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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

gkeppler 05-13-10 01:44 PM

Funny that while i'm reading this thread, which is really inspiring, there's a Horchow advertisement that says "Hurray! Shop Now!"

Artkansas 05-20-10 01:02 PM


Originally Posted by Magnificent777 (Post 10762955)

We really don't need alot. Society has fooled us in thinking we do.

I'm not so sure that it's society at large, rather that we are carpetbombed with advertising and it seeps into our psyches.

silverwolf 05-20-10 08:00 PM

I am right with the thread starter here. All my irreplacable data, ie documents, pictures and music is archive in three portable backups, one in my wallet, and on my computer as well making 4 backups. I have only a bed, a dresser and a small chair in terms of furniture, my only electronic devices are a laptop computer, an old 8GB music player, and a "survival radio" and flashlight kept in a pack with some other survival items (food, knives, money etc). Apart from that it's basically my motorcycle, which I only would use for long-distance journeys, it's toolkit, and now my bicycle and it's lights/toolkit etc.

That's it. It's remarkabley freeing living this way; lets you concentrate on things that really matter. And hopefully not sounding like Rick Warren, it does let you appreciate the smaller things in life.

In short, minimalism for the win. :D

BadBoy10 05-22-10 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by Artkansas (Post 10841095)
I'm not so sure that it's society at large, rather that we are carpetbombed with advertising and it seeps into our psyches.

What is the difference?
Seems like you are saying the same thing?

Someone, some entity has convinced us less is poor is more is rich.

BadBoy10 05-22-10 09:23 AM


Originally Posted by iBarna (Post 2096585)
Ah, the own vs. rent debate. As you can guess, I'm a renter. And as a non American, I do think that Americans have a big obsession with "owning" a house. I dunno... I'm simply not much interested in signing a mortgage so that I can own a house in 30 years and perhaps make some money with reselling it. I'm happy to live off a salary and actually think that I'm safer this way than with such a long term investment. I can move / change / adapt on a moment's notice with little hassle. I easily stay ahead of the curve so to speak.

What surprises me though even more than the American "I need to own" is the reactions I get when they learn that I rent and have no interest in owning a house. They look at me like I'm crazy. I don't know, my life philosophy is quite common in Europe... many people are like that. Many peole live their lives, even raise families while renting.

I may own a house at one point. I'm not diametrically opposed to the idea. But for now I see no reason.

American born and raised--will never own. What difference does it make? I do not have children--never will--this is my last and final car payment as well. I refuse to give another hard earned dime to pay some CEO's daughter's private school education.

Rollfast 05-24-10 03:24 AM

Live like you want to as much as you can for as long as you can deal with then live some other way. The point of this is not how guilty you feel or how you can brag; in the end it's merely how did you get along with the folks you chose to hang with and were you a drag.

You know as well as I that if you don't dig yourself and apply yourself, no matter what kettle of fish you had, everybody but YOU will be enjoying those fish.

I'm not certain as to just how BF became such a philosophy class but you also don't need a degree to both know how you feel and how to apply it. Is it a cause for comparison? Ultimately, NO, merely a list of bragging rights. If you ask how to reduce clutter or how do I maximize the effort I make to save water, for an example then that is more in line with the concept. Owning more books or golf clubs is not the problem. Books can be given or sold and they are a reusable resource that is useful for many people. Golf clubs...eh...our thrift stores have so many we could still win a war if we ran out of bullets and golf technology has changed so much it is just people using the thrift as a surrogate dump truck.

I hope all that makes a point to you folks.

Roody 05-25-10 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 10856454)
Live like you want to as much as you can for as long as you can deal with then live some other way. The point of this is not how guilty you feel or how you can brag; in the end it's merely how did you get along with the folks you chose to hang with and were you a drag.

You know as well as I that if you don't dig yourself and apply yourself, no matter what kettle of fish you had, everybody but YOU will be enjoying those fish.

