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Path To A Simpler Life

A good article from the survivalist blog:

Living a simpler life doesn’t mean living an easier life. In reality it is just the opposite. Living a simpler life tends to be a harder life. At least harder in the context of work required to live that kind of lifestyle. Even though it’s a more challenging lifestyle… it’s a more rewarding lifestyle.

I’ll be the first to admit that my consumerism lifestyle has made me fat. I work a job that doesn’t require a lot of physical labor, I pay other folks to do things I could be doing, and as a result I’d added on around 60 pounds of excess weight. If you think about it…. were our grandparents or great-grandparents overweight? I’m guessing probably not. They worked manual labor for a living and/or tended a garden and farm animals for food. Something else to think about…. aside from lung cancer from smoking how many cancers did they have to contend with?

Around a year ago I decided that I needed to wean myself off a consumerism lifestyle and get back to a more simpler time. Like most folks that think about making this leap, I had several reason that moved me forward and got me into researching my desired lifestyle. By living a simpler life, not only am I improving my life but there are other advantages as well. Since this is more of a thought provoking article vs. a how to article… I am going to toss out some things to think about.

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One day I was listening to

One day I was listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Simple Man' and decided to live my life by it. It has worked out well so far.

Most of the things I buy I get on CraigsList. I dont have Facebook or a smartphone. I am growing a garden. I dont have Cable or Sat. I buy bulk food from Costco. I go to Auto Zone and youtube how to fix my car instead of going to a mechanic.

I am MUCH happier now than I was trying to chase the consumer dream and trying to be like all the fake people we see in TV ads etc.

Its amazing all the self doubt and desperation we hold trying to emulate the pretend people we see in the Media. All the while we think we are sick and inadequate then one day its such a relief to find out that you are normal and it is society that is sick and messed up.

All those moments during your younger years you felt outcasted and picked on suddently become a powerful feeling of vindication that "I CHOSE NOT TO SELL OUT TO THIS BULLSHIT SYSTEM!" And because of that, I am a free soul and it is actually the people that grew up thinking they were better than you for playing the game better are really just slaves in their own mind.

The next step is to let go of any animosity to these people and realize that they NEED your help even if it is difficult to break down the paradigms they have used to survive for decades. In the end, every small conversation and news story comment turns the tide a small amount until we reach the inevitable tipping point...

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

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Thoreau's Pond'rings

" I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."(17)

    Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a German Confederacy,(18) made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us...
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? ..."

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I can relate in today's situation

where government regulations and taxes totally control the use of private property. If a simple human will power to eat less can shed the bodily fat, 40% taxes means one works almost half a year for free after subtracting vacation and holidays.

In a free society, however, separation of labor makes one more efficient, prosperous and happy as long as he does not harbor envy at those who might be richer than him.

Its more fun than it is

Its more fun than it is challenging.

spouse and I got up early this morning and . . .

brought in the ice-encrusted wood that was laying under a foot of snow--

we tried keeping the covers free of snow all winter, but it was hard when we got freezing rain--

so now we have a mess to clean up; we thought we had a good method for keeping wood dry; it mostly worked--LOL!

Our peers talk about trips around the world and cruises and their latest technological equipment (phones and 'things')--

we heat with wood; it could almost be a full-time job, but we don't have the luxury of that; we still have work outside the home--

and . . . a garden to grow--

but right now the garden beds are under several feet of snow--

too early to start seedlings; that is certain. :)

We're in our 60s, and we found a few achey spots as we were throwing the wood around, sorting it, getting it out--

but I would be pleased if we could still be doing this in 10 years--

or more.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

A good wood pile

Warms you twice :)

"Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Mark Twain

Lots of good ideas.

Air drying clothes and hand washing dishes and using reusable containers save a lot in the end. Living in the country saves automatically on a water bill. Having two high efficiency heating systems costs at first but saves in the end. Burn oil when you are away from the house and wood when you are at home.

Plus if the present system of things crashes you have wood for heat and your well for water, and edible foods from the wild if desperate. It is a good idea to buy a book on what is edible in the wild, and of course have a garden both winter and summer.

I grow cherry tomatoes, kale, lettuce, celery, garlic, green onions, herbs all winter in sunny windows. If you plan to build a house or add on to your present house, make a sunny East-South- West windowed room for your indoor garden. Four fluorescent grow light bulbs a few hours morning and evening in the dead of winter are enough to keep it all healthy.