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Old 01-14-06, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdenver
can i say how much i love this thread. i hate clutter, limit my clothes in closet (i
make sure i donate some as i buy new ones). i eat out (save for GOOD meals, not junk), but often cook several meals at home, and i take them to work in my rack trunk in little square t'wares. since i moved back to denver from LA five years ago i've pared down my busyness, stress, and stuff. since biking commuting i've realized how much pleasure there is in saving money, and now the the debts are paid off (except house) after a few years i'm looking forward to traveling overseas even more this year.

i think "living simply" is more a state of mind than based on how much stuff one owns (even though i preach living simply through means of reducing excess in your life)

for example a guy in the country who owns 20 junk cars and enjoys tinkering with them and fixing them might be living just as simply as one of us. i've found it has more to do with stress and society's demands placed on us. there's an "anti-overscheduling" movement starting in books and blogs, based on the ridiculous of the concept that your life is only productive and valuable if you're running from place to place and have a million things to do. some of this is geared towards parents, and i've read stories of multiple lessons, soccer games and fast food dinners in cars rushing from one place to the next.

hopefully people realize the annoying phrase "well you have to much time on your hands" is not a negative thing, but a good thing. there's a difference between taking a lazy approach to life versus sitting in the park in a summer evening reading, or just spending a few hours doing nothing, or doing more enriching things like taking spanish lessons (which i'm starting in two weeks)

i think a hobby that involves junk and clutter is certainly different than an aggravating household of crap that stresses you out, but i think we all realize living simple for financial reasons also provides us more opportunites for dictating how our day is spent (making oragami or spanish lessons). less spending on unneeded things equals less debt equals less need for part time or additional jobs. i for example own bought a hot tub last spring, but because i found a guy selling it for under $800. the reason? he was getting one with a TV/DVD player built in. some might consider me not simple for owning something needing maintenence and using more electricity. i enjoy it, and i laugh at his need to spend $10,000 on a hot tub which does the exact same thing as the one he sold me (now on my back patio)

in another post i referenced the phrase "manufactured wants" and someone argued with that term. we're so oversaturated with marketing;/advertising/commercial messages, i don't think enough people quickly disect whether they truly can use something or they actually need it. for example yes i wanted a hot tub, but i was patient, and had no intention if spending retail on it. this fell into my lap, so i rewarded myself and am happy, and still consider myself simple. note these two articles:

anyway i love this post. i consider myself quite simple, although i own a home, hot tub, and several computers for my audio production work. i have a plan in life of living below my means, educating myself, traveling, so in the long run i'll be able to not stress about money, travel and learn, and be able to be a good example of living simply to family friends and others

also check this article about the 116 year old lady.

This line sums it all up:

Her calm disposition may be the secret to her longevity, her daughter said. "She always had a very tranquil character," Irma said. "She does not get upset by anything. She takes things very calmly and she has been that way her whole life."
Great post - thanks James, I enjoyed the way you summed up some points I'd been chewing on in my mind whilst riding to work.
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