Simple Living? Nah, Just Lazy Living

by Katy on July 5, 2010 · 8 comments

I like to think of myself as a follower of the simple living movement. This is despite the evidence of my large house, two cars, zillions of possessions; and responsibilities and social activities that few would define as “simple.”

I tell myself that my proclivity to eschew consumerism, walk my errands, use the library and take pleasure in simple activities buys me a golden ticket into the simple living community.

In was dropping off a check at the credit union the other day, (and yes, I walked) when the teller asked me what my 4th of July plans were going to be. I explained that my family would probably go to my mother’s house for a barbeque, and then walk the two blocks over to watch the Oaks Park fireworks. She then told me about a fantastic fireworks display in Washington, going so far as to give me direction to this far flung locale.

Um. . . ┬áno thanks, that kind of smacks of effort. I will pick the less pain-in-the-tuchus option 90% of the time. I’ll go to the Oregon coast instead of Hawaii’s, I’ll assemble a meal out of what’s in the fridge instead of buying fancy new ingredients and I’ll choose a fireworks display that involves ten minutes of transit instead of an hour.

I have since decided that I am a card carrying member of the simple living movement. Because simple living gives me an excuse to shun an overly complicated life. I just happen to do so in big ol’ house. Simple living is not just for single people who live in small spaces.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire July 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

Our 4th of July was simple like that, too. Church, hanging out at the home of friends. Walking out to the median on the main street by our house to watch the fireworks being shot off way down at the mall. I’m not into crowds, so it was nice that we could see fireworks by just walking past 3 houses and crossing a street.

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Lisa July 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

Simple living is not just for single people who live in small spaces.

Thank you, Katy!!! It’s refreshing to widen the description of what true simple living can be. Too many other sites insist that their way is the only RIGHT way. This discourages people from even trying because it sits them up for failure. We should all define what simple living means to us as individuals and start wherever we’re at now.

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Tracy Balazy July 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Sounds like my kind of weekend, Katy! My husband and I met up with four friends, grabbed a bottle of wine and a cooler of beer, and walked to the park two doors down to watch the Greenfield Village fireworks (www.hfmgv.org) from our lawnchairs. My recent goal in this whole simplicity thing is to drive as little as possible, and I’ve gotten it down to taking the car out maybe twice a week.

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Nicole Hickman July 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I have to say that I disagree with you a bit on this one.

I applaud you for embracing, on a day to day level, keeping things simple versus making them complicated. Walk somewhere vs. travel via car to it. Walk your errands, most definitely! Eschew consumerism, most definitely! Use the library, even better!

But to classify a trip to another city or place in the world as a part of complex living seems to oversimplify things quite a bit, and quite frankly, there’s a bit of sanctimony in your tone.

People who like to travel, while yes, needing to be mindful of their own carbon impact, are also the very same people who broaden our horizons because of their travels. Until you experience how other people live their lives, simple living can all too easily become small minded living.

So I’d rather not see people congratulate themselves for the fact that they don’t go anywhere further than ten minutes away as if this is a good thing/bad thing (the bad thing being other people who would consider going to Washington), because, while it might be true that we take the ease of travel for granted, it’s still something that for many is a terrific way to broaden our horizons and see how other people live their lives, lest we get too focused on the cubicles of our immediate environs.

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Alea July 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Nicole- You must not be a long time reader. Katy hosts foreigners in her home and has sent her kids to Japan. I think these are more enriching experiences than driving an hour to watch fireworks with strangers.

Katy’s tone is not sanctimonious. she chronciles her nonconsumer lifestyle in a humorous manner:

“Um. . . no thanks, that kind of smacks of effort. I will pick the less pain-in-the-tuchus option 90% of the time”. I find this totally funny!

-Alea

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Katy July 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Alea,

In the past week alone, we hosted a British soccer coach at the house and had a Japanese teacher over for dinner.

-Katy

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Jen July 6, 2010 at 6:21 am

You can broaden your horizons without constantly travelling to far-flung places. You can also travel the world without really managing to learn much about different people. It’s too much of a generalization to say people have to travel.

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finallygettingtoeven.com July 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Great site I just stumbled upon!
I too am taking the easier way out these days. My 4th July fireworks consisted of stepping out on my back deck to watch them over the treetops from the city park. I could only see the top half of them and could have gotten in the car and drove a few blocks to get a better view not blocked by the trees. Instead I chose to sit quietly in a lounge chair and enjoy the parts I could see. And that was just perfect for me…

And now I am going to nose around your site for a bit…

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