Living Simply Isn't Always Simple

I am proud and pleased to present an article from my very good friends, Christopher David and Christopher Michael, who are walking the walk, not just talking the talk, regarding their preparedness and resilience for the dark days ahead.

In May 2020, we set out on our journey to simplify our lives by moving to our shipping container tiny house on our 11-acre property in Appalachia. The build-up to this was years in the making, but COVID threw our plans into overdrive. For the better part of March-April 2020, (Christopher David) CD was going back and forth from our apartment to the property, which is a 3-hour drive one way, multiple times a week while Christopher Michael (CM) continued to work for the government in D.C. Then we'd both go down on the weekends.


When we, along with the rest of the world, saw what COVID was doing to the populace, we knew we had to—to borrow the phrase from John Michael Greer—"collapse now and avoid the rush." We needed to downsize, simplify, and figure out how we would live in a de-industrialized future. We saw the writing on the wall and knew we had to do something or risk being left behind.


The first couple of months on our property were, in a word, rough. We found ourselves getting emotional over the most insignificant things. Looking at traditional homes on realtor websites had us nostalgic for the only world we'd ever known. Recently we sat down to understand what made us feel those emotions, and we understood our feelings when we gave it a name—grief. We were grieving for the life we knew and the possibilities accompanying that divergent path. Our whole lives were hooked up to the grid, and to no longer have those entitlements left us feeling frustrated and sad.


We chose the path of simplification because we knew it was the only way for us to weather the coming storm physically and financially. We wanted to go through the tough times now while still having a small social safety net. We spent many days and nights cursing ourselves and lamenting to God. Why does this have to be so hard? Are we doing the right thing? We were even distant from each other at the beginning because we were so focused on building our tiny house, getting the gardens ready, and preparing for the calamity the news was telling us about. Finally, we sat down a few weeks in and talked it all out, which put us on the right track to go through this together. The culture shock of having every convenience you could imagine at your fingertips to do everything for yourself was rough initially. However, communicating our thoughts, feelings, and concerns helped tremendously in coming closer together as partners and as a team.


Today, we still aren't sure we made all the right decisions, but we agree on the central idea that this was the best decision we've ever made. We have set ourselves up for success in a world of too many unknowns. We are self-sufficient with our electricity and water. We are growing an enormous garden to sustain us now and through this upcoming winter. We have been using the last couple of years to understand everything about ourselves. When we have a terrible day, we sit down and unpack what is bothering us. In the past, when we had traditional 9-5 jobs, we didn't take the time to stop what we were doing and deconstruct our emotions to find the root. So while we are still incredibly busy with our garden's proper upkeep and implementation, we take the time to sit down and understand ourselves.


While the first couple of months of our move was emotional and exhausting, it was the most informative time of this entire journey. We learned what worked and what we needed to work on to better our lives. We realized we are a force to be reckoned with when we get the bit between our teeth because we are doers. Our adjustment reaction to living a completely different life was a much shorter time than we first anticipated. It's surprising how adaptable you are when you don't give yourself an easy out. If you had told us five years ago that we'd be living where and how we are now, we probably would have laughed.


Life comes at you fast, and the only way to prepare yourself is through robust mental health and spiritual resilience. Work on yourself to prepare as much as possible to face any situation life throws your way. Do yourself a favor—simplify now and live resiliently.


Christopher David and Christopher Michael are the founders of New Revenant Society and authors of the forthcoming book, The Millennials Guide to the Future, set to be released on July 1, 2022. Check out their website for articles about mental health, environmental sustainability, and many unpopular opinions.

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It took me three years to realize that I am a fallen creature. I have been struggling and groping my way back to the Light. Here are a few things that I have learned along the way....

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