Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Green Term of the Week - Downshifting

Downshifting is a term that is used in conjunction with voluntary simplicity. It's the practice of letting things go - work, money, stuff - in order to simplify your life and have more time to live the life you want.

Why is this green? Well, it's green because downshifters generally are committed to buying less and what they do buy they buy better and more naturally.

I was thinking about this concept of downshifting the other day while I was in the ocean with my six year old. I've been under the impression that I have been heading in the direction of voluntary simplicity/downshifting recently. And I suppose that I have been to a certain extent. But somehow, I'm not fitting in the time for the stuff I really want to do.

The ocean was very calm last Saturday. Too calm to boogie board very well, so my son and I put our boards up on the beach and just went in the water splashing around and talking. For the first time, I realized just how grown up my baby is. He had deep things to say. He had actual comments and questions to what I was saying. He kept looking up towards the lifeguard and saying mom - we're drifting away - we need to walk closer to the lifeguard. None of this would have happened a year ago in the ocean. When did this happen? When did he gain this maturity and how did I miss it?

Sure, changes like this in children are gradual, but I feel like I should have been seeing it before this. I've been changing my life, being more green, buying less stuff, growing some of my own food. But why haven't I added more purposeful time those I love.

Wow - can I say this post has gone where I didn't expect it to go. I had no intention of talking about this. I just intended to give you a new green term.

I suppose I need to downshift more or perhaps re-shift. Take the time that I now have because I'm living more simply and dedicate more of that time to my boys, my husband and my friends.

If you're practicing voluntary simplicity or downshifting, are you using your new time in the way you want?
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