Simple living: what do you do all day?

Creating content.

I am currently trying to produce and sell ebook content online. I can work from anywhere and work at any time inspiration strikes me. I have no set schedule, and I have nobody keeping track of my productivity. Luckily, I do enjoy writing and tend to write frequently and in long sessions. So far I have only experienced a lack of motivation when editing content.

I think where maintaining discipline, to actually sit down and do the work, becomes a real job is in the editing stage of a project. Editing and formatting a writing project is not fun at all. Putting the time in to refine a written text increases the overall value of the text, but discovering flaws in your own writing and formatting is much more difficult than editing for another. I think I will benefit the most going forward by learning to be more critical of my writing. I want to hold myself to a higher standard than I have previously contemplated, and that means more effort being spent in reviewing my content and making the material accessible to a reader. 

But writing is not something I want to do from 9-5 every day. I am not going to be writing all the time. So what have I been doing when I haven't been writing?

How do I spend my time?

Since deciding to live more simply I have cut many unnecessary expenses out of my life, but I do not just sit around doing nothing all day.


On the Appalachian Trail a good friend of mine would give me his books when he had finished them, and I would read them in an evening or two. My friend jump-started a part of me that has been missing for a very long time. I used to read for pleasure every day.

In college pleasure reading suffered a swift and merciless execution. Reading was all I did for class, and I had no desire to continue reading outside of my assigned coursework. Moving on to law school, my desire to read for pleasure remained dormant.

Now my desire to read is back! I've read six books in the last two months and it has been extremely entertaining.

Other media

I find that I do not spend time listening to music unless I am driving or working on something else that I want some background noise for. I have been watching shows online, but I think I'm getting more out of streaming video content when my fiancee is with me. I probably just haven't had a good show to binge-watch in a while. If I'm alone and it is actually quiet around the house, I think really getting into reading a book can be more rewarding. It is really nice to read in peace and let your imagination paint the scene as you read. 

I have a few favorite websites I visit every day, and browsing user-submitted content on these popular websites is probably my most consistent pastime. The variety and quality of the content on these popular user-run sites is excellent. 

I used to consider myself a heavy video game player. Indeed, most of my free time was spent playing video games in my last years of schooling. For me, multiplayer gaming was a necessary source of high-level distraction during school and helped me deal with anxiety and loneliness in law school. Since graduating and hiking the Appalachian Trail I have not spent much time playing video games, and I am struck by how little desire I have to continue playing. 


I spend more time with my partner now. When my fiancee is not working, I am here to spend time with her. Spending time with my fiancee is very important to me. And with her night-shift hours I know we would hardly see each other between our individual sleep cycles and work schedules.

I have gotten completely on my fiancee's sleep schedule, and the results have been wonderful for us. She works 3-4 days a week in 12 hour shifts. This is when I do the bulk of my writing. I have always loved writing and studying late at night, often doing just that with my fiancee when we were friends at University. There is a certain stillness and quiet that you can only really get when the rest of the world is asleep. The only downside so far is that I am very rapidly losing most of my tan.

I also spend a portion of my time every day caring for my family. I have found both that I very much enjoy cooking, and that I am the person with the time and energy to prepare meals. I love having "breakfast" ready for my fiancee when she gets up for work, and making something really yummy for her to eat right when she gets home. 


Time spent outside is precious. There are a number of fishing spots at nearby creeks and ponds that I hit when I want to get out of the house. I especially like to fish when I wake up earlier in the afternoon as it lets me spend a chunk of my day outdoors in the sun during the warmest parts of the day. 

Fishing, after a small initial investment, can be a very cheap hobby. More important than the low cost for its entertainment value, the time spent outdoors is of an extremely peaceful quality. I often joke that fishing gives me an excuse to just stand and stare at a body of moving water: take away the fishing rod, and people might be concerned for your mental health. 

I make very little sound fishing, and I do not make many movements apart from what is involved in casting out into the water. Moving less and making less sound often means seeing much more wildlife. 

Tidying up

I have noticed that I spend much more time cleaning up my spaces. I spend much more time in these spaces, and find myself getting some satisfaction from the act of keeping things orderly.

Doing dishes, cleaning the stove top, and throwing in a load of laundry every few days keeps the house uncluttered and comfortable. I like knowing that my fiancee won't have to worry about too much of this stuff when she gets back from work, or on her first day off. That's not to say that I do everything all the time, and I'm probably not the greatest at keeping up with everything. I don't feel the need to do everything, though, and no one complains if I don't do something. 

I think there isn't really much expectation that I will do any of these things, and it makes doing them more pleasant to be honest. 

Influences from the Appalachian Trail

Along with leading me to feel a very strong sense of peace when spending time outdoors, the AT also gave me the gift of appreciating small things. I remember spending part of an afternoon sweeping a large porch and bath house at a hostel and very much enjoying the focus and simplicity of the action. It is very strange to try to explain, and I am sure it sounds strange to many.

Planning my next adventure is a constant hobby of mine. I am currently planning for this upcoming hiking season! Look forward to plenty of posts about hiking and ultralight gear. Look for lighterpack links!


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