Last but certainly not least, meet Bethany. She is a 23 year-old military civilian brat who grew up all over, including time spent overseas. She most recently moved to Denver from Las Cruces, NM.
Q. “To me, simplicity is…”
A. To me, simplicity is enjoying the moment, in the best way that works for you. For me personally, I feel I am living the most simply when I am able to meet my own basic needs, saving money where I can, and am able to enjoy the wonderful people in my life. In the context of this year, and our house goals, simplicity is helping me reduce the hectic bustle of life that I often visualize as ambient noise.
Q. What do you expect to experience during the next few months of “simplicity challenges?”
A. These past few months of simplicity challenges have been a fun way to remind me of the conveniences that I have been blessed with, in more ways than one. I have not only be realized how much I have had in my life by giving up, like the dryer, but also rediscovered blessings that I may have taken for granted, like library books and friends.
Q. How did you live simply before you began this year-long volunteer program?
A. One way that I lived simply before this year that I have managed to maintain is my awareness of energy waste. I unplug almost every lamp, “gadget” and appliance that I can when it is not in use. I have also been very enthusiastic about recycling, which I am glad was something that was shared with my housemates this year. My most recent residence in NM did not have recycling and that was difficult. They implemented it not too long before I moved to Denver, and I spent about 45 min filling our new recycling bin when it arrived because there was so much we had refused to throw away.
Q. How have your ideas of simplicity changed since August?
A. I don’t feel as if my own view of simplicity has changed very much, but I have learned a great deal about how people define simplicity differently. It is a personal definition that one chooses to live, and I am excited to keep mine and other’s view of simplicity in mind as I move forward.
Q. What has been the most difficult aspect of “simplicity” thus far?
A. Adjusting to what each challenge means, and building it into my schedule. One’s life and habits shift in some ways because of what is being given up or taken on. For instance, giving up the dryer