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Thread: Downshifting and Simple Living

  1. #11
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    I've never been one to, "downshift", or really relax in any portion of life. Although I'm sure it would help a lot getting caught up on rest and everything as a whole it probably won't be happening any time soon. I have languages to learn, and money to earn, and people to please and so I focus more on that than anything else.
    As for living simply, besides my music, phone, laptop, and notebook of course I don't really use a lot of other things. I only use what is necessary or what would help me out in the future. I don't mind it, not having a lot of things, it actually makes it easier to deal with things.
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  2. #12
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    actually Somia I completely agree with you and the idea of both. It has been something nagging at me for a while of becoming more simplified. As I go through the monthly budget of what we are paying out per month for TV, internet, water, electric, cell phones, gas (diesel in my case), computer payment....it frustrates me. But to the rest of my family (my mate and kids) these are all necessities. Granted I like my internet and my nice car, but I have a nice car because I have a horrible commute. I have a good job (I design recycling recovery equipment, so even pretty green!) but it still takes a tremendous amount of resources.

    So someday when the time is right (And my parents relinquish control of the family farm) I will make that leap, but I have to help kids through college and pay obligations off. I want to do it for my peace of mind and the thought that it my be necessary if this unsustainable bubble ever bursts. But I have had to come to terms with the fact that it will likely cost me my mate as she doesn't see (or feel) the same things I do.

    So yes, I feel the same as you I think, but I'm not completely sure how to make that jump yet, but the decisions I make now are all with the idea of that in the future

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Somnia View Post
    @SugarBlitz - I'm sorry to hear you had to go through such hardships like that. In a sense, what you are doing by donating the things you longer need is downshifting. Downshifting doesn't mean living in poverty where you don't have meals coming in, or not having electricity for your house. You can live in a nice comfy place and still be a Downshifter ^^
    Ooh, haha ^^ Guess I'm a downshifter then!

    This is kind of a general question for everyone who does the downshifting or simple life style.. If/do you have kids, do you make them live the same way you do? I often wonder if I should make my kids experience what I grew up with, so they can appreciate thing and learn anything is possible if they work hard enough.
    Last edited by Somnia; November 7th, 2015 at 08:49 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SugarBlitz View Post
    This is kind of a general question for everyone who does the downshifting or simple life style.. If/do you have kids, do you make them live the same way you do? I often wonder if I should make my kids experience what I grew up with, so they can appreciate thing and learn anything is possible if they work hard enough.
    Well everyone will tend to have a differing opinion when it comes to raising kids, and most have NO problem letting you know 'how to do it'! It is never that simple. First off you will know your kids better than anyone, and they can be much different in personalities, traits, understanding, all those things. My general guidelines for our 2 (oops, now 3! Adoption is complete for the teenager!) is to try and set boundaries that seem to work with your situation and with the kids, be consistent and keep things in moderation. Sometimes easier said than done! There can be a fine line between having too much of the 'new' thing(s) to being the weird kid with no TV or smartphone or X-Box. And this can depend on the kid. My son's favorite saying is 'better weird than normal!" Obviously he would have no problem being different. Both daughters on the other hand are much more conscious of how they are perceived even though I tried to raise them somewhat gender neutral (didn't matter) and with as much confidence in themselves as I could engender. They still worry what others think about all sorts of things (I try to down play it though).

    What I do try to do is be open about it. There were times when I was between jobs that things were tight so we tried to make sure they know this and we could do some things but not others. We are doing better now and I have allowed a Wii console and computer games although I do worry about too much exposure (I try to set limits there). We try to help others when we can (we will take sandwiches to the homeless sometimes, help strangers when appropriate, things like that) and to go through our rooms and donate things that we don;t use so that others might.

    One thing I do recommend is discussing it with your partner. My mate was raised with the idea that money wasn't discussed with kids (and it shows now!). But even with me being poorer growing up, money to me was never a big deal, it was just a thing (Still is to me) while it was very important to my sister. But my mate shows affection by gifting things, so her spending habits can fluctuate a lot, and the kids pick up on that as well. Drives me nuts sometimes, I am more physically affectionate and only buy something I feel I/We really need. This can be a pretty major issue in a marriage. We try to work it out and be consistent with the kids, but there will always be ups and downs.

