Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Beyond Stuff

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? […]

Phones are a handy, nay essential, means of getting information and connecting with those we love. Can there be too much of a good thing? Explore with me the pros and cons of the different kinds of phone use – their cost in time and money. LANDLINES: The phone rings at dinner time. I can almost guarantee […]

Note: If this post is Too Much Information for you right now, just wait. In several weeks I’ll do a summary of my TMI series. For those who would like to tame their computer time or have helpful strategies to share, read on. Spending/wasting too much time on the computer is probably my biggest challenge […]

As a result of my previous blog about TMI, a friend commented that he no longer “did news.” I said that I could understand not getting a daily newspaper and not watching TV, “But not even the radio! Do you catch up on news through the internet?” He explained that if it’s important he finds […]

The other day I had a doctor’s appointment. My custom is to take the morning paper with me to appointments since there is always some waiting time and this is a good way to spend it. The doctor saw me and said, “I didn’t know anyone read paper papers anymore.” So, how much news do […]

Jim and I have had the opportunity to travel to a number of foreign countries. Sometimes it has been to visit our children who were doing international work and sometimes it was for international organizations we belong to. In the course of our travels we’ve collected quite a few interesting artifacts and mementos. It has […]

THE HAMSTER SYNDROME Do you ever feel like you’re a hamster running a never ending wheel of activity and never quite getting caught up. I do. People ask how I am and I’m tempted to say “Busy.” I’ve been trying to eliminate that answer as an automatic response because I realize that it’s usually just […]

A few days ago our daughter emailed us saying that she was in Liberia. With the Ebola crisis emanating from that region of Africa, our parental worry antenna shot up. She assured us that she was being extremely careful and was super sanitized but Ebola stories have been endemic on the news. Of course that’s why […]

Of course this question is a minefield. How much is enough depends on family size, stage of life, where you live, etc. Still, as a follow-up to our recent observations about poverty in Kenya and the growing awareness of income inequality in the USA, I wanted to know – Are Jim and I doing OK […]

I was fantasizing the other day about winning the lottery. Actually, I never buy lottery tickets since the odds are against me and thus it seems like a waste of money. Still, I started thinking of all the non-profit organizations I belong to and volunteer activities that I’m involved with. All of them could use […]

It was a bad day! It started with an unnecessarily long conference call which meant I had to scurry to make my eye doctor appointment. This meant I didn’t have time to recheck my directions, made some wrong turns, and was 16 minutes late. The office informed me that they didn’t honor appointments later than […]

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and I also know that I can be frugal to a fault. So what do these 2 things have to do with each other? TIPPING: It started with a decision about whether to tip a guy in Chicago who I thought was a cab driver but who I […]

PART 2 (2 years after my Oh, My Aching Back post): Perhaps the hardest thing for me to let go of recently has been the expectation that I would have basic good health for at least another decade. My mother is 90 and I’ve watched her health and memory decline but I figured that was […]

About a year ago our electric lawnmower died. I agreed to find a fitting home for its final resting place. We bought a new mower and I procrastinated about researching how to recycle old lawnmowers. Well, it’s grass mowing season again and Jim reminded me of my promise. Spurred on by the recent grim reports […]

12 Pet Peeves and What I’m Doing About Them Before I get back into continuing Round 2 of pruning more household items, I’m ready to let go of some intangible stuff – Pet Peeves. Over a year ago I blogged about my pet peeves including: 1.   Radio interviewees who end with “Thank you” instead of […]

I’m not sure if I made much progress this week. I finished Bedroom #1 but one of the drawers took me a couple hours to go through. I had forgotten that this was where I stashed old diaries and calendars dating back to my college graduation in 1969. Eventually I decided to keep them since […]

I’m still in my bedroom because we have two extra dressers that serve as storage for gifts, mementos, and children’s clothes that we still have visions of someday passing on to grandchildren. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I have two dressers worth of extra stuff and a bedroom big enough to hold them. […]