This is Life, Based on a True Story  

KISSing the basics

You know the adage about going back to basics and keeping it simple?

There seems to be a lot of this type of chatter going around lately. I often wonder if this is typical with every generation as they approach and journey through their 40s and 50s.

Or is it something that seems to be getting harder to achieve, so we talk about it more like we would talk about any other dream?

Many of my peers seem to be in this same thought pattern — going back to the basic necessities and creating simplicity where complexity currently lives.

I consider myself very lucky to have two brothers who are pretty cool. Not only do I love and connect with each of them deeply, but they also keep me realistic and challenge me on my opinions — including this one.

While talking with my younger brother about this topic of simplicity, he really gave me pause for thought.

As I was expressing my unexplainable, intense desire to just simplify my life and cut out the “rah-rah,” he asked me what I was hoping to achieve by doing that.

Well, obviously, I want to have more freedom to live life the way it’s supposed to be lived — with enjoyment and experiences. The way I’m living now is just to literally pay my bills and then go into debt to have fun — except that it’s not fun.

For so long, it was very important to me to have a nice house in a nice neighbourhood and drive a nice car to go to my nice job.

Well, if that was the be-all and end-all to happiness, then call me an over-achiever because I have all of that and then some.

But with all of that came more of other stuff I hadn’t thought about: more financial burden, more comparison to the next person, more rushing to the next best thing and definitely more stress.

All the stuff I’d wanted to attain and that I’d thought would make me happier and more grateful, actually gave me less — far less.

I have less sleep, less vacations, less time to do what I want, less money in my bank account and less connection with the people I love the most.

I recently saw an online video about how we all kill ourselves to go to work for hours everyday to pay for houses we can't spend time in because we're too busy working to pay for them ... how true is that?!

I wrote a couple of months ago about how being in Maui gave me a smack-in-the-face realization that less is more.

With no access to Wifi in most public places, I was forced to disconnect. The reminder of how simple it is to not worry if you left your phone at home was startling.

And it also made me yearn again for simpler times. It made me slow down for 10 glorious days and appreciate life for the moments it gave me — not the Facebook or Instagram post.

Even today, I have these weird, unexplained remembrances of how easy and simple life used to be — way back in the 1970s. Before technology and modern-day influences took over. It can be something as simple as a song on the radio that makes me nostalgic for the ease of those days.

My brother had another take on it. He, too, has a bunch of friends who are wanting to simplify and in his own way, he’s on the same path.

His reasoning behind it though is that it’s for a deeper, spiritual connection — be it religion or ethereal based. We all have the innate desire to go back to our roots at a DNA, molecular level.

He thinks it’s because it’s where we come from. We stem from simplicity and love. And as we get older, whether we consciously realize it or not, we want to recreate that.

Even now, as I write this, I struggle to make this sound as good as he did. Mostly because I don’t want to tick anyone off by speaking too religiously or too universally. As much as I like to create conversation, I also hate creating controversy.

All summed up though, my brother gave me insight in a different way — always a good thing. Thank heavens for family that can call you on it …

My plans to simplify have gone full steam ahead … I’ve put my house up for sale and have set clear goals to live a life filled with more vacations, less workday. More gratitude, less attitude. More experience, less stress.

And whatever your reason for simplifying — if it works for you, it doesn’t matter what others think.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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