think that for me, retirement in my 40’s is a sort of Middle Ground, that would allow me to be eccentric, while still allowing me to A.) Keep my wife, who has shown no real interest in joining me in complete isolation and B.) Maintain friendships with friends and family – both A.) and B.) are very important to me.

This middle ground allows me to maintain my eccentric lifestyle (well, maybe planning for a Zombie Apocalypse is a little too far) and also keep my relationships intact.  I think the path I am currently on wasn’t consciously picked to meet these goals, but it has sort of worked out that way…..either that or my wife has become more comfortable with my “quirks” (to put the term nicely).

I think to go too extreme in my lifestyle would perhaps alienate the people in my life that I would prefer to keep.  I am happy with the middle ground I have chosen – although I am still leaving the door open to being a nutty bush-dweller.

Have you reached a middle ground?  Have any of your personal relationships become strained due to lifestyle or financial choices you have made?

7 thoughts on “It’s Middle Ground”

  1. I love this post. I have been begging my partner for 9 years to “live more simply”. We have been waiting for her daughter to finish high school before making a leap to both early retirement and living simple. I am giddy with excitement as my dream is in sight (2 more years). We had already purchased a beautiful plot of arrable land that we can live a partially self-sustaining off the grid, grow your own life.
    I say kudos to you for your ‘vision’ and acceptance of middle ground. Come on candlelit dinners and reading while watching the sunrise and set every day in paradise!

  2. Dave, I think you are one of very few people who “get it”. Life isn’t about work or money or things, its about living and experiencing and there is no better way to do that than to live a simple, sustainable lifestyle. We’re learning to homestread on our 6 acre property in Ontario, my wife homeschools/unschools our kids and I work at home running a fulfilling small business that allows us all to spend almost all of our days together living a life that feels natural and simple. Like it’s meant to be.

    I too find that to live this way there needs to be some middle ground and that’s a big part of a stable relationship. I could live in a small log cabin in the woods but my wife prefers a big old farmhouse, a vacation to her is a week at the beach and I like to spend the week paddling and sleeping in a tent (thankfully we have time to do both – even tho I get bored at the beach and she complains about the bugs on the portage we find ways to make it work). We have our preferences but that middle ground gives us a better understanding of each other and our needs/wants. Same thing with finances, sometimes it would be handy to have a second car, or cable TV, or a home phone but those things mean more money, more working and less time together enjoying life as a close family so the decision is pretty easy for us.

  3. I think your idea of the middle ground is awesome. Brian and I struggle with finding our happy spot too – he wants to be comfortable and I sort-of-joking-but-not-really want to prepare for the zombie apocalpyse. We’re generally happy with our decision to continually find ways to simplify our lives and be more self sustaining.

  4. Love the post Dave. Fortunately, I have a gorgeous parcel of land off the B.C. coast… the only thing stopping me from quitting work tommorrow and going all “Grizzly Adams” is the small, niggling fear that I don’t yet have enough saved/invested. The instant I figure I have more than enough, I’m quittin’ the city and setting up shop on my little island paradise. My days will be spent kayaking, reading, gardening, fishing, crabbing, claming…. and monitoring my investments, of course.

    I have no qualms in saying that I detest big city life – even though, as big cities go, Vancouver is decent enough.

  5. It’s neat to meet complete strangers who are similar to me 🙂 I wouldn’t mind trying to live off the grid myself! Though I think I’d be completely hopeless at gardening and raising livestock. I wish there was a place where I could try it somewhere for just a few months…

  6. @ Tim – I’m jealous of your short time-period to meet your goal….about once every 6 or 8 months I go on a search for the “perfect plot”.

    @ Marley – I think I will have to give up a bush-dwelling, as my wife has no interest in that but a small plot in the country somewhere would work.

    @ CF – With my wife and I it’s not really a struggle, it’s more me contributing “unorthodox” suggestions and my wife (sometimes after questioning my sanity) providing some feedback as to her level of participation in the activity I’m thinking of getting us into.

    @ jon_snow – I’m jealous of your land off the coast, it sounds perfect. I don’t really dislike my city life, I think I’m just disenfranchised over the whole rat race.

    @ deniz – I would find a local CSA and volunteer for homesteading experience. There are some in my area that are 100% organic and raise animals in a non-factory-farmed fashion. I checked out your blogs, I’ll have to show my wife some of the knitting projects…..she would be very interested.

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