I'm not certain as to just how BF became such a philosophy class but you also don't need a degree to both know how you feel and how to apply it. Is it a cause for comparison? Ultimately, NO, merely a list of bragging rights. If you ask how to reduce clutter or how do I maximize the effort I make to save water, for an example then that is more in line with the concept. Owning more books or golf clubs is not the problem. Books can be given or sold and they are a reusable resource that is useful for many people. Golf clubs...eh...our thrift stores have so many we could still win a war if we ran out of bullets and golf technology has changed so much it is just people using the thrift as a surrogate dump truck.

I hope all that makes a point to you folks.

I think I understand your point. But we are stuck in a consumerist rut, and many people are just starting to realize that owning and accumulating things is not the path to happiness. (Only a few of us read Thoreau and Alan Watts when we were 15 years old and had it stick.) As you get rid of the excess things, you start to realize that the real clutter is inside your head, and a more drastic de-cluttering is called for.

phillyskyline 05-25-10 11:45 AM


Originally Posted by Rollfast (Post 10856454)
Live like you want to as much as you can for as long as you can deal with then live some other way. The point of this is not how guilty you feel or how you can brag; in the end it's merely how did you get along with the folks you chose to hang with and were you a drag.

I hope all that makes a point to you folks.

I don't think this thread was meant to be a p*ssing contest or philosophy lesson, and personally, I don't feel that anyone here is bragging or trying to make others feel guilty about their life choices. I happen to be one of the folks Roody is referring to who is trying to simplify and declutter my life, and I'm just interested to see how other people live. It's inspiring in some cases, and in others it makes me realize that I do enjoy the stuff I have, like my ridiculously large house, my pets, my cooking equipment, and of course, my bikes :)

iron.wren 05-25-10 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by phillyskyline (Post 10863436)
I don't think this thread was meant to be a p*ssing contest or philosophy lesson, and personally, I don't feel that anyone here is bragging or trying to make others feel guilty about their life choices. I happen to be one of the folks Roody is referring to who is trying to simplify and declutter my life, and I'm just interested to see how other people live. It's inspiring in some cases, and in others it makes me realize that I do enjoy the stuff I have, like my ridiculously large house, my pets, my cooking equipment, and of course, my bikes :)

+1

Newspaperguy 05-26-10 11:03 AM

This weekend, a few of us are holding a garage sale. I'm looking forward to getting rid of a few more things — an old television, a couple of computers, a film camera and maybe a little more. I just want those things out of my house.

smilin buddha 05-27-10 04:51 AM

I have always loved this thread. I have been reading alot of blogs on Simplifying my life. But some of my hobbies are stuff heavy mostly my snakes. But I have started to get rid of cds and extra books. I am selling most of the stuff and donating some to the library I work at. Great forum post I am learning alot.

Rollfast 05-31-10 02:10 AM


Originally Posted by phillyskyline (Post 10863436)
I don't think this thread was meant to be a p*ssing contest or philosophy lesson, and personally, I don't feel that anyone here is bragging or trying to make others feel guilty about their life choices. I happen to be one of the folks Roody is referring to who is trying to simplify and declutter my life, and I'm just interested to see how other people live. It's inspiring in some cases, and in others it makes me realize that I do enjoy the stuff I have, like my ridiculously large house, my pets, my cooking equipment, and of course, my bikes :)

I believe we share a common theme, if not a lockstep of philosophies. I thank you for making that point as well. :thumb:

Newspaperguy 06-01-10 12:51 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10863291)
As you get rid of the excess things, you start to realize that the real clutter is inside your head, and a more drastic de-cluttering is called for.

This has been the most difficult part.

I've managed to strip away a lot of stuff and I've enjoyed doing that. But there are things I'm doing which can easily take over my life if I let them. I've chosen to get involved with a few things that are important to me or at least a lot of fun, but there comes a point where they threaten to overtake my life.

Right now I'm sitting on two boards, for the church and for a community theatre group. I don't want to give up either of them, at least not at present. For a while I had one evening a week booked up with a continuing education course. And each week, one or two evenings will be taken up with work-related commitments. And there are always others asking me to give of my time to help with their cause or project.

I only have a set number of hours in a day or a week. Some of those have to be for me.

Artkansas 06-01-10 04:19 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10863291)
As you get rid of the excess things, you start to realize that the real clutter is inside your head, and a more drastic de-cluttering is called for.


