To Simplify... the pursuit of happiness through simple living on the open road

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Indifference

A week and a half has now passed since the navigator and I made our triumphant return to the vast concrete jungle where this journey began. So far, so good.

Some of you may have expected the big return to LA to generate a stream of posts berating all the superficial excess that this town is known for, but I find myself feeling surprisingly indifferent about it now. I could probably spin any number of theories as to why this is, but I think the primary reason is that, after having settled into a very comfortable groove over the past couple of years, I am now too preoccupied with enjoying the fruits of the lifestyle to bother worrying too much about how others choose to live.

Don't get me wrong – I still believe that far too many people buy into the idea that traditional homeownership and a lifelong amassing of stuff is the path to happiness. I just don't care anymore about trying to sell anyone on the merits of what I think to be a more sensible path (i.e. living small in general, though not necessarily in an RV).

If I've learned anything about people in my 42 years, it's that the prospect of convincing them to change their minds about anything is more often than not a hopeless cause. That alone is good reason to abandon the thought of selling anyone on this lifestyle (or any lifestyle for that matter), but as I said, the real reason for my indifference is that I simply prefer to enjoy all this freedom and leisure time instead.

So if you were hoping to hear me lambaste all the outward displays of wealth (more likely, debt) that Los Angeles is known for, I'm afraid you're in for a letdown. A few different friends of mine here have actually purchased new houses since my last visit, and despite having dumped huge piles of money into them ever since, they all seem to be universally tickled pink by both the process and results. I'm truly happy for them. Really!

23 comments:

  1. I like that: Outward Displays of Debt. I think I'll start using that phrase when I hear folks talk about how good someone has it because of the nice car they drive or the expensive clothes they wear.

    This comes from a former luxury convertible sports car owner who finally realized the glances of admiration at red lights from complete strangers is not worth $780 per month. The Corolla is paid for. :-)

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  2. Seems like a logical response to being happy.

    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

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  3. "Never attempt to teach a pig to sing. It will only frustrate you and annoy the pig"

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  4. I'd actually like to hear (well, read) about your secret for stealth camping/parking in LA! It's hard enough in a regular vehicle...

    I found stealth camping (in a C class RV) in the Sacramento area to be quite a challenge. I'm having a hard time imaging how it would be easier in LA. Come'on...help a sister out! Spill! :)

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    1. "Unknown"? Argh. I hate Blogger....

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    2. There are no big secrets that I know of. Pull in after dark, leave in the morning. Works for me. I don't know if this would be as viable with a larger class C, but I see plenty of them around town, so I assume they manage just fine too.

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  5. Watch out..."Unknown" could be a spy from the LA Task Force On Folks Living In Motor Vehicals!!!!

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  6. "I am now too preoccupied with enjoying the fruits of the lifestyle to bother worrying too much about how others choose to live."

    You hit the mark there. Doesn't matter a whit what anyone else does. Our primary purpose is to be happy in our own lives, however we choose to live them.

    Yup, you reminded me of that a few months back, so thanks! Keep living your dream and know that by doing so you continue to inspire others.

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  7. Don't Spill ~ Don't Blow Up the Spot!

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  8. Hi Glenn, I've been reading this blog since September of last year and read the whole thing from the beginning a week ago.

    Since going back through your blog, I've redoubled my efforts to pare down my possessions, gone paleo (mostly - I still have room for beer on occasion), and am working on accumulating enough wealth to buy an RV and go explore this beautiful country of ours.

    I know it's going to take a few years to get all my ducks in a row, but I'm still on the young side (32) and I could pull off a portable recording setup (as I'm a musician too). My goal is to hit the road by the time I'm 35, though I've gotta keep working the desk job, saving my shekels, and build some more passive income streams in the interim.

    As much as there is to do in the city (born and raised in Seattle), exploring nature while living a simpler life sounds so much more enjoyable. I used to micromanage my time, but now that I've been following my whimsy more often, I'm enjoying myself and oddly enough, getting more done.

    We're not all hopeless causes, Glenn - just most of us. :)

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  9. Yes. I don't feel compelled to encourage everyone to do this, either. But, I'm willing to talk to those who express interest in hopes some might catch this fever. I think that's what keeps us blogging.

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  10. Glenn ... Curious how you are coping with the LA heat with no AC? Soon to be extremely HOT.

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    1. I am interested in Glenn's answer to this as well. It is near 90 here in Florida and I am sweating with no A/C. AY

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    2. What LA heat? It's perfect here pretty much year-round. The Valley gets hot in the summer, so you just go elsewhere. Simple. There are plenty of [other] LA residents who don't have A/C.

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  11. Could also be a function of growing "old and neutral" as Kerouac described it.

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  12. Perhaps as you have grown during your journey, you are able to more easily recognize the negative elements of large cities, appreciate and engage in the positive (the unique and fun stuff), and maneuver your way through, smooth as silk. I also believe that being satisfied with your own life feeds an acceptance of other lifestyles. Love your blog!

    Julie in Florida

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  13. Great post, Glenn, glad you shared your thoughts with us. I agree with you, not worth my energy/time to convince people who they should live. Who cares? Plus we're all living this life and learning at our own pace. Everyone is going through their own "stages". Only thing we can do is live our life to the fullest, that's the most inspiring thing you can do (versus "convincing").

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  14. Glenn, you have found inner peace (at least regarding materialism and/or city life). WHAT YOU HATE ABOUT OTHERS IS WHAT YOU HATE ABOUT YOURSELF. Your indifference (and perhaps amusement) of the behavior of others is the most profound proof that you have overcome that hypocritical part of yourself. Maria Meiners said it with "enjoying the fruits... to bother worrying..."

    Also, PREACHERS BATTLE THEIR OWN DEMONS. What Jeff said about trying to teach a pig to sing. You can't change another person, only yourself, and it sounds like you did. The best way to "change" or "teach" others is to not try at all, just live your life. Those that admire it will assimilate. Don't "make" an example, "be" the example.

    When I hear myself starting to sound preachy is how I know when to shut up.

    Continued peace to you.

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    Replies
    1. Such truths! Thank you for expressing it in the manner you did!

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  15. Hey, don't start getting non-judgemental on us. If you weren't unhappy with the way most people live, you never would have started this adventure. If you start getting PC, you might run out of interesting things to say.

    Or the desire to say them. And then what would we do?

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  16. Great post Glenn! Sounds like you carry that age old thing time and travel has a way of piling on...wisdom. There's little to trust anyway and change is simply an overused slogan. This always on, instantly available, record all society we find ourselves in is rapidly exposing what I think many felt in their gut all along. If you can find a peaceful, easy feeling among all that, more power to you!

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  17. On the west coast there's a obvious gradient of fictional speech that becomes denser, more compressed and opaque like sedimentary rock, the closer you get to the sea. Weighted by the pressures of materialism and power. In the east the same thing happens towards large estates or cities.

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