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Thread: Downshifting and Simple Living

  1. #1

    Default Downshifting and Simple Living

    Anyone else interested in or currently living a Downshifted or Simple Living lifestyle?

    Here is what I've learned about the differences in both lifestyles and my personal preference of the two:

    Downshifting is a lifestyle change where you voluntarily choose to step off the high speed career treadmill in order to gain more balance in your personal life. One of the primary aspects of Downshifting is learning how to curb your spending habits and figuring out how much money you actually NEED to enjoy your life. Instead of spending money wastefully, you instead focus on spending time and money on more meaningful activities.

    Simple Living is similar to the Downshifting movement, except it can be a bit more extreme than Downshifting. Basically, Simple Living is, again, a voluntary lifestyle change where you discard your possessions and focus on the things in life that you "need" instead of what you "want." People who follow this way of life seem to enjoy purging their material possessions to the bare minimum, at least in the most extreme cases I've read such as ascetics.

    Both of these lifestyles require dedication as well as planning out your finances carefully to determine if you can transition to a more laid back lifestyle without fear of losing income. Other benefits of both lifestyles include bettering the environment by consuming less, using less fuel to get to work, being more self sufficient, buying second hand, etc.

    Overall, I prefer the Downshifting movement for many reasons. It's less extreme compared to the Simple Living in that the transition is easier. Taking baby steps, if you will. An example would be voluntarily accepting a Part Time work schedule of 20-30 hours/week working 2-3 days a week instead of Full Time 40+ hours/week for 5 days or more a week. Another reason why I prefer the Downshifting movement is it's on par with my spiritual belief of finding "The Middle Way" in life, inspired by the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. Finding the balance to live in moderation while enjoying life.

    This is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. There are things I feel are more important than working all the time, however I completely understand that people need to have jobs and work to sustain their lives. I believe anyone can downshift their life, and it's a great lifestyle choice because it's very unique to each person. You don't even have to give up working Full Time if you don't want to. Downshifting could mean keeping your Full Time job, but moving out of the city and into the country, or move to a smaller, less expensive and more efficient home. You could also continue to work the same amount of hours/week, but quit the job you hate and work a job that gives you more meaning in your life, or you could start your own organic garden and learn to be a little more self sufficient. There are endless ways to downshift for those that want to pursue this type of living.
    Last edited by Somnia; November 7th, 2015 at 08:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    I can’t say myself or anyone in my system would consider ourselves really interested in either of those movements. Pantairin and Cavern-Risen would be interested in something like downshifting or even simple living however Kardegray and myself are such workaholics and complete magpies (him movies, me books). And something like that, we can’t really have it half of us do do something a along those lines while others don’t. So I guess even if I wanted to I couldn’t.

  3. #3
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    There is something to be said for living simply. I learned this while I was in Costa Rica. I had maybe a weeks worth of clothes, minimal gear, and ate what was given to me. I've started to implement more simple living into my everyday life. I eat less, and everything that's on my plate, I've been getting rid of excess clothing and stuff I don't need. Indeed, living simply does make life, well simpler, and easier to live.

    While I have been trying to live a little more simply, I don't plan to go to extremes, because it's just unrealistic. I have to go to school to get a good education, get a good job, and pay my bills and taxes, because those will always follow you.

    So the way I see it, living simply does have it's advantages, but at the same time, while I am simplifying my life, I don't plan on getting rid of my cellphone or laptop anytime soon.

  4. #4

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    @Earth - That's interesting and something I didn't consider about those of you who have headmates or are part of a multiple system. Thank you for sharing. :3

    @Zeno - I agree about the going to school/college, and finding employment. It's all about finding balance, and to try not to fall into a job that is too demanding or expects you to work 12+ hours every workday. I'm with you on the laptop thing too. The internet is one luxury I'm not willing to let go of anytime soon unless it collapses and I'm forced to let it go

  5. #5
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    After thinking about, I guess one way we could be almost doing something along the lines of simple living to a much lesser extent is that a number of us don’t have a lot of ‘things’ comparatively considering there are nine of us. Outside of spirituality related knick-knacks for some of us we’re not really big object persons really. Course, if there are nine people all with different interests and wants and whatnot plus paying our way through college basically, we’re already rather frugal with what we make from our job. So I guess, it will be interesting to see how we react once college is out of the way.

  6. #6

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    It's a really interesting idea and I'd be more inclined to engage, somewhat, in Downshifting. However, I'm a broke person who has been forced into the lifestyle so it makes me a bit irritated, hahaha.

    When I can do it by choice, I'd probably enjoy it a lot more.

  7. #7

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    I grew up in a house where we had little money & could only afford bare minimum needs. Sometimes we'd steal food because we were hungry. I never had clothes meant for girls or clothes that fit. I can remember living a few months without electricity or heat, a huge part of our wall missing during winter and covered with just plywood. Besides that, there was alot of crime and violence.

    Now that I have a safe, comfotable and nice-looking apartment, and can afford to buy my own food and sometimes new clothes.. No I don't want to downshift or anything. I donated over half my things when I moved and donate a big bag of things everymonth.

  8. #8

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    @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 no 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 Down-shifter ^^
    Last edited by Somnia; November 7th, 2015 at 08:50 AM.

  9. #9

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    Hmmm... Not really. I don't get paid by the hour and I have the job that I have and work the hours that I work out of interest rather than monetary concerns (I consider myself very lucky in this). The things that having less money would mean cutting back on would be nicer/more exotic foods, the rate at which I pay back my student loans, and mostly travel. Honestly, I'd like more of those things not less. I also don't have enough in my "rainy day" fund to feel super comfortable just yet, so I'd like to grow that. But I'm living on a graduate stipend so I'm not taking home a ton and haven't made any large, scary finical commitments in my life, like a mortgage, yet. Perhaps I would feel differently under different circumstances.

  10. #10
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    Simple Living is far from "easy living." This may not be readily obvious, but if you consider on eliminating everything and focusing on only the necessities of life, well, you'd have to procure your own housing, clothing, comfort, and food, as well as entertainment. I see this as being remarkably difficult. Having said that, it also does not appeal to me. Something like this seems to be fulled with either too much structure/routine or too much "on chance." I dislike too much routine, but dislike the insecurity of chance. I'd rather take Downshifting, as as I can tell, I may already be living this. ^^;;;
    Time you enjoy wasting isn't always wasted time. ~ phrase from Salt Lake City, Utah

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