Rethinking Voluntary Complexity

by Karen

Living a Simple Life is a blog by a community of authors who promote the idea of ‘Rethinking Voluntary Complexity’. Isn’t that such an action-packed phrase? I love it. I have blogged in the past about sometimes feeling like I am allowing the fast current of society to dictate my next move instead of living the life I truly want to live. It pretty much boils down to the fact that Clay and I grew up a certain way, make a certain amount of money, and look a certain way – all which seem to have pushed us into an middle/upper-middle class lifestyle that neither one of us are quite sure we necessarily want.


That being said, I realize how fortunate we are to be born into our situation. And I am not going to complain about having the financial means necessary to live a comfortable life. And I am the first to admit that we have been caught up in the frenzy of being envious of others’ possessions. We know it is silly and unnecessary but we still do it anyways. We’re trying to not to be like that because it just isn’t pretty. Not pretty at all. I also want to make sure that we are maximizing our ability to live a sustainable life and do so with as little waste as possible. Furthermore, I want to be able to limit my focus on wants and must haves and start focusing on my spiritual needs and the needs of others.

So that is why I am currently taking an inventory of everything – tangible and not- and asking myself, “Do I really need this in my life?” Clay and I both agree that something has got to change. And for as much as we (mainly me) kicked and screamed our way to Oklahoma, we’re now learning that we probably needed this move. It is the opportunity to step back, breathe, and really focus on what we want out of life. We can go anywhere after our time in Oklahoma. We’re lucky for Clay to be in a field with so many options – military or not – and I purposely chose my field/graduate studies based on having a portable career.


For as much as I complain about Oklahoma (and I really must change that), I need to keep reminding myself that we’re not stuck.  We chose Oklahoma because it is a stepping stone. We are literally surrounded by unlimited options. It is terribly overwhelming but also exhilarating. And we are learning to take life one day at a time and not be so focused on the future. As Kenny Rogers (wisely?) states, “You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”  So here’s to rethinking voluntary complexity and focusing on what is really important. Like granite countertops. Kidding. Sort of.