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Want to simplify but can't work out where to begin!

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    Hi all,

    I’ve been thinking about moving towards a simpler life for a while now but don’t seem to be making a lot of progress! I have been doing a lot of research and have been reskilling but there is so much to get my head around that I’m starting to lose the plot. I’d love some advice from people that are further along the journey… did you make a quick leap to a simple life or was it a slow process?

    My situation: recently hit 40, questioning whether I want to spend the rest of my life working in a job that I don’t particularly enjoy. DH is not quite as environmentally focussed as me which doesn’t help, he’s not entirely on the same page but definitely reading the same book 🙂 We have 2 primary school aged kids, live on a decent sized block with an ever expanding vegie patch / orchard, chooks, have done lots of retrofits to our house to make it energy efficient but still have a large home loan so feel that we both need to keep working, at least in the short term. I feel a bit trapped to be honest – work is getting me down as I am working in an subject that I am passionate about (the environment) but it is not the focus of the organisation that I work for so it can get very demoralising, plus I have less than perfect colleagues. My mental health has suffered but is on the mend at the moment – it helps to read inspiring stories about simple living and sustainability as it offers me some hope for a simpler, happier future.

    Anyway, I know there are no easy answers – would love to hear how others went through the process and whether feeling lost on the journey is normal! I think I am having a bit of a mid-life crisis which doesn’t help but it is making me reflect and think about where I am heading.

    Will stop blathering away now before you all fall asleep :laugh:


    First things first …….. :hug:

    Then I just looked at your blog…….do you think it would help to look back and list all the steps to a simpler life that you HAVE achieved already?I think it will be quite a long list……..

    Then maybe list the new things you would like to do …….then ask yourself which have both priority for you and reasonable possibility in regard to your current circumstances – of time, needs of your children, financial committments that you cannot change, etc.

    Then choose one you can realistically work towards and write down how you plan to do it.

    And I think at 40 we do tend – and need – to take stock ,and that’s probably a good thing.The quality of the next forty years may depend on some of the decisions that you make now , for example , your health , but you are already onto that.

    And another one to finish with. :hug: I think you are probably doing OK.


    hi lottiebobs,

    I can remember being in your situation a few years ago. I agree with Blue Wren that you are doing well already but I remember being the same – because you are doing these things at the moment it is easy perhaps to not count them as the important achievements that they are and it is frustrating not to be able to simply pick out the next step and start it.

    Ive come to think of it as the “honeymoon period” in that there are things that each person/couple can simply do without too much disruption to their daily lives and it will bring enjoyment and pleasure. THEN comes the next step, a more serious comittment which will require a lot more effort and involvement on a mental/physical and long term basis. Often at this point it may seem more like hard work and many give up or settle with what they have already achieved (which is absolutely fantastic and I have to admit quite a bit more than I achieved when I was at that stage :clap: ) but I believe this is the point where the rubber hits the road and you will see the biggest “returns” if you will – you will be looking to make serious debt reductions and the changes you make will be habit forming and probably last, as Blue Wren said, “for the next forty years of your life”.

    There is no easy answer as you know, each person/couple is different and your upbringing and attitude etc etc will determine which path you choose and how you work out what to do but it will be worth it!

    This site and many others are a pot of gold in that area, you can look at and learn from others who are doing the same, pick and choose the things that resonate with your thinking and work at your own pace. Don’t forget to add to this treasure trove, you will get loads of help and advice in return.

    I wish you success in your journey – and I can’t tell you how fortunate you are that your husband is at least “reading the same book”, heading in the same direction should help you out greatly.

    Can’t wait to hear what your next step is. 🙂


    When Linda Cockburn first wrote her book about becoming simpler in living I copied out a saying in the book.

    I printed it out and framed it so I could look at it all the time :hug:

    People who take up what hsa been called Voluntary Simplicity might be accused of withdrawing form society,

    but surveys taken by Duane Eligin, who is belived to have coined the term in the 1980s,

    show that they are more likely to be involved in their community, politics and evironment, and use their extra

    time to futher worthwhile causes. Living simply isn’t a withdrawal from life,

    its engagaing in it more fully and with conscious meaning.

    I feel this saying has a lot of meaning for living simply :hug:


    Thank you so much for your replies – they have made me feel a lot more positive! I’ve decided that I need to reflect on what I have achieved already (thanks for the reminder Blue Wren) so that I can pat myself on the back for making some progress. I’m also going to compile a bit of a wish list of goals towards simple living and decide which ones are achievable in the short term and focus my efforts there.

    I must remember to pop in here more often as it always lifts my spirits – maybe one of my goals can be to check in on ALS once a day?! That is achievable!

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