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Aussies Living Simply

What is "Living Simply" mean to you?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Simple philosophy What is "Living Simply" mean to you?

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    My structured work ethic is still so engrained it is causing me a lot of angst . would love to know if this to will pass and I will be able to just simply be

    Hi Kathy. :wave:

    I have found that a deeply engrained work ethic (to the point you’re dependant upon it completely) is often a substitute for not being able to relate to yourself or others well.

    My husband used to use his outside work to deal with not relating to me. I used to use my duties at home to deal with not relating to him either. When the scales tipped in favour of the vast amount of work being at home, we were suddenly confronted with ourselves.

    The biggest evolutionary step was learning to laugh at our own efforts – both his and mine. It took the tention off needing to perform a certain way. For example, I didn’t always like the way my husband approached work – and he didn’t always like the way I approached mine. When I learned to laugh at his efforts (with him) I learned not to take my own efforts too seriously.

    You see, I’m the perfectionist. I also relate to people through my hands and how I work. I used to believe, if I didn’t do things right then people would see me as ineffective, redundant and useless. Therefore, I always needed something to do where I could be seen as valid.

    The angst only passes once you give yourself permission to fail in the moment, and accept yourself regardless. I reckon you should make a point of a ritualised loafing around session. Mine comes in the form of patrolling the garden. I will walk all around, check out the chickens and the gardens – but I make the point in my mind that it’s not to work. It’s to enjoy the result of what I’ve worked for.

    This change of pattern by “doing” acts of relaxation I enjoy, has diversified my behaviour. So now I can simply be, without giving myself a hard time for it. 😆


    starkravenmad wrote:

    Wickedstep wrote:

    Hm, not dealing with office politics. Having time for friends. Growing organic fruit and veg. Giving time for causes I believe in. Having time to try out stuff I’d regret not trying. Having a light footprint on this planet.

    About to test the waters as I am quitting work and moving to Mallacoota (far east Victoria) with DH in December. After 30 years in the workforce its a scary thought!

    Nothing scary about moving to coota its alot of peoples dream but its almost like living on a island because of distance to hospitals ect

    Most beautiful spot in Victoria though and well worth any inconvenience

    At least now i will have someone else living in FAR east gippsland ,…you will love the climate and can even grow bananas

    also the Flathead capital of the world so hope you like fishing

    Hey starkravenmad – only just got to this! Well, we are finally here. Geoff is out prawning (dark moon) and I’m surfing the net. Ironically, we’ve been here four weeks and haven’t been fishing/to the beach etc but this will come. Right now we are busy finishing the house and building a garage. Not regretting the city life so far. Have starting loading assorted dung into the raised garden bed and cant wait to get the garden up and running! (Food here is v. expensive and v. imported!). Everyone has been most welcoming and I’ve been given cuttings etc to help the garden along. Whereabouts are you in the far east?


    Living Simply for me ?.. I guess spending the kids inheritance:D


    Jade wrote:To me, living simply is about cutting out all the excess crap in our lives (commercialism, toxins, etc) and getting back to the basics until we get them right.

    I like that.

    I feel like it’s not being motivated by the perceived need to keep up with the Jones’s and not being motivated by marketing types trying to convince you that you need things that people used to manage perfectly fine without. There are technological advances that have been very beneficial, eg it’s great to get online and be able to talk to such a huge diversity of people and learn all sorts of things. But do we really need to burden the planet with inventions like plug-in synthetic air fresheners and Jelli Baff?

    Hi Wickedstep. Hubby and I visited Mallacoota on a tour of the southeast many years ago, I remember it was a beautiful place. I am glad things are going well for you.


    bluezbandit wrote:

    Now I am older and had some years to ponder, my going back to the real world and working for a living outside the property not only enabled me to some time of rest (something that wasn’t available being a 24/7 alternative lifestyler) but put me in a position where I will be able to live our the rest of my life debt free and relaxed in the knowledge that my needs are small and I can get a sense of self satisfaction from providing some of my own food (instead of all my own food like I did previously) and still have time to put my feet up, read a book or go fishing! Deb

    This sentiment resonated with me. While I never lived the 24/7 alternative lifestyle, I hankered for it years ago but put it in the back burner. As I got older and upon some closer self-examination, I realised the huge amount of time that would be involved. That’s not what I wanted, so I worked and saved my pennies spent time learning to invest wisely so I could have enough capital to ensure I could buy the simple things that allowed me to work less eg own a property with few outgoings, no debt, no water bills, no power bills.

    I wanted things to be “simpler”, I wanted to hike, fish, kayak, ride my MTB be in the bush in the area where I lived. Engage in activities that took me into nature which I loved but not be so consumed by labour, I never got time to enjoy the very things I wanted to do. We have chickens, gardens, a small orchard, sell excess produce the local organic shop, and to a few locals and give some away… but where do you stop ? do you bake your own bread (hours of time)… etc etc I am having a go at Sourdough now .. lol

    There is nothing “simpler” and more enjoyable then reading a book on my front verandah, on the big old sofa nothing but nature, I am in the middle of no where but still harassed by bureaucracy…. sigh

    Interestingly I also thought I wanted the company of no one, intrinsically I knew that was wrong but not why it really hit home when I watched the movie “Into the Wild” near the end of the movie, he writes in his diary “Happiness is only real when shared”

    Shangri LaShangri La

    Dressing gown and purple slippers on – a bit chilly tonight.

