Why we shouldn’t try to collect things for old age

Catching a view when we were in Phoenix, AZ

I will be the first one to admit that I have had my fair share of buying things from a place of FOMO, it doesn’t happen often but it still does. I also think about wanting to build up a comfortable life to hopefully slow life down into at some point.

I don’t want to ever “retire” but I do want to make sure that my wife and I have what we need to be happy. It won’t take much for that to be true for us. But I don’t want to trade my time for dollars or for a place to live for ever.

At some point, we need to be able to feel the freedom to make the choices that are best for us, no matter if other people understand it or not. We also shouldn’t do things because other people are doing them.

At the end of the day, I know that I feel more emotionally drained when I have too much stuff around me that isn’t useful or helpful. Many of you probably feel the same way. I think this is why I enjoy being in nature so much, no stuff, just trees and dirt.

Dokkōdō Principle #18: rogo ni zaiho mochiyuru shoryo ni kokoro nashi (ろごにざいほもちゆるしょりょに心なし) English interpretation: Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age

Musashi is talking to his students but there isn’t much more of an interpretation than what you read here. It seems fairly straightforward to me. When you seek to possess a lot of things or more land than you need you risk becoming indebted to someone.

That debt can become a limiting factor in the decisions you make and the life choices that are available to you. Especially if you are carrying that debt into your later years of life. There are enough things to consider and focus on that you don’t need to be carrying around the extra emotional weight of debt.

So I am currently on a journey to reduce my debt to zero. This has been a goal of mine for a long time, but one that has had some bumps along the way. You’ve probably felt some of these bumps as well, sick dog, vehicle issues, inflation catching you off guard, etc.

But just because there are these outside factors that come into play once in a while doesn’t mean that I am not going to continue on my journey.  I believe that I can get there and will continue looking for ways to get there. 

Is my debt out of control? Not at all, some might laugh at the balances, but it is important to me to pay my debts and owe nothing to creditors. I want to be able to enter the later years of life without that stress and emotional baggage that comes from carrying debt.

In so doing, I believe that I will be able to enjoy life much more, find small joys in the daily activity of life and create more life satisfaction for me and my family. I think this way of thinking about it will help to improve my overall health as well, so there is a lot more riding on this than numbers and decimal points.

If I hadn’t taken the time to discover my authentic self, I don’t think that I would be in a place where I am now with taking these steps to protect my future years. I want to enjoy each and every day and in order to do that I need to be thoughtful about my future and the decisions I make today.

#ikigai #authenticself #joy

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