So Oprah called me up the other day and said “Real person, I need a good idea for a show? Got anything?”
I paraphrase but it went something like that. Really.
Who can say no to Oprah, so I respond,
“Dude, I started a business, have a toddler and a baby on the way, and the economy sucks ass. We are cutting back. Way back. Most of us ‘real people’ have to or should be.”
So arrives the “What can you live without?” show. Or living a better life with less.
Granted, Oprah definitely put a lovely spin on it. “Live your best life by living simply!” Brilliant. Way better than my “We have no f&*^%ing choice in the matter so we are living with a lot less than we’d like to be” spin.
But the thing is, the thing that everybody in the whole entire world knows is, Oprah knows all. She is right. Living without the constant need or want for more is freeing. Letting go of all those pressures to have more things, buy bigger, do more actually makes a person happier. Appreciating what you do have makes you realize how damn lucky you are.
We are not rolling in money or riches. But we do laugh every single day. I am growing another life inside of me. We explore, dream, and discover together and that makes us happy. Is there anything more than that?
So even though we didn’t scale back as a purposeful, spiritual journey, these are some of the things we have done to scale back, simplify and save money. Done because we had to, continuing because we want to.
Cut back to one car. It’s amazing how easy that was. If you’re in BC and drive an older car you want to get rid of, check out the SCRAP-IT Program. The BC SCRAP-IT® Program is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality by getting older vehicles off the road. They take your car and give you several alternatives as an incentive. We chose the 9 month translink pass and $1,200 toward the purchase of a new bicycle. Sweet!
No landline. We only use our cells. For long distance, more and more, we are using Skype. Free!
Cleaning out our ‘Junk Room’ to move Kaya in. Once divided into piles and sorted, we donated, recycled and reused everything. Through Freecycle we have already got rid of a futon frame, an old 27″ tv and dvd player.
We have never been big on buying a ton of toys. I ranted while pregnant with my first that we were going to be minimalist parents. Our child didn’t need so much stuff. But the thing is, they kind of do. They have short attention spans and the days are long to fill! So while not quite minimalist, we certainly have a lot less toys than many kids we know. And the ones we do have, we try to stick to more natural. Having said that, a 2 year old sometimes just wants that stupid singing plastic Dora phone. *sigh*
We also eat out less, wear our old clothes and I’ve even started *gulp* cutting out coupons.
I’m so damn spiritual and wise here that next time Oprah calls, I might just respond,
“Ms Winfrey, it would appear that this real person is completely happy. I just laugh a lot, love entirely, and appreciate every moment.”
“Wow Real Person! Boring show but I bet I can sell your book to billions!”
“I don’t have a book.”
“That’s okay, it’ll still sell.”