A simple life in the big smoke

Living amidst the chaos of London has certainly led me to frequently ponder whether a simpler life would be a better one. "Would we be any happier if we chucked it all in and set up home in a fishing village in Goa?" I asked myself.

Such simplicity however is a romantic notion, and the mere thought of its practicalities puts paid to it pretty quickly, so why was it that I returned to this sort of thinking so often? Sensing its futility, I soon began to wonder, with considerably more success, if there was a way that I could bring the simplicity I sought into my own life, right here, smack dab in the middle of the big smoke.

Over the past few years, particularly during my darkest days, my address book got a lot smaller. This left me with only a few friends and the realisation that the rest were just acquaintances who offered me little more than the burden of obligation, so the unintended cull turned out to be a blessing in disguise. However, this did little to ameliorate the big gap that lay between my life - my values, my family, my friends and I - on one side and what seemed like the rest of the world on the other, so the attraction of the aforementioned simpler life still remained.

My quest to find happiness and aspiration to live in a world filled with peace, generosity, kindness and compassion were far from reality; although this is the sort of stuff that plagues me, and despite my little fantasy of a quiet and simple life still rattling around in my brain, I realised that simplifying the life I was already leading was a far more sensible thing to do, especially since seeking a simpler life elsewhere would merely be escapism.

Once this way of looking at life emerged, I realised what a silly sausage I was being. My life, my experiences and more importantly my attitude towards them were as simple as I wanted them to be. And so I sit quietly amidst the chaos, filled with love, peace and happiness because I choose to live this way. Attitude is everything.

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