Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Beyond Stuff

Sometimes our lives are cluttered with things. Sometimes it’s things to do that clutter our mind and time. I wonder if I will ever get my To Do list done before I die. Sure, I make time to nap, read, recreate, and take vacations so it’s not like I don’t take breaks, but still I […]

HANGING ON: It was just one leaf – but it kept hanging on. That’s what I thought as I looked outside my bedroom window from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5. As I sat in my prayer space during those two weeks, I kept pondering the spunk of this lonely leaf (see the middle of our […]

Living lightly is not only a matter of reducing material possessions but also not crowding my time with trivia. By virtue of my personality, I enjoy the challenge of saving time. Sometimes this means doing things faster or multitasking. Of course there are pros and cons to speed and efficiency. It takes time to play, pray, […]

I’ve been writing this blog since 2010 and over these 7 years have explored many angles of voluntary simplicity (material, emotional, spiritual, and technological). The question I keep coming back to is: How much is enough? – How much is too much? On the material level I realize that there is a point where more […]

I thought I was finished with my “Letting Go of various emotions” series, but my husband gently reminded me recently that maybe I need to worry less. After resisting my automatic response of  “Well, I have to worry for both of us.” I realized that there was some truth in his comment. The incident that […]

Although I like to think that most often my opinions are right, I admit that my husband, Jim, is often more accurate about facts than I am. I might say, “Hey, there were about 50 people at the party.” Jim might say, “No, there were 46. I counted.” I chalk this up to different personality […]

Some people need more self-discipline and organization in their lives. Some people need less. To those who like to be in control (like me) the challenge is to let go of micromanaging my life, other’s lives, and the world. It is only relatively recently that I’ve recognized my love of control as a potential problem. […]

After I broke my arm a couple months ago, I learned to do many things with my non-dominant (left) hand like eating, brushing my teeth, and wearing stretchier clothes that were easier to put on. I’m slowly returning to normal. But what is normal and the “right” way to do things? This got me thinking […]

In my blog about Letting Go of Anger, I suggested that part of letting go of anger against others includes letting go of anger at myself. Upon reflection, it wasn’t hard to make a list of things I’ve  messed up, regretted, or wished I could do over. Some are trivial, some are embarrassing, some are […]

Can there be such a thing as “Holy Anger”? Jesus’ message and actions were primarily grounded in love and mercy, BUT, scripture also tells us that Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple. (John 2:14-16) This is the conundrum I sometimes find myself in. How should I deal with my anger? As a […]

It was a normal morning and I was about to walk inside after checking the garden. Then it happened. I slipped on our rain soaked deck. Result: great pain, ER, x-rays, broken arm at elbow, surgery, hospitalization, continued pain. 12 days later; I’m now recovering. I’ve had plenty of down time to ponder what I’ve […]

I’ve spent almost 4 weeks now listening to people with whom I disagree. That might sound like a depressing Lent, but my intention was to better understand people who have a different political stance than mine. This meant I had to find and talk with Trump voters. Since I, like many people, primarily associate with […]

Lent has begun! As long time readers of this blog know, in the past this has been a jump-start time for me to look at what needs to be transformed in my life like Letting go of unneeded possessions and self-centeredness Increasing my solidarity with the poor by eating on a Food Stamp budget Living […]

On October 21 my cell phone died. At first I thought it was just sick and I tried to repair it. I’ll spare you all the gory details. Suffice it to say I spent way too much time on the internet diagnosing the ailment, on my landline phone with 3 different tech support people, and […]

Lately, I’ve been having some troubling feelings connected with my latest book, Blessed By Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly. It was published almost 3 years ago and won a number of awards. I’m understandably proud of it, but I find myself feeling dispirited by not getting enough credit for it. For […]

My last blog post dealt with when is a bargain not a bargain. (See Deal or No Deal) Now I’d like to expand on that by evaluating a few other items that involve weighing time vs. money. How much is my time worth? The bench mark I’m starting to establish for myself is that a discount […]

In my never ending quest to save both time and money, I’ve noticed that these two values are often at odds with each other. Saving time can cost money (eating out, hiring someone to clean the house, scouring stores or the internet for bargains) and saving money can cost time (see my 3 recent experiences […]

After my mother died last spring my brothers and I inherited some tangible household items and memorabilia along with some money, mostly in the form of stocks. In hindsight, deciding what to do with the physical items was relatively easy. I swapped out some of our more raggedy furniture for the nicer and memory laden […]

Too Much Information can come in many forms – paper, TV/radio, e-mails, social media, phones, and bad news. As much as conscientious people want to be informed, still collectively it can create mental clutter. The solution is not to become ignorant, but rather to differentiate the important from the trivial or distracting. Having now spent 10 […]

Within the category of Too Much Information there are the subcategories of good news, bad news, and irrelevant news. GOOD NEWS: Although you would think that there could never be too much good news, even good news can create mental clutter. For example, how many birthdays, anniversaries, and friends’ awards do you need to acknowledge? […]