That's where meditation has been most challenging for me. You'd think that just observing your breathing would be a simple thing. But it reveals that there is a fire-hose of thoughts aimed at your conciousness, and a very seductive one aimed at getting you to think, not be.

What astonishes me the most is how random they really are. One moment I'm brushing away thoughts of what the coming day will be like and then I'm hit with thoughts of sharing a tricycle when I was three... where did that one come from? :eek:

I don't know if I'll ever get good at meditation, though I know that my daily practice of it is vital.

art1stic 06-03-10 07:34 PM

This post has inspired me a lot. I was the type of person to buy things constantly. Since this post, i really think about my choices of purchases or anything i do for that matter.

Newspaperguy 06-04-10 12:12 PM

I've been doing a bit of reading on work trends through the years and it's got me thinking.

Around the time of Dickins, people worked on average 3,500 hours a week, give or take. (I don't have the stats in front of me right now, but I know it's in that ball park.) In the 1980s, the average American worker was working around 1,850 hours but today it's closer to 2,000 hours. So compared with the 19th century, we've come a long way.

But we're still working a lot more than in the medieval period, when the average worker worked around 1,000 hours a year. In tribal societies, the work schedule is much closer to that figure.

We have more labour-saving devices now than at any time in history, and we're not really getting a break as a result. Our medieval ancestors, who did not have things like cars, air travel, cellular telephones, microwaves, computers and the like were working only half as long as we work today. Have we sold ourselves short?

I often hear the term "rat race" to describe contemporary society. But I'm not a rat.

Roody 06-04-10 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by Newspaperguy (Post 10913035)
I've been doing a bit of reading on work trends through the years and it's got me thinking.

Around the time of Dickins, people worked on average 3,500 hours a week, give or take. (I don't have the stats in front of me right now, but I know it's in that ball park.) In the 1980s, the average American worker was working around 1,850 hours but today it's closer to 2,000 hours. So compared with the 19th century, we've come a long way.

But we're still working a lot more than in the medieval period, when the average worker worked around 1,000 hours a year. In tribal societies, the work schedule is much closer to that figure.

We have more labour-saving devices now than at any time in history, and we're not really getting a break as a result. Our medieval ancestors, who did not have things like cars, air travel, cellular telephones, microwaves, computers and the like were working only half as long as we work today. Have we sold ourselves short?

I often hear the term "rat race" to describe contemporary society. But I'm not a rat.

And it really gets weird if you factor in productivity. We produce (I would guess) tens to hundreds times more stuff per hour compared to the medieval worker or even the worker 50 years ago. This is due mainly to new labor saving devices and new processes such as the assembly line. The increase in productivity caused by new technology gave us two options:

We could have chosen Option A--working fewer hours to produce about the same amount of stuff. That would have given us only a little more stuff, but it would have given us much more time off to spend with family, hobbies, travel, and other things that make us happy.

Instead, we chose the productivity route--Option B--working more hours and making much, much, much more stuff. In return we get paid more money, but we have to keep the whole thing going by buying more and more stuff. The stuff we buy is supposed to amke us happy.

But does it really make us happier than we would be if we had chosen Option A?

iron.wren 06-05-10 08:07 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 10914248)
And it really gets weird if you factor in productivity. We produce (I would guess) tens to hundreds times more stuff per hour compared to the medieval worker or even the worker 50 years ago. This is due mainly to new labor saving devices and new processes such as the assembly line. The increase in productivity caused by new technology gave us two options:

We could have chosen Option A--working fewer hours to produce about the same amount of stuff. That would have given us only a little more stuff, but it would have given us much more time off to spend with family, hobbies, travel, and other things that make us happy.

Instead, we chose the productivity route--Option B--working more hours and making much, much, much more stuff. In return we get paid more money, but we have to keep the whole thing going by buying more and more stuff. The stuff we buy is supposed to amke us happy.

But does it really make us happier than we would be if we had chosen Option A?

