Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 365+

Yea! A couple days ago our new solar panels were activated. This is probably the opposite of my recent Keep it Simple post, because it wasn’t a simple or cheap endeavor, but it was worth it. Over a year ago we started thinking about getting solar panels for our roof. We contacted an installer, got […]

Sometimes life gets messy, complicated, too busy, or painful. We, who like to think of ourselves as responsible hardworking people, can beat ourselves up thinking we’re not doing enough. It might be missing deadlines, not recycling enough, being lazy, or not living up to our values as fully as we would like. This week was […]

Our daughter was home for Mother’s Day. Yay! Now that she lives back in the States, I encourage her to take her stuff that’s been stored at our home to her home – a  much delayed goal. In the process Heidi identified 6 books that she said were obsolete and should be pitched. The Best […]

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 […]

For 6 weeks I’ve been trying to be kinder. This Lenten resolution stemmed partly from my kids kidding me about being judgmental of others. Although their examples were humorous, I recognized that there was some truth in my complaining about others’ foibles, the political state of the world, and also being hard on myself. Being […]

Kindness can mean many things – giving people stuff, helping folks, saying kind words, not saying or thinking mean things about people, protecting the environment, and praying for people. On that last one – praying – I haven’t written much because it seemed like a throw away phrase. Something you say when someone dies and […]

A strange thing started to happen to me last week. I was running out of ideas of kind things to do for others. (There’s only so many times you can count opening a door for someone. 😕 ) What I started to notice was that folks were being extra kind to me. At the Korean […]

Last week my husband mentioned to me that if the Church really wanted people to do something sacrificial during Lent, she might propose that we eat a vegan diet on Fridays or all of Lent. After all, fasting from meat still allows fish – even lobster – which is hardly a sacrifice. As I thought […]

I’m finding it easier to be kind by giving stuff away or helping someone than to be kind by refraining from being judgmental. For example, I took some blankets and jackets to the cold shelter some toiletries to the Respite Care Ctr. for indigent patients a therapy brace to Guatemala. (Well, I didn’t quite take […]

Ash Wednesday: I started this first Be Kinder week with giving several things away and trying to bite my tongue from making a criticism. The latter was by far the harder. I was successful at taking 2 pairs of jeans and 2 tops to Goodwill. I also took 2 sheets to the Catholic Worker House. Yea! […]

Over the past 8 years rather than just giving something up for Lent I’ve tried to do something pro-active to make me a better, more loving person. This has included: 2010-Giving away one category of possessions a day 2011-Continuing to give stuff away including intangibles 2012-Eating on a Food Stamp budget 2013-Creating less waste 2014-Decluttering […]

Simplifying one’s life need not mean eliminating all luxuries but it might be a helpful practice to ask ourselves whether a contemplated purchase or possession is a necessity or a luxury. This can focus our decisions about how we spend our money and time. For example, during this cold winter I thought about those who […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I’ve picked a dozen favorite snippets from my 2017 blog posts. This was like picking a favorite child but in my ongoing effort to save you all reading time, I forced myself to whittle my original 18 down to 12. Click on the links to get […]

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 […]

Recently our daughter moved to a new city. Many of her belongings stored at her previous home in Africa would take at least 3 months to arrive in Washington, DC. She thought she would help me out with my ongoing disbursal of extra household items by taking a few things from our home. She really […]

When a crisis or catastrophe strikes, people are often motivated to be generous. Floods, hurricanes, fires, accidents, etc. are hard on the victims but they often bring out the best in those who are in a position to help. Maybe this is the easy side of letting go because it’s clear that someone else needs […]

Plastic items are light, easily cleaned, and often cheaper than cloth, wood, metal, or brick. Maybe the three pigs should have built their homes out of plastic. But, of course most plastics do not biodegrade easily or quickly which make them anathema to environmentalists like me. They can, however, be recycled. Conscientious citizens already know […]

Now that one office file cabinet is pretty much pruned and reorganized, I decided to tackle my two bookcases which hold work related books. I had a happy conundrum. Friends who were moving out of town offered me one of their bookcases. It matched my main bookcase in size and style so I was happy […]