More of What Matters: this week’s thoughts – stress and slippers (18 May 2014)

This week we were more conscious of challenges than progress in simplifying our lives.

As the sunny weather comes, it feels only right to relax and spend time enjoying our surroundings with a leisurely walk or sitting with a good book, but it’s too often the case that we feel we have to constantly be doing something to catch up with all the tasks on our list. These stresses make it hard to be in the moment, worrying instead about the future.

But we also have to be honest about these stresses. Firstly, be honest that they are the stresses of privileged life. To be worried about your home, your garden or your vehicle is a sign that you are basically ok. If you are an average Westerner, you are one of the richest people in the world. Don’t beat yourself up, but get some perspective and gratitude. We have to remind ourselves of this continually.

Secondly, a lot of these stresses are because of our choices. We are certainly not living a self-sufficient life, but even going a little way in that direction is a big change in life. We are choosing it though. The other choice is to spend money on having someone else do things for us, and we choose not to, so we have to find a way to feel more in control of our tasks and try to enjoy doing them for their own sake.

So, did we manage to do more of what matters this week?

  • Being aware of stress and talking to each other about it matters – it helps us move forward together, and so we’ve seen our conversations this week as a good thing.
  • Recently, Lucy calculated that her short-lived slippers cost around £15 a year. This week, with some very generous birthday money, she invested in a pair of leather Birkenstocks. These can be re-soled, and in theory should last forever. No more slippers in the bin!



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