We are on the journey and have not arrived at a simple life, but here is our list of ways we try to live simply. Lately, we've found the books Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James and Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher helpful. Scott loves Walden by Henry David Thoreau, but we cannot claim to embody that severe brand of simplicity. We have --
1. Downsized our posessions by eliminating excessive or repeated items like clothing, shoes, and dishes, and we try to continually "edit" these possessions;
2. Usually buy and keep clothing and shoes that have multiple uses and are moving toward a uniform approach to dressing; .
3. Use public resources like the library for books and movies, parks for exercise and play , and the bus for Scott's commute;
4. Own a conservative about of children's toys and those that are "old-fashioned" (not battery operated or with bells and whistles);
5. Practice debt free living - living below our income, waiting until we have cash for something before we purchase it, no car payments;
6. Rarely watch TV;
7. Interact as a couple and a family by playing games, doing outdoor activites and taking evening walks;
8. Go camping for vacation at least once a year;
9. Try to eat breakfast and supper together at the dinner table every day;
10. Group like chores and tasks so they take less total time;
11. Reduce energy we consume by using compact fluorescent bulbs, walking or riding our bike when we can, and consolidating errands;
12. Buy used whenever possible;
13. Simplify meals by planning out a menu for a week at a time, eating beans and cornbread at least once every two weeks, reducing the amount of meat we eat;
14. Support a local farm by being members of a Long Hungry Creek CSA;
15. Moved into a place that's about a third as big as our prior home, which has really been a test of our character (some days we pass the test; some days we fail);
16. Try not to work at least one day of the weekend.
We don't have it figured out, but have found these these things helpful. We're learning from you all and are thankful to be a part of this conversation.
-Scott and Jessica