• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Enjoying A Life Rooted In A Simplistic Existence

Enjoying A Life Rooted In A Simplistic Existence

Like many of you the coronavirus is weighing on me. My wife and I have been fortunate to stay healthy throughout the pandemic and are grateful for that and so many other things in and around Covid-19. I feel terribly for those in the world impacted in the most severe of ways. Losing loved ones, careers and the things I am certainly guilty of taking for granted under normal circumstances despite my best efforts otherwise. Conversely, it has taught me the appreciation of enjoying a life rooted in a simplistic existence.

Simplistic existence
The view off my back deck today

The Pursuit of Simplicity

Being a glass half full guy by nature one particular aspect that I have become more appreciative of these past few years is the lifestyle established through the winding road of my life and career. More specifically the acquired life of simplicity my wife and I have heavily committed to.

I cannot pretend to have possessed this great foresight to the wide scale impact of my personal desire for simplicity. I would be giving myself undue credit if so.

Truth be told I have long been committed to my career. Progressing slowly through opportunities, and subsequently passing on hobbies, personal interests and other financial gotchas that can lead to more possessions than a person really needs. In retrospect I believe that turned out to be the great equalizer in garnering many of the complexities that come with life.


A few years back I dipped my toe in the pool of excess. I quickly figured out I was going down a path not in line with who I was as a person. In 2014, after living in California for a decade, we were offered the opportunity to transfer back to my home state of Texas by Dell. We jumped at the chance for a nice pay increase while significantly lowering our cost of living as compared to Los Angeles and the Silicon Valley. 

In doing so, and after living in rentals for longer than I care to remember, we bought an unbelievably beautiful home in North Dallas on a golf course. It was close to my office in Plano and within a stone’s throw of many great amenities. We owned the home for four years.

When I would drive through the neighborhood, literally every time until we sold the home, I could not believe we actually had the good fortune to live there. It was a night and day difference from how I grew up or had every lived prior to. Even as an adult.

Simplistic existence
Beautiful home, excess was not the answer though

Lesson Learned

Here’s the thing though. We overcompensated for our more strenuous living situations prior to relocating to the new reasonably affordable area. While we were thrilled to live in such a nice home and community, we simply did not need the square footage we bought for two people and a small dog.

Along with the large home came large property taxes in Texas. While I don’t complain about contributing our fair share to this great state, there is always more to the story that must be considered than just the optics immediately in front of you.

 Finding My Place

Fast forward to 2018. I felt I was ready to take the next step in my career. The City of Seguin offered me my current role in a more rural area of Texas outside of San Antonio.

I grew up in rural Texas. It had been over twenty years since I left country living behind to pursue opportunity when I joined the Air Force all those years ago. I was in my early 40’s at that point and relished the opportunity for a slower pace of life. We enjoyed living in Dallas so much it was not an easy decision to do so.

Hindsight being 20/20 I’m not certain my wife and I were ready for simplicity five years ago. We are absolutely enjoying it today. There are tradeoffs, particularly when it comes to life’s conveniences.

We have to drive forty miles to have her car serviced. That is the closest dealership for her vehicles make. If we’re looking for restaurant variety it’s at least a half hour drive. I gladly accept every one of those compromises for the simplistic existence living in a rural area affords us.

A Simplistic Existence

We did downsize our home as we transitioned to our new area. We opted for less square footage and more elbow room acreage wise for the peace and tranquility we so desperately wanted. The photo at the bottom of this page is actually looking out of our living room. We blew out the back wall of our house to add all the glass in the picture. The view is amazing!

There’s a patio set out there we’ll have coffee or adult beverages on at times. I find it exceedingly peaceful to watch deer, wild turkeys and other woodland creatures graze seemingly so close you can almost reach out and pet them.

I put out a feeder and often fill it with deer corn so they congregate on our property. We are definitely bleeding hearts when it comes to animals. It’s undeniably one of the perks of simple living for me.

Simplistic Existence
Mrs. Country Exec up close and personal with a baby deer

Societal Relevance

Today in our society it appears country living has become in vogue. Prior to Covid-19 many in the younger generation were already looking for more than the hustle and bustle that comes with urban living. It appears more and more people are pursuing a simplistic existence.

Tiny homes are a great representation of this. A minimalistic budget conscience approach to open a world of opportunity in life at a younger age. I marvel at the individuals that realized this critical aspect of life so much sooner than I ever did. Tiny living obviously is not relegated to urban or rural areas, but the underlying premise is parallel to the point of this post in that there is something to be said for simplicity.


It’s fascinating to me that through advancement we could very well see more of this societal reversal in our approach to life. People flock to where the jobs are, but even that has been changing.

Technology has aided this evolution. We are no longer bound to employer owned workspaces as in years past. The pandemic has certainly proven this of late. My own organization had not yet embraced working from home, but as a means to keep our city moving forward during Covid-19 we made the quick transition to make it a reality. In my personal opinion it was not that difficult to do so.

Simplistic Reflection

In closing, maybe Covid-19 has gotten to some of you like it has me and made you take a step back to contemplate your place in this world. I view reflection as a good thing. Particularly if it motivates you to take that next step in life that you were perhaps dragging your feet on.

That could be defined as the project you’ve been putting off around your house. Maybe finishing that class or degree you’ve been pursuing. Or maybe it’s just releasing yourself from the unnecessary things that can bind us up. If you’re like me a simplistic existence may be the answer to what you seek.

I say use this as an opportunity to begin living the life you want to live. You only get one shot as they say so you may as well make the most of it. Best of luck to each and every one of you, until next time take care of yourself and each other!

Simplistic existence
My Simplistic Existence