Plain Living

“Clever, ambitious, and always in search of greater efficiency, we Americans have, in two short centuries, created a world of push button, round the clock comfort for ourselves. The basic needs of humanity – food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, transportation, and even sexual pleasure – no longer need to be personally laboured for or ritualised or even understood. All these things are available to us now for mere cash. Or credit. Which means that nobody needs to know how to do anything any more, except the one narrow skill that will earn enough money to pay for the conveniences and services of modern living. But in replacing every challenge with a short cut we seem to have lost something… We are an increasingly depressed and anxious people – and not for nothing. Arguably, all these modern conveniences have been adopted to save us time. But time for what? Having created a system that tends to our every need without causing us undue exertion or labour, we can now fill those hours with…? ”   -The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert

Quote found on this blog post, talking about living a simpler life.



Yesterday I returned to where I used to live, and today I’ve started going through my old things and organizing my things from both homes. Though I’ve only gone through my clothes so far and am currently taking an organizing break to do laundry, I am overwhelmed and partially disgusted by how much stuff I have. Yes there are things that I’m glad I kept and I am looking forward to wearing again, but then there are things there that I no longer want to fit into again, things that are worn out, not my colour, too short, too tight, or just too much; things that, since I hope to never wear them again, I am putting in the give-away box. 

Why is it so easy to accumulate? How do I go around thinking I need so much stuff when really I could easily survive, and thrive, with just a fraction of what I have? When did it become so natural to think “I need that”?