Friday flip through the archives: learning to live with a little less

This is one of the very earliest posts I wrote on ZimmerBitch. I’ve been re-reading Tony Watkins’ book “Thinking it Through” and realised how firmly his thinking has become embedded in my own — then, and now.

Zimmerbitch

In Thinking it Through, Tony Watkins asks

What do you give to the person who has everything? Probably the greatest gift would be the ability to live with a little less. Far more than any consumer addition, they will treasure the ability to be free.

A single plum ripening on my plum tree. A single plum ripening on my tree.

The quote is from a piece called “Living with a little less”, and it’s stuck in my head for the last week or so; becoming  a lens through which I see more clearly the things that are going on in my life at the moment; from de-cluttering my house, to planning meals around what’s ripe in my garden, to the way I am looking at tv advertising, politics, the environment … even trying to improve my health can be understood as living with a little less … of me.

Much of Watkins’ piece is about…

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26 thoughts on “Friday flip through the archives: learning to live with a little less

  1. During the summer we live in a 500 square foot cottage with no dishwasher, washing machine or dryer. We have little room for storage so can’t bring much in terms of clothing. We seem to need less and relax more. (But we are hardly roughing it!)

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  2. I can relate to this Su, I work for folk who have lots of stuff, they are time poor earning money to buy more stuff. I fall over sheds and greenhouses full of stuff and plant plants bought at great expense, when it all could be a lot simpler with seeds and cuttings and time to watch the birds and bees whilst waiting for the seeds to grow.

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    • It’s both sad and scary that so many people work like crazy to buy stuff that is somehow meant to make them happy. They commute hours travelling to jobs that they hate to pay the mortgage on houses they barely occupy, being constantly at work or in traffic. My greatest aspiration now is to live simply; in harmony with my surroundings and to put back into my natural and human environments all that I take out. I get such inspiration from your blog and the lifestyle you have created.

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    • Same here. But I think there is a difference between preserving that past, and buying lots of new stuff. I hate the way so many things are marketed as being being somehow able to bring happiness and fulfillment into people’s lives. And it’s such a vicious cycle of working to earn money to buy stuff that fills the emptiness created by working at jobs people hate in order to earn money to … Sorry, I’m having a rant here. Hope all is well with you. Happy weekend.

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      • I think you are correct. Our society is becoming so disposable too. Things just aren’t made to last like they used to be. I love the old things I have inherited from my grandparents – (anything really, tupperware, glass pans, furniture) they of superior quality and you can tell the difference.

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