    Just listening to the sea change song while studying, here is a free download


    Our “living simply”way is to get up when we feel like it, dawdle over breakfast while doing a few cryptic crosswords(have to keep the mind going),do some work around the house- sewing, cleaning,building things etc, then maybe go for a stroll down to the coffee shop on the beach front and on to the supermarket to do a bit of shopping. One day a week off to the library in the morning. Around twelve a nice sanwich for lunch,for DH a listen to music while playing some card games on the computer, for me a read and nanna nap, then back out into the garden, in for the news and dinner, alittle TV more cosswords and reading and then bed. Once a week the grandkids and /or the exson in law and second wife come for dinner(always a nice home cooked meal), once a fortnight I visit my daughters doing any shopping needed on the way. Our garden supplies us with some food and lots of enjoyment. An occasional takeaway or dinner out or a movie. We own everthing. Once in a blue moon we go to the city to see and exhibition – might go in for the Valentino. Most of our clothes and possessions are op shop,garage sale-flea market purchases or made by ourselves. We are off to Tasie for 2 months in September, after the grand daughters wedding at the Sunshine coast(we are camping at a caravan park while the rest are paying heaps for accomodation in units. I do some charity work for Country Womens Assoc, Breast Cancer, Fred Hollows, Juvenile Diabetes as well as our local herb group. Life is fulfilling and uncomplicated.:tup:_


    I currently have 3 goals for simplifying my life.

    Turn off the TV


    Eat simply

    I used to think the whole ‘TV addiction’ idea was false but now I’m not so sure. I definitely get more done and feel calmer without it but it’s a hard habit to break. At the moment, my husband and I are substituting TV with music and I’ve noticed that we’re conversing and connecting a lot more.

    I’m slowly de-cluttering and being quite ruthless. I recently turfed about 200 books that I’d been hanging onto for years. I can now give my husband 3 sets of shelves to use for his tools instead. We just don’t need so much stuff. Over the past few years, I’ve also trained family and friends to give gift cards instead of actual presents. They’re usually for Bunnings which suits us better and we can buy useful things instead of receiving ‘dust collectors’.

    Lastly, I’m trying to eat simply. I think I got caught up in all the cooking shows and every meal became a major production. Lately, I realised that vegemite on toast is an awesome breakfast and we don’t HAVE to have 4 different veges at dinner or a super-complicated dish. Eating simply and eating seasonally is getting easier without the TV distorting my expectations and views of food.

    Life is just better, easier and more enjoyable when I focus on living simply, being with people I love and leaving behind (as much as possible) the externally imposed expectations of the commercial world.


    GM4L, the whole world needs to take a breath and live simpler so I think your thread is a great & timely reminder. The first two things anyone can do straight away to live simpler is turn off the TV & computer and all the mobile communications “must haves”. There is now conclusive proof of a link between TV watching & hyperactivity so that supports my thinking. I limit my TV watching to news , current affairs & docos only. Gladly most of this is on the ABC & SBS so I dont get bombarded with advertising. I have an old prepaid mobile for emergency use so that cuts out that distraction. I read quite a lot and the library is free & simple. Growing lots of your own organic food is a bigger step but can be done really cheaply and the connection with nature is wonderful. Reducing power bills (Petrol gas, electricity) is a direct result of above and can be done without extra investment. So much time can be wasted watching appalling nonsense on Tele so I have taken up “Free” woodwork. Every time I go past a building site or the tip I have a squiz at what’s been thrown out and have collected boxfulls of off cuts. Most of these off cuts would be burnt, mulched or end up in land fill. Yesterday arvo & evening I made the following (black plastic) Pot Cover from discarded Cypress Pine & Merbeau;


    Living Simply is wringing the most enjoyment out of life possible.

    At 40 my ambitious career plans have given way to something with more meaning. I moved out of the highly cerebral job I was in and went into something that free’s my mind for hobbies and personal pursuits. My job, while not exciting and ambitious does give me headspace and time for things which are truly important. Bringing home a paycheck is only of secondary importance I prefer to do so easily rather than stressed.

    I do without those things which are just time consumers. I haven’t owned a TV for more than 10yrs and have no desire to ever do so again. I do maintain a computer because it gives me access to the world’s biggest knowledge bank, the internet. All my furniture is second-hand even though by this stage in life I ‘should’ be into beautiful interior decors and all the rest of it. I just tuck my savings away for that plot of land and the cob house I’m going to build on it. That day is dawning very soon incidentally and I wont be lumbered with a huge mortgage. :hug:

    I prepare most of my own food and eat out only when it’s really a treat to do so. I enjoy above all things spending time with my kitty cats and that’s usually entertainment enough for me. Growing as a person, developing new skills and living my dreams are all essentials that no longer take a back seat.

    Living simply for me means getting rid of distractions and ‘must do’s, have to’s’ that stand in the way of living the life I am destined for. It’s a decluttering of mind, body and spirit. :tup:


    Use less

    Spend Less

    Make More

    Grow More

    Live More

    Smile More


    I’m quite literal in my interpretation of ‘simple living’. To me, it’s living a life that is without the fluff that causes stress and unhappiness. From that it follows that to live simply, life must be without excess materials, a meaningless job, debt and financial burdens, and so on.

    At the moment my life is not simple. I have far too many stresses. I work a job in which I am deeply unhappy. I have debt. My desirable world, as I call it, is something I am reaching for. That’s when I will be able to live simply.

    Eira ClaptonEira Clapton

    I wonder if we can revive this discussion at some point?

    Is simple living the same as easy living– well, no, not for me. Simple living is often hard work, but I can enjoy the work in a way that I do not enjoy the leisure which is produced by convenience foods or convenience products. If I work at something, I get the endorphins which come from work completed and muscles used.

    Some people are now using the term ‘slow living‘ to mean living more with intent to care for ones’ self and the ones we love without over-commitments. Slow is also used in food -ie it takes weeks to lacto ferment food, rather than buying it off the shelf.

    I found this article

    which makes some great points about the internalised values which we need to have adopted in order to live sustainably.


    Comments anyone?



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