recipe for simplicity

I like to find ways to simplify my life, so I read Linda Pierce’s recipe for simplicity with interest, but I was not impressed.

Some of the items make sense, but others are unrealistic. For instance, suggestion #3 says, “Limit your work (outside of the home) to 30 hours a week, 20 if you are a parent.” If I did that, my home would soon be the street.

Item #6 sounds great (Take three to four months off every few years and go live in a foreign country) but who among us can take 3-4 months off every few years? She might as well suggest you flap your arms and fly to Zimbabwe – it’s a pleasant idea, but good luck with the execution.

I partly disagreed with #4, “Select a home and place of employment no more than 30 minutes away from each other.” I’m fine with the initial suggestion, but I completely disagree with her claim that, “Commuting time is dead time.” Hogwash and poppycock. You can get books on CD or tape, or use the time to think about things and work them out in your mind. You can catch up on the news or sing along with the radio to improve your singing voice (I find that imitating good singers can improve my voice). It can be dead time, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. I’m certainly not advocating half-day commutes, but I wouldn’t avoid it simply because it’s dead time, especially if you have access to public transportation.

I don’t mean to poo poo all her suggestions because some of them have some real merit and could be a useful means of simplifying one’s life. It’s just not very useful to suggest pie in the sky ideas as a means of simplifying your life.


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  1. where she lives the people can afford to take off 3 or 4 months and live in a foreign country. It is right up the street (well not literally) from me in Carmel California. Real estate there is in the 7 figures.

    Comment by whaleman on May 1, 2005 @ 10:46 pm
  2. I like #10 “Practice saying no”. Unfortunally it’s not as easy as she makes it sound.

    Comment by Mel on May 2, 2005 @ 6:52 am
  3. whaleman: Aha. So it should be named “Recipe for Simplicity for the Insanely Rich.”

    Mel: No! (Just practicing…)

    Comment by dan on May 2, 2005 @ 8:06 am
  4. Out of touch with reality. My life could be a lot simpler if I were rich. I could have paid someone to make those curtains!

    Comment by Babs on May 3, 2005 @ 9:08 am

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