But you know why we choose option B because of money and people think that when they spen time with family or hobbies or travel that they have to spend money especially in travel in how i guess you are saying that. Therefore that is the reason why the american dream was created because we want more and more money so that we can do things like that and keep our family happy. Also now with todays society in having the latest gadgets and kids wanting the latest toys and keep wanting more and more entertainment we are almost stuck in this cycle other than those who try to go against it part or all. I am currently at a camp where i will have limited time on the internet than how i was at home so hopefully i will learn to live without stuff like that more.

Newspaperguy 06-06-10 02:16 AM

We also, as a society, have a sense of entitlement. There's the idea that we owe it to ourselves to have the latest, the greatest, the newest, the fastest or the most fashionable of what's available. But having those things doesn't make us any happier. There are too many young couples who insist on having the big house, the nice cars and the fancy gadgets and furnishings, even though they're living way beyond their means. And there are too many people of all ages who are griping because they do not think they are earning a big enough wage, even though they are being paid according to industry standards.

We also have been sucked in by one of the worst forms of thrift we can imagine. Instead of companies supplying us with good value, we have a huge part of the retail industry devoted to finding us the cheapest items imaginable. There are plenty of cheap clothes for sale, but they soon fall apart. There are cheaply made household goods which wear out much faster than they should. Some cars are assembled so cheaply that the hapless owner will be plagued by constant repair bills. And at the grocery store, the quest for cheap food has brought us empty calories and items which, while cheap to produce, do not have the nutritional value we need.

Curious LeTour 06-06-10 12:16 PM

Sliding Back
 
Comparing for the sake of competing is futile. Those of us into voluntary simplicity know this. Comparing for the sake of learning is beneficial, in my opinion.

I'd love to live car free, but I use my compact pick up to haul tools and brush to earn a living. I work for a company, so I can't choose to use a bike for that purpose.

Also, the woman that I'm in a relationship with does not live with me. Even though she loves to ride mountain bikes and cross bikes, she prefers to use an automobile for transportation 95% of the time.

She also likes riding horse, and I formerly trained horses for a living. Now I'm feeling the urge to purchase a horse again. I'm feeling motivated to do this for two reasons. The first is that it would be something that would bring us closer together. The second is that I struggled with self esteem issues earlier this year, and training a young horse would make me feel special and confident to some extent.

On the other hand, I don't want to pay for a horse, the stall rent, the extra fuel, and the tack. I've already purchased a trailer. I feel like it is a slide back into mainstream competition and consumerism.

It is great to read these posts and see where people draw the lines for themselves, and why they draw them.

Newspaperguy 06-06-10 01:31 PM

Simplicity does not necessarily mean getting rid of everything except for the most meagre of essentials. Simplicity, the way I see it, is about stripping out the clutter from life, getting rid of the non-essentials.

On a material level, it may involve downsizing, getting rid of possessions which have no purpose in one's life and avoiding expensive hobbies or habits. On a personal level, it also may mean stepping away from commitments which drain time and energy.

However, simplicity for one person may not be simplicity for another. My version of a simple lifestyle for me as a single person is completely different than a simple lifestyle for a couple, and a couple's version of simplicity is not the same as that of a family with children. Someone who works as an independent trades person will have need for tools and transportation different from an employee in an office or a retired person.

The point is that a horse, while not part of my simple lifestyle, may fit in to yours. Meanwhile, I may have things in my simple lifestyle which would be unnecessary in yours.

There is no one right method here, simply because each of us has different needs and different circumstances.

deadprez012 06-08-10 06:45 PM

I really dig the OP's idea behind this thread, and I've skipped around, but it seems like some are taking the topic a bit too seriously. I have my opinions and convictions as well--and am a young guy, so in no way do I suggest I know life in a macroscopic sense--but really, could we return to answering the question and maybe exploring uplifting ideas?

I've always lived relatively simply. My strong belief is that my money is well spent on experiences and wasted on material. Unless, of course, that material allows me a few experiences :) Bicycles, motorcycles, running shoes, and lots and lots of socks are very much included in that list!

I've probably spent thousands on fitness-related experiences (not counting the cost of my former motorcycle). Incidentally, I've made lots of stupid indulgences in the past that contrast with this life philosophy...but they have only reinforced this!

