Today I have something different to share with you. As many of you know my son lost his job as a corrections officer, which paid quite well, and is struggling to make ends meet with only his wife having found a part-time job. My son and I have not always agreed on many of the things I believe are important. I noticed his changing views and decided to interview him and share his responses with you. The reason for this is to show that even though our children may disagree with the lifestyle we provided for them growing up, they can change. Keep setting the example, when faced with adversity they will fall back on what they learned from you and use that knowledge to create a better life for themselves.
I know your goal was to live the American Dream, and by that you wanted the big house and all the things you didn’t have growing up. What has changed for you?
Over the last century I feel Americans have lost sight of the real American Dream which has always been freedom and in turn have turned that dream into a search for monetary possessions. The big cars and the fancy house can be part of the American life but the true dream is freedom from oppression. I saw myself living day-to-day trying to make ends meet in the way American society told me I was supposed to. I took out the lines of credit to be able to qualify for a home I wanted, yet here I am with that debt hanging over my head. I was raised to never use credit. Once this is paid off I will be living a cash based life again and will never allow myself to be talked into debt.
You were working as a corrections officer and I know you made a comfortable enough income to allow your wife to stay home with the children. How do you feel about now living off part-time work and giving up some of those conveniences you had become used to? What have you given up as a result?
Raising a family on a lower income really shows you the importance of having people close to you and the importance of the family. It has been a change to be able to know my kids better. For their entire lives I was working a job that demanded a lot of hours and left me with a negative view of the world and very little energy. The stress from working so many hours in a stressful environment started to affect my health rapidly in the last couple of years resulted in having a seizure at work, several hernias and problems with anxiety.
It’s a big change but at the same time I grew up with very little and until I had that job I lived on a very low income it’s a transition now but it’s a transition I’d been accustomed to in the past. While working part-time you can’t really afford to go out anymore, buy the little things you don’t need, the nice clothes you want. You make do with what you have. We’ve also cut out things like cable and internet and we use cheaper phones. At first whenever you change any part of your life, whether good or bad, it’s going to be difficult initially. I miss some of the luxuries which can be nice but at the same time I worked so many hours I didn’t have the time to enjoy them. I think my wife misses them more than I do. The children are at an age where they don’t seem to notice the changes as much. If they were in their teens they might have noticed it more. Especially with grandma being the matriarch the children are more into being outside and doing arts and crafts rather than worrying about how many channels we have on the TV.
You now have the time you didn’t to write. Your latest book has just come out. This is a huge departure from your normal horror stories. Tell us a bit about Militia and why you wrote it.
Militia takes place in the not too distant future where basically the worst fears of a lot of people in this country are becoming realities and one town full of people initially decides to protect themselves from the national changes and finally ends up leaving to a secluded area to live unnoticed. With the ability to train in advanced military tactics their young leader gives them, a handful of the townspeople decide to move out of their secluded area and begin to take back their nation piece by piece from the now-ruling Chinese.
Over the last decade since my service in the military I’ve seen a lot of disturbing things coning out of the US government such as a growing debt to the Chinese, spying on citizens, and using the legal system to create fear of government. So I took what I thought was a plausible worst-case scenario and used that to write a story that will hopefully will inspire people to think outside the box to view the sense of freedom our founding fathers set in motion.
As your mother, I am very involved in environmental issues. Do you find yourself following in my footsteps as you find yourself reevaluating how your life has changed both now and for the future?
In many ways yes, but for different reasons. I am beginning to be concerned about the dependence on every thing from government to electricity. Seeing large corporations controlling consumer items leads me to believe its another way of controlling the middle class by the 1%.
As you can see Justin has taken what he learned growing up and combined it with his experiences to create a life that works for him. While he was working full-time I rarely saw him,neither did his wife or children. When he wasn’t working he was sleeping. Now I see him several times a week and we have resumed our long philosophical discussions which were always a part of our relationship. His children don’t want him to return to a full-time job as they enjoy having him home more. He’s also returned to writing which gives him much pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.
Today Justin is offering you an autographed copy of his book Militia. If you live outside the US or Canada he can purchase a copy from Createspace and have it mailed to you or gift you a Kindle copy. Winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday and notified by email.
To enter simply leave a comment, no strings attached, and tell us why you chose to live a simpler way of life.