Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are you keeping up with the Joneses?

It used to be about who had the biggest and newest car. Or the best vacation plans. Now, it's about who's being greener or more frugal in their choices.

Rachel at Small Notebook recently discussed the frustrations of keeping up with the Joneses. Not gardening yet? Not cooking from scratch? Heaven forbid, do you eat each night from takeout containers? Really, it's OK. For many of us, the path to simpler living is just a gradual process.

Rachel writes:
There have been times when I’ve been concerned that mentioning something might
not be good for my image. You know, my desire to look healthy, conscientious,
resourceful, and like I cook all my food from scratch. Oh forgive me for wanting
to have an image! That should be the first thing that anyone de-clutters. Life
is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about how you look to
When I’m talking to someone else, I would much rather admit that my
spaghetti sauce comes from a jar at the store than pretend I’m a fabulous chef.
Authenticity is living simply.

And "simple" is a matter of perspective. You can spend simply, and reap great rewards if you have a talent for cooking, sewing or other crafts. You can entertain simply and just hang out with a few great friends and good beers in your backyard. You can clean simply and join the baking soda and vinegar crowd, instead of staring at the dozen cleaning products in your cabinet. You can raise your children simply, and not buy toys upon end and overschedule them.

But when living "simple," "green," or "frugal" comes to the point that your choices are stressing you out, aren't you missing the point? Because at the end of the day, it's you (and your family) you have to live with.


Green Bean said...

But when living "simple," "green," or "frugal" comes to the point that your choices are stressing you out, aren't you missing the point? - YUP!

I like to think that we all get there eventually. I totally used to try and keep up with the Joneses . . . or Greenies. These days, I just keep up with myself and do what feels right.

The Mom said...

As has been said before, its a process. Living simple should never be stressful! Then it isn't so simple anymore.

Lisa said...

This is a great post. I do feel sometimes like I'm just not green enough but then I remember where I was a year ago. I can't wait to see where I can be in another year. :)