My fiance and I have two recliners & a couch (which we were given by her family friends) and there are tons of material things unrelated to me in our house. Cohabitating means sacrificing "preferred" for "mutually agreeable". Belonging entirely to me though would include--an iron, one great set of knives (which I got as a knife salesman!), about 8 t-shirts (4 from athletic or school events), 4 button-ups, 2 pair of shorts, 2 pair of jeans, 3 suits (black, white from a prom, and...purple from a homecoming), 3 pairs of shoes (2 dress, 1 casual), my bike, my truck (which is slowly being phased out of my life), and the 3-5 books that have changed my life.

Also, my laptop, an mp3 player for running, and 2 awesome water bottles.

I gave up my underused guitar & amp a while back to some kids that would love them, sold my bike after a nasty spill to a guy that would restore it to glory and ride it frequently, and choose not to watch TV, eat out more than 1x/month, or sit around at home.

Fitness is life--and, as an added bonus, fitness is free.

Cheers!

silverwolf 06-08-10 07:20 PM

I was thinking more about this lately, and I think that for those of us who voluntarily don't have much, it's an issue of personal freedom.

Personal freedom in the sense of less things to worry about, less bills to pay, less liability, less complication both physically and mentally, and less unecessary things that society at large might pretend are necessary.

But also more- more time to do things not focused one acquiring, maintaining, insuring, and worrying about things you don't really care about, and more time to, sorry for the cliche, think about the important things in life.

I find that it's remarkabley easier for me to take care of my daily responsibilties, study and learn, think and listen more to those I care about, and also enjoy life more- I appreciate things now, as I become more minimalistic than I ever could have before.

Speaking of that, there's still about 15 boxes of crap in my closet and living room, and (apart from tools and bicycle) even more in the garage area. I want to pare down to my essentials, and my list (apart from the obvious food, clothing, etc) is-

-Laptop computer with internet connection
-Music player with my music library
-Two flash drives with backups of my music, and irreplaceable/personal photos and documents
-Bicycle with headlamp and a small tool bag
-Backpack with the above (minus bicycle) in it plus "survival" gear such as- shortwave radio, batteries, knives, spare clothes and food -for occaisional blackouts, wilderness forays and the apocalypse (2012 OMG!!1)

Paring down is difficult though. You don't know why you've kept something, and yet you still don't want to throw it away.

Newspaperguy 06-09-10 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by deadprez012 (Post 10933200)
I've always lived relatively simply. My strong belief is that my money is well spent on experiences and wasted on material. Unless, of course, that material allows me a few experiences :) Bicycles, motorcycles, running shoes, and lots and lots of socks are very much included in that list!


I gave up my underused guitar & amp a while back to some kids that would love them, sold my bike after a nasty spill to a guy that would restore it to glory and ride it frequently, and choose not to watch TV, eat out more than 1x/month, or sit around at home.

Fitness is life--and, as an added bonus, fitness is free.
I think you and I share the same philosophy of simplicity. You're keeping the things that are important to you and getting rid of the things that are not important. In that sense, you are already following principles of simplicity.

iron.wren 06-11-10 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by Curious LeTour (Post 10920693)
Comparing for the sake of competing is futile. Those of us into voluntary simplicity know this. Comparing for the sake of learning is beneficial, in my opinion.

I'd love to live car free, but I use my compact pick up to haul tools and brush to earn a living. I work for a company, so I can't choose to use a bike for that purpose.

Also, the woman that I'm in a relationship with does not live with me. Even though she loves to ride mountain bikes and cross bikes, she prefers to use an automobile for transportation 95% of the time.

She also likes riding horse, and I formerly trained horses for a living. Now I'm feeling the urge to purchase a horse again. I'm feeling motivated to do this for two reasons. The first is that it would be something that would bring us closer together. The second is that I struggled with self esteem issues earlier this year, and training a young horse would make me feel special and confident to some extent.

On the other hand, I don't want to pay for a horse, the stall rent, the extra fuel, and the tack. I've already purchased a trailer. I feel like it is a slide back into mainstream competition and consumerism.

It is great to read these posts and see where people draw the lines for themselves, and why they draw them.

Get the Horse if you can fit it in with your budget, if it is something you love and you know you will do than do it


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