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Old 05-19-2009, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
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I have a question for those of you who hire people. If she decides to return to a more typical life, will this "dropping out of society" experience make it harder for her to find a job? Should she lie about it when a future employer asks what she's been doing during the years she was unemployed? Or is that something that wouldn't make much difference to an employer one way or another.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Can't help but wonder what will happen to her when, for some reason or other, she can no longer live like that. Living with a handicap of some sort, age, illness, physical problems, etc. can cost a bundle.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,265,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
There is currently a reward system for certain behaviors that can be as self-destructive as the one that traps gamblers. Not only is there an endorphine rush when one realizes "I don't need to buy this, and I'll have extra money if I don't!" but a cultural reinforcement for "having a small carbon footprint" and "not using up natural resources." The person who works to minimize the effects of their existence on the planet is rewarded by a feeling of superiority, a feeling of being "in" with a group that is making a difference, and membership in an "elite" group of people that are morally superior to the rich.

If a person has little chance of being a leading member of the real elite, then this "frugal, low carbon footprint" group is a means of inflating apparent self-worth. It doesn't matter if it is an illusion, the reward chemicals from the brain are still being produced, and depression and despair about the situation being denied.
Interesting theory, you might be right. And you're probably also right--it doesn't matter if it's an illusion, living in an illusion can make a lot of people feel happy.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,265,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
Can't help but wonder what will happen to her when, for some reason or other, she can no longer live like that. Living with a handicap of some sort, age, illness, physical problems, etc. can cost a bundle.
That's what I wonder too. It was one thing to drop out of society back in the 60's when we were kids and we were somewhat indestructible. But she's almost 50. Physical problems have a way of appearing suddenly. Even something simple like not going to a dentist for a few years can be very bad idea.

On the other hand, in pioneer days women her age lived in similar circumstances.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:52 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,496,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
She's not in an RV park, she's in a campground. That's one of the problems, it's too far from everything. As far as I know the only work she can get is ranger duties at the campground. And if you've ever gone camping, you know that the stores that are near a campground don't carry the healthiest foods--they carry a lot of marshmallows and stale cookies and battered fruit and they don't have the lowest prices. (But, who knows, this is a guess on my part. Maybe she found a good store.)

But the bigger problem, IMO, is safety. I think campgrounds are safe for a week or two at a time, but a person camping year-round seems vulnerable to me. Someone wanting to commit a crime would target her, IMO.

Oh well, on the positive side maybe she could write a best selling book about her experience.
Or maybe she really has some manic-depressive disorder and no one (not even her) is aware of it. Has she ever been known to have made sudden, strange (or out-of-HER-character) decisions in her life?
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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20YearsinBranson said what I was thinking. I don't think she looked at all angles in at least several areas or did enough research.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:59 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,496,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
What a fascinating story. IMO it could be the core of a dissertation or even a book. I think there is more going on than meets the eye, and that a lot of people could learn a lesson here.

To put things in perspective, the obvious balance with frugality and work is income in vs. expenses out. To loosely quote Mr Macawber, "Annual income 20, annual expenditure 19 shillings and 6d, result happiness. Annual income 20 shillings, annual expenditure 20 shillings and 6d: result misery." Living frugally is a means of increasing the real spendable income or savings. Somehow, this woman missed part of that message.

Why has she gone the route she has chosen? That is the larger question. In my opinion she has fallen into a trap, partly of her own making, and partly made of outside forces and influences.

There is currently a reward system for certain behaviors that can be as self-destructive as the one that traps gamblers. Not only is there an endorphine rush when one realizes "I don't need to buy this, and I'll have extra money if I don't!" but a cultural reinforcement for "having a small carbon footprint" and "not using up natural resources." The person who works to minimize the effects of their existence on the planet is rewarded by a feeling of superiority, a feeling of being "in" with a group that is making a difference, and membership in an "elite" group of people that are morally superior to the rich.

If a person has little chance of being a leading member of the real elite, then this "frugal, low carbon footprint" group is a means of inflating apparent self-worth. It doesn't matter if it is an illusion, the reward chemicals from the brain are still being produced, and depression and despair about the situation being denied.

The insidious aspect of this is that she doesn't obviously fall within any of the current classifications of the DMSR, because the society sees such behavior as positive. If she were to go for therapy, she would have a difficult time finding a therapist who could untangle the web of conflicting needs and emotions and have her understand what she is doing to herself. As you have already surmised, she is quite literally destroying herself.
Maybe I'm forgetting some aspect of the original post but I didnt think that she was doing this for the reasons you're mentioning, ie the release of chemical respondants to her behavior and feelings of elation for a "frugal, low carbon footprint". I love the way you think, though. I would guess its possible she didnt something a bit wild and is enjoying it much more than she thought she would as its the polar opposite of her previous life. On that note, she may be pulling a manic phase and no one knows or understands it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:07 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,496,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
I have a question for those of you who hire people. If she decides to return to a more typical life, will this "dropping out of society" experience make it harder for her to find a job? Should she lie about it when a future employer asks what she's been doing during the years she was unemployed? Or is that something that wouldn't make much difference to an employer one way or another.
Anyone, anywhere can take a sabbatical and go off on an adventure, happens all the time. However, she has been fired from employment, right? That is the tricky aspect. Even finding employment at this point is not an easy task.

By the way, is she in a tent or an RV - a trailer or a motorized RV...? Most campsites are both for tenting and RV'ing. Some of them are amazing and have "tenants" year round or seasonally. Retirees can live in an RV park for 6 months at a time and they love it. There are often alot of amenities offered, too. We had a 40ft RV and spent alot of time RV'ing and some of those people are the kindest, most fun-loving people to be around. But you are right, vagabonds may also be attracted to transient locations like this but I wouldnt stress that, its not necessarily more so than anywhere else (like major city living).
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,265,865 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
Anyone, anywhere can take a sabbatical and go off on an adventure, happens all the time. However, she has been fired from employment, right? That is the tricky aspect. Even finding employment at this point is not an easy task.
I don't know if she was fired or she quit, the e-mail didn't go into details so it could be interpreted a few different ways. I don't really know her well enough to know if this is sort of thing has happened before or not. But I'm glad she's keeping in touch, it's interesting to watch an alternative lifestyle unfold (even though I wonder if it's becoming unhealthy).
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:06 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,535 posts, read 29,261,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Mann View Post
My wife and I live very frugal to but not by choice. I am disabled and no income, and wife makes 7.50/hr at her job and lucky to have it.

There is nothing wrong with living like this but I don't know why anyone would want to live like this on purpose.

It sucks and is depressing, and you are unable to do anything other than exist.
My husband and I live very frugally, by choice. It is all about your mindset. If you feel that you are being deprived of something then you will not be happy. One of the biggest kicks that I get is finding something that someone else has thrown away and making use of it! It's a fun challenge.

If you are disabled then you need to file for SSI or some other type of disability benefit. Also, if you have not already, you need to check with your state and county government offices to see what assistance is available to you. I'm certain that you are below the federal level to receive some types of help through local agencies.

Although I do make more than $7.50 a hour, my husband and we live well on about $18k which is still pretty low by most standards. We spend a lot of money on good quality food (grass fed, all natural meat and organic produce). But we do not waste our money on television, going to movies, and we do not have children which is a huge, huge money sucker. Obviously, if you have children you are stuck with them LOL, but there are many ways to cut back on expenses so that you can enjoy the money that you make and not feel deprived.

20yrsinBranson
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