Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in The Process

I was afraid this would happen. Last night I was looking for something different to wear to the weekly contra dance. I thought I’d pull out a long top I made several years ago – you know the kind that is longer than a top but shorter than a dress that’s worn over tights. It […]

In addition to those collection agencies that I mentioned yesterday, other ways for your goods and money to find a good home are: Free cycle It works like Craig’s list but no money is exchanged. Charity Navigator Evaluates the health and ratio of proceeds actually going to the needy for over 5,400 of America’s largest […]

Now that I’m committed to giving away at least some possessions, who should I give them to? My first thought was Goodwill since that’s where I’ve carted a lot of my stuff in the past. Good, but inconvenient. Recently I’ve been getting calls from Vietnam Veterans of America which has a van that comes right […]

Most people who are reading this blog and are rich, probably did not come by their wealth dishonestly. (In fact, most probably don’t consider themselves wealthy – at least I didn’t until I rubbed shoulders with people living in American ghettos or parts of Africa or India.) For the sake of argument, however, let’s say […]

Yes. I believe there are two ways to be “too rich.” The first is if one’s riches were obtained on the backs of the poor or vulnerable. For example, producing a shoddy or environment damaging product, not paying a living wage, capitalizing on people’s vices (like gambling, alcoholism, smoking, pimping…), or using deceitful advertizing seem […]

Yes. I was talking with a friend who grew up in poverty. She said she made a commitment then to make sure that neither she, nor any of her family, would have to face that kind of want again. In my mind there is a big difference between destitution and holy simplicity. There’s little holy […]

How can such a laudatory plan of giving stuff away induce guilt? Well, yesterday I bought two new turtleneck tops. I only planned on getting one but I could only take advantage of the sale if I got two – for the price of one. True, my current blue and white tops were pretty threadbare […]

Today I bought Turbo Tax. For the last few years we’ve had a relative do our taxes but this year I decided to do them myself. We used to do our own taxes but then our job situation got complicated and it made sense to have a professional do them. I hope this isn’t a […]

To put this “giving stuff away” into perspective, it occurs to me that there are plenty people in this world for whom giving away one thing a day would be a true hardship because they have so little. Jim and I have been helping out a teenage mother-to-be for whom it would be ludicrous to […]

Today I needed two passport photos to renew my passport. Without thinking I went to Walgreen’s to get the photos. It cost about $8.50. Not too much, but only after the clerk took a digital photo and printed it out did I realize that I could have done it myself for about $.50. It would […]

This has always been a dilemma for me. Both time and money are valuable and sometimes it makes more sense to spend money in order to save time. For example, I spend way too much time shopping for the best price for groceries, books, or air travel. Sometimes it saves money, sometimes it wastes time […]

… a zipper. Finally, I’m able to actually get rid of something tangible. The zipper on my robe broke today. It’s been going bad for awhile but now it seems irreparably broken and putting in a new zipper is above my pay grade. It’s clear I need to throw out this garment. Today’s dilemma? My […]

Today I was in the midst of writing an article. I tend to go into hibernation and not want to be disturbed when focusing on my writing. Jim was cooking dinner and realized he didn’t have any salsa. When he asked if I’d run to the store and get some, I remembered all the inconvenient […]

Today is the President’s State of the Union message. I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it. I decided that today I would let go of my upsetness with the government and Congress. It’s not something I can touch, but it’s eating away at me and I can tell it’s not good to hang on […]

Today was garbage day and I noticed that Jim had put several old shirts in the trash. At first I thought that was a shame, he should have at least given them to the Viet Vets who pick up stuff once a month or Goodwill. He said he had a separate pile of clothes to […]

Haiti is my motivation. As I thought about throwing out papers from one of our file cabinets yesterday, I realized today that even HAVING a file cabinet would be a luxury to most Haitians. Even if they had one, all those “precious” papers would probably have been lost in the earthquake. It puts my possessions […]

I planned to start this blog on Ash Wednesday and continue giving/throwing away something each day during Lent. Unfortunately, my husband just got on a “Let’s clear out some of our clutter” streak yesterday and it involved me. He decided to go through a couple file cabinet drawers and throw out obsolete files. This was […]