1) I was pointed to this https://fivebooks.com/best-books/wilderness-mark-boyle/ and there are a few things that intrigued me (a guy / author(?) living "simply" in rural Ireland) is interviewed and at the end says this:
I haven't read his (Mark Boyle) book "The Way Home" so if anyone has, any feedback would be appreciated. Worth reading? There's also a reference to a doomsday book called "The Uninhabitable Earth, Life After Warming" by David Wallace-Wells. Anyone read that?Finally: are you happier living as you do now? Do you feel that, by living as wildly as you can, you have escaped the stresses of modern life?
Each way of life brings with it its own beauty and challenge. Most of the time, yes, I am happier, and I have mostly circumvented the stresses of modern life. That said, I’ve acquired a couple of the struggles of ancient life. But I think contentment is something healthier to aim for than happiness.
The difference is subtle. Happiness is always something to be sought, something you can have a little bit more of, whereas contentment is happy just being itself. I’ve found that you can be content even amidst struggles and sadness. Contentment enjoys the moment and the feelings for what they are. Contentment doesn’t need anything more, or for things to be perfect. And I have found contentment, more or less.
2) I can get anxious over the future - will my savings last, will my health last, will global warming or war or civil unrest or anything screw everything up, will my kids be able to find work and live contented lives, etc. Combining this thought with some of my recent readings, I realized that my anxiety is a pure fiction. What am I anxious about? An imagined future state. I am literally imagining myself anxious. I am literally scared of nothing but my own mental state. What is the solution? Other than to just "stop thinking about imagined possible terrible future states", if I feel like I need to "do something", what is the thing that I can control, the thing that I can do, the thing that might be beneficial to me?
It is to develop myriad skills and to trust in those skills to bear me through any hardships. It is the permaculture ERE or whatever it's called (as opposed to a FIRE-style). If I get fired, I can find another job that requires my professional skillset - my current employer is convenient, but not necessary; if I develop carpentry and plumbing and hunting and farming/gardening and other "simple life" skills, I could contentedly live through an apocalypse.* The only stumbling block? Those pesky kids. I just don't have the energy to build all these other skills after working and doing my best to teach the kids basic life/adulting skills.
* Until murdered. But, you know, you gotta go somehow.