So Ryan and I watched a movie tonight called 180′ South. It is a documentary on a guy that travels to Chile via sailboat to climb a mountain and surf (my express version..). All along the way he encounters native Chilean people and is exposed to their culture and sees how large industries are taking over the land and damaging the wild life and their way of life. It talked about how the large cities do not see the impact of their consumerism and how it affects those that are living outside of the city in the native country. There’s a couple of older men that this guy was inspired by to go on this 6 month long trip, and these two men have completely simplified their lives and are living in Chile and bought up a ton of land (more than the Yellowstone National Park) to try and conserve the land and bring it back to it’s natural state.
I could go on about the movie, but it really got me thinking.. what do I have in my life that’s just stuff.. stuff I could get rid of to simplify my life and reduce my impact.. I get this nagging feeling every so often. Last time was last winter and I cleaned out my entire basement and got rid of a ton of stuff. It was great! I felt like I had accomplished so much.. but then again what did I really accomplish if my habits of accumulating stuff hasn’t changed and in a couple years I will have just as much stuff in the same spot and I’ll have to go through another purging process all over again. Seems a little redundant doesn’t it?
So the thought process continues – and google searches come – how to simplify your life. Lists upon lists of what to do to simplify your life. From spending time by yourself to purging things that don’t have value, or even going to a minimalist lifestyle. Now I’m not sure I’m just ready to jump that far.. but I continue to ask, what could I do different? I mean how many socks and pajama pants does one person REALLY need? All the stuff that we have causes me to stress when it’s not put away and organized – and that stuff is just so much extra – why even have it all? Could we get away with having one car? How much more time would we have if we eliminated our television? Would it really hurt to only have one set of dishes? How much of my wardrobe goes untouched and just takes up space in the closet? How many accessories does one household really need? How much yard can I take up with garden space? What if I really eliminated all of the “stuff” and just kept what I truly needed? Need – it is really a deep word if you think about it. What do I have that I don’t need. There’s a ton just within a 20 foot radius of me right now that I don’t truly need… it’s all just stuff anyways right???
So why is it that on a quest to simplify ones life it seems so complicated? Where do I even start – what can be done to really make a change? I mean, we are a typical American family, just doing everything that’s expected.. so now to figure out what can be done that’s not expected and would dramatically change our lifestyle.