Larry Jordan

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"Cut Your Life in Half"

May 16, 2023 by Larry Jordan, in Christianity
This week, I participated in a recorded Zoom call with Jim Palmer for members of the Center for Non-Religious Spirituality community. Both of us are talkers, so the conversation ranged far and wide. Somehow, we kept returning to the theme of minimalism, living a natural life in the real world.

On the call, Jim asked me to talk about our recent trip to Crestone, and I told the group how we lived such a "natural" life during our month in the mountains.

In Crestone, we enjoy the clear air, the good food, the great company, the healthy exercise, and the interesting experiences. When asked how we manage returning to the "real world," my wife, Jill, always responds, "This is not the 'real world,' that is the real world."

If your life is not about clear air, good food, great company, healthy exercise, and interesting experiences, then what exactly is your life about? Jim and I talked about the difficulties of creating a "natural" life in the "real world," with the challenges of holding a job, making ends meet, and raising a family.

"You can always cut your life in half," I offered. Over the last ten years, we cut our lives in half when we moved from a big house to a small condominium, then we cut our lives in half again when we moved from a small condominium to a one-bedroom apartment, then we cut our lives in half again when we moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a dorm room in Africa, then we cut our lives in half again when we moved from a dorm room in Africa to a hospital room.

Of course, no one needs to revert to either extreme, and almost eveyone can cut their lives in half, no matter where they start.

Each time we cut our lives in half, we halved our attachments, our expenses, and our stress. At the same time, we doubled our free time and our savings rate. (This involves risk, and it might not work out. What if we don't have "enough" to retire? Then we might have to go back to work, just like before we retired.)

How much is enough? Whatever our "number" is, it seems pretty substantial when we consider that half of the people in the world make $2.00 a day.

The spiritual journey convinces us that we are more than individuals who are responsible only for our family and friends. We are woven into the fabric of the Universe, responsible for all sentient beings (including our family and friends.)

As we get older, we realize that we have only a limited amount of time, talent, and treasure, and we understand that it is vitally important to spend it wisely.