Single Again… Shrinking Life


By Kenneth Stepp

Most of us at one time, had or was part of a two income family. Through divorce or the loss of a spouse by death, we’re down to one income, many, the lower of the two incomes. My wife and I had a theft in our business and struggled afterwards, we had to downsize and both of us had to work. When we divorced, we both had to figure life out as a single. We took very different paths.

My wife made good money at her job, but when my income left, she decided to find more income, today she works 3 jobs, but has the same lifestyle. I on the other hand, made different choices. I decided I would become a minimalist. This decision came for 2 reasons. First, most of the girls I met had their own life, so I altered mine to make it financially easy to insert my life into hers. The second reason was, having almost no bills would give me a lot of freedom.

Shrinking my life, bills, stuff, has given me an interesting perspective on life. First, there was a time when making less than $700k meant I had a bad year, I dedicated 16 hours a day of my life to winning and accumulating stuff I never I would never actually own. If I owned it, I’d still have it. And that is a secret life has taught me. When a billionaire dies, he no longer owns anything. He never really did, if he did, he’d have taken it with him. And I assure you, he did not.

If you have nice things, a beautiful home, money, and wealth. I am happy for you. I found when I had all that, it really had me, I didn’t have it. Managing things like that takes time and other resources. My life today is me in front of my laptop, typing, studying, and connecting with friends, earning a living doing these things was a process, a very long one. But my life today is unique in my opinion. The song, I Did It My Way, comes to mind. I’m not rich, but very content.

My life is different because of the freedom I have. Freedom because, on a good day, I make enough to pay my monthly bills. Not because I make a lot, because I need so little. Shrinking my life became my goal when I realised, I want to find my forever love and spend my life with her. When we become one, I only bring $200.00 per month in bills, we would, together, have the freedom to travel monthly if we liked.

These days I have a routine. I awake at 5am, I work till around 10am, then clean up, head out, and I go on an adventure of my choosing for 3 to 5 hours, then I come back and work a few more hours. On these adventures, I build friendships, I help others, and I see things I’ve never seen before. This is why I built or shrank this life of mine. Freedom, friendships, and having something to offer someone should I ever meet her.

If you are suffering from working all the time, never catching up on bills, or losing the game of financial freedom, consider something drastic. Change everything, stop living the life you were always told was normal. Every day I learn something new about how to not make more, but need less. I’m not missing out on anything. I live is a nice house, in a great area, I drive a truck I love, I travel a lot. My life by all measures is only missing one thing… Her, my her.

10 Comments

  1. The minimalist lifestyle and mindset has affected me in a wonderful way as well. I’m glad you’ve discovered contentment and happiness through it all!

  2. Again Kenneth Stepp you have hit home. Its tareably sad how we go our entire young adult lives working, to satisfy others. Not so much as ourselves but so others can be accommodated. I’m Guilty as the next person. Tho as we get older, materialistic things become less & less Important. We get in our comfort zone, and myself being a female, Divorce and being single will be the first thing to cause ourselves to put us under. We buy and buy, trade off or sale to rebuy, when at the end of the day were not feeling one bit better. If two people by chance meet, fall in love, & it’s real Happiness, those materialistic items lose more value. Of course we want to live in a nice home, nice neighborhood, need reliable and nice looking vehicles. It’s when those things become a issue between the two, is when it begins showing how unsold that love truelly is.
    Any house can be a “Home”, it’s what resides under that roof that really matters…

    • I agree Patty. I have gotten past the home and car thing though. I’ll be the proud owner of 22 beautiful acres on a large creek in Alabama soon. If all I do is pull a camper up on it to live in, I’ll be fine. Peace is what I value these days more than anything. If I have peace, I have all that I need.

  3. I had the biggest smile at the end and such a warm feeling in my heart. Her life is missing you, only you. you will find her Ken. You will.

  4. You and I as former neighbors and business associates have seen some radical changes in each of our lives. Once I was consumed with consumption of things. Worked my way up the ladder to a position of V.P. of a top ten pharmaceutical company. My expenses with a home in Tennessee on the golf course a home in the Atlanta area and a 160 acre farm in central Georgia looked like the national debt. I didn’t own those things they owned me and they all had a price and a cost. Looking in the rear view mirror I didn’t even like the person I was. I worked 18 hours a day and ignored the more meaningful things in life. After over 20 years of marriage and 2 children my world came crashing down. My company was sold, I had to have major surgery and during my recovery I learned my contract had not been renewed, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was hit with divorce papers. I blamed God for this treble whammy. In a couple of months I didn’t have a job, a father or a family. Because the divorce laws at the time were different my wife was entitled to everything and $2000.00 a month for 7 years as living expenses. One night I went to bed a millionaire and woke up a pauper with several hundred thousand dollars in debt. Fast forward 20 years God allowed these things to happen to me he did not make them happen to me. I took about the task under his guidance to only do things that benefits others and take focus off of myself. The result is that God restored me and made me a different person. Someone I actually liked. No I don’t have all of that stuff I once had but everything I possess is paid for and I’m a happy man. During all this time I didn’t feel worthy of a partner but now I’m emotionally available when she does appear. Sorry for being so wordy but I could go on much longer. The journey has been nothing short of amazing and my advice to you is take the focus from your situation do right things even when it hurts and have faith that will carry you through and you will prevail.

    • Ken
      Our lives have been so much alike. We went through the very same twists and turns. I too learned that giving myself away was the path to freedom. As far as the things we thought we owned once upon a time. No ones ever owns anything. They just have use of it. One second after Bill Gates dies, someone else will be using all the stuff he thought he owned.

  5. Very Well said Kenneth. Materialistic people are truely never Happy, they always have worries of some kind. Whether how to maintain, or to upgrade to keep up. I have been where you were in your marriage, I also had any and everything I could possible want. But in 2010 I left out of that marriage that I truely thought was perfect, but wasnt perfect for me. Since I have been thru more trials than I ever imagined one person could go thru. I feel as if I been put into a situation for a reason, to teach me something, to learn. As God as my witness I have learnt. I have learned pain, sorrow, loneliness, losing out all, on more than one instance. But I have found Patty for the first time in 9 yrs. I have learned that Love is the only thing that truely matters in this life. Something money, material objects, or being in the wrong place will ever give you. As we all learn at some point Life is too short to be stressed, competitive, rules & controlled by the $. Finding and making that life with the one person whom we feel a total physical, emotional, and all around attraction to then and only then will our soul & heart be complete……
    Thank you, Its good to read your articles, and Wonderful to know we are not alone in the way we think..

Leave a Reply