    But I think as long as things are somewhat balanced and they at least get an understanding of money and its ebbs and flows and traps, then they will likely form their own opinions that match their personality. It can be very difficult and even detrimental to try to force things otherwise, even though it may frustrate you! (I'm sure I still frustrate my parents when it comes to money ). SO in short, good luck and do what seems to work for YOU and YOUR kids!

  5. #15

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    Great advice Amarok My mate and I go thru the same trials with money and gift-giving. I think the whole down shifting thing is rubbing off on him a little at a time though.

  6. #16

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    Well, I am finally on my way to this whole Downshifting lifestyle. I talked to my boss about the possibility of having my schedule changed, and after a week of consideration, he's approved me to work 3-12hr night shifts instead of my previous 4-12s. I will be classed as Full Time so I will get benefits and health insurance too! This is really great and I'm looking forward to enjoying more free time. I don't think this has settled into my brain just yet, haha.
    Last edited by Somnia; November 7th, 2015 at 08:54 AM.

  7. #17
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    I downshifted my life. Although I still live in excess when it comes to some elements of it. Though I have a mortgage on my plate I willingly gave up my high-paying (and very stressful job) to take the art-based job that I actually enjoy. I now work less hours for less pay and had to tighten my belt a little - but I am happier for it.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessicat View Post
    I downshifted my life. Although I still live in excess when it comes to some elements of it. Though I have a mortgage on my plate I willingly gave up my high-paying (and very stressful job) to take the art-based job that I actually enjoy. I now work less hours for less pay and had to tighten my belt a little - but I am happier for it.
    Congratulations Jessicat, that isn't a leap most can do, takes guts to do it willingly! Quick question, do you think being happier has improved the relationships around you or have things changed depending on the person/relationship? I still feel that my mate will be unwilling to downshift with me and I'm not sure how to deal with that. I have to stay committed to my family right now which means the major breadwinner but once the kids are older I'm not sure what will happen. Somnia has suggested separating finances may help and I tend to agree with her, just have to do it over time.

    My general thought is that if you are in love and happy then everything else will work out, but not everyone, I have found, has that naive outlook Frustrating.

  9. #19

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    I feel like I've lost my way in my personal quest for the Downshifting lifestyle, but I'm striving hard to reclaim a lesser work week once again.

    At my previous job, I was very happy working 3-12 hour shifts instead of 4. However, I became very upset when I didn't receive a raise that was promised to me for getting registered. I felt very cheated and it hurt my pride and ego. There was no room for financial growth and they were planning to move me to working 4-12 hour shifts, much to my dismay. So I accepted another job working 4-10 hour shifts earning better wages and have an opportunity to move to a permanent day shift position.

    At my new job my coworkers are very nice and we all seem to get along and help each other. The downside is this job is A LOT more fast paced than my previous job and the patient to tech load is greater. I've been here for 4 months and I'm still not completely settled. I also discovered I'm stuck working nights because there are 4 other people who also want days and they would be ahead of me (I was not told this during the interview when I asked about it). There is also no room for a flexible schedule, so they will not allow anyone to cut down to working 3 nights/week.

    After a lot of thinking, and talking to my boss at my former workplace I will be returning to my previous job with a downshifted schedule in 2 weeks. The great news is they are willing to match my pay and I will work 3-12 hour shifts as a permanent schedule. I will also have a better chance of working day shift if more techs get hired to work nights. I can't tell you how relieved and fortunate I feel to have this opportunity and I'll have more balance in my career again.


    *Edit*

    I recently edited/updated my original post to make things a little more clear and less rambly, haha.
    Last edited by Somnia; November 7th, 2015 at 09:34 AM.

  10. #20
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    Somnia, I think in this case your reaction and intuitive feelings tell you the answers that you need to know, especially with the counter offer. Although I completely understand the pride/not being appreciated aspect. Hope that this has helped with that as well. Hope this helps you feel less stressed and more in tune with your direction!

    I find it interesting to read back some of my posts regarding finances and downshifting and the issues with my wife since we have now agreed on a divorce! Amazing how much finances plays a part in that (also why we aren't divorced yet is trying to figure it out financially! Ugh)

    Did make the small leap to get rid of normal TV and just have the internet! That has been helpful! Less staring at stupid TV all day

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