Monday, 18 February 2008

The First Step

My name's Sharon. I was born and raised in East London by working class parents who were part of what was then, a close knit community. At 19 I left to live in Norway, returning to England 18 years later as a very different person having grown into an adult with influences that were very different to those I’d experienced at “home”. By that time I had a long-term partner and three children with me. After a brief spell in Eastbourne on the South Coast we moved up to Manchester in the North West before finally settling in Crewe, South Cheshire, minus the long-term partner.

During that time I changed. I kind of lost my way I suppose. Our Scandinavian way of living didn’t sit well with the people around us and I allowed myself to be swayed into a lifestyle I wasn’t entirely happy with. More than anything, it was because I thought it would help the kids feel more accepted. I was wrong.

What I’ve since realised (I was going to write learned but it’s something I’ve known all along, I’d just forgotten it along the way), is that the only way you can be truly happy is by being who you are and living in a way that suits YOU. That wasn’t something I was doing. And it wasn’t just my lifestyle that had changed, my personality was changing along with it too! I no longer knew who I was and that just isn’t the way to a happy, harmonious life.

Then something happened. I became seriously ill and almost died. That made me take stock of my life. I still wasn’t sure where I was heading or what I really wanted but I knew that what I had wasn’t it. I fumbled around, fell down a few times, but after almost five years of trial and error I’ve finally found my way. I want simplicity back in my life. No, change that. I NEED simplicity back in my life.

Because I’m now disabled to a certain degree, I know I’ll no longer be able to live the spontaneous life of upping and spending nights with the kids and dogs in the woods, or moving to another place just because we want a new adventure, but there was always a level of unpretentious plain simplicity to my life. I didn’t put any unnecessary demands on myself and possessions were of little importance. I took care of the things I had and needed, but I had no desire to own a big car, fancy furniture, the latest gadgets and so on. Holidays were impromptu occasions, usually spent in a tent or a caravan in the woods or by a remote beach somewhere. The idea of going on expensive holidays to far-flung places just didn’t enter our minds. I can't remember ever even having considered one. We didn’t need or want them. We were happy.

Now that I’ve finally found my way again, I’d like to share my path into a simpler life with you. I know my life isn’t going to change overnight or even in a month or a year – it took eleven years for it to get this bad, after all - but gradually I’ll turn things around until my life is again one that makes me feel content and fortunate to still be here to enjoy it. If you’d like to follow me on my journey, that would be lovely. Maybe you’d even like to share a journey of your own?

Sharon xx

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." ~ Lewis Caroll

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Debi said...

Absolutely totally 100% here with you to share.

Sharon J said...

Debi, you've no idea how happy it makes me to know you're with me on this. You're one of those people who I don't communicate with often enough but who I know understands where I'm coming from. Love always xx

Debi said...

Thank you, babe. I feel that way too. Good, innit?

Sharon J said...

Certainly is :)

qotd said...

Sharon, I agree with everything that you have said. I also thing that the tide is changing and a lot of other people are starting to feel the same way about things - after all, just take a look at the number of blogs around of people trying to live a much simpler life.

Good luck on your journey, I'll be avidly following your progress and hopefully you can help to keep me on thestraight and narrow so I don't lose focus.

Sharon J said...

Hi and welcome, qotd.

I agree that things are gradually turning around, slowly but surely. I try not to preach my views too much but when things come up in conversation then I obviously make it clear where I stand. Some people take the mick, some show a polite interest while others actually sit up and listen. For every one that does the latter, there's hope for a more sustainable future :)

I think it'll be a matter of us both offering each other a shove when it's needed, but that's not a bad thing :)