I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately about what I call my lifestyle. I have followed this line of thinking by reading blogs I wouldn’t normally seek and by listening to a few good podcasts to confirm my thoughts.
I have come to the realisation that what I call Sustainable Living or parts of it, could and does, go by other names. Some lifestyles that I can totally identify with that I have found so far are Simple Living, Voluntary Simplicity, Downshifting, Minimalism, Frugality, Slow Food, and Slow Living. There are probably many more that I haven’t found.
However, all have a common denominator which is pretty easy to explain.
It is the act of changing from the current consumer culture where we consume to try to become happy (so the media tell us), to a counter-culture whereby the goal is the pursuit of less stuff, exiting from the rat race, and treasuring simple contentment and a simple life.
People start this process in different ways.
Some have a life changing experience as I did which propels them down this path.
Others have a health scare and change to healthy living and one thing lead to another towards simplicity.
Others wake up one day, have a watershed moment by realising that they are wasting their life and want less that leads to contentment.
Others get sick of being slaves to debt and change to a more frugal lifestyle.
In fact, all of these things end up with the same common outcomes. Less stuff means less consumption, which means less environmental impact, and also means less debt to the individual or family taking the action. Smiles all round I reckon.
Then in most cases, because they are now part of this growing counter-culture, they start to look for others that live the lifestyle they now identify with. It starts to snowball and before they realise it, they are caring for backyard chooks and growing their own veg, along with decluttering their home, enjoying their families, and becoming the most contented they have been in years.
However, there is a trap that one could fall into which I discovered about a year into my journey. That trap is that instead of keeping up with the Joneses, you may end up trying to keep up with a different set of Joneses, remaining on the same vicious cycle of consumption.
My advice to avoid this trap is just to travel your own journey, take it slowly day by day, live within your means, and just do the best you can. It’s not a competition, because there is no finish line.
So like every journey, it starts with one small step and it doesn’t matter how we identify ourselves, we are all skipping towards the same endgame.
All you have to do is take the first step.
What do you call your lifestyle? Share below via comment as I would love to discover more “movements” that I can identify with.