“Let us get used to dining out without the crowds, to being a slave to fewer slaves, to getting clothes only for their real purpose, and to living in more modest quarters.”SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 9.3b
The author of The Daily Stoic uses the quote in today’s entry to remind us that at some point in the future, we may be forced to make do with less. Less money, less food, less security, less vitality, less health.
Some of these things will come from the ravages of age, and some of them come by misfortune. But it can happen without warning, and it can happen to good people. It can happen to people who don’t deserve it.
It doesn’t mean we have to fret about it. But it probably makes sense to get used to the idea of having less, and even preparing for it mentally, in a way. It’s not unwise to prepare for times of hardship, when times are good.
One of the ways you can prepare is to live with less now. Only buy what you need. Only eat enough to not be hungry. Drink water when you go out to dinner. Buy clothes only when your old ones wear out, and not to impress others. Live in a house you can actually afford. Drive a car that’s within your budget and doesn’t require large monthly payments.
That way, if some day life deals you a surprise, and you find yourself with less, it won’t be such a shock. You won’t be reeling — you’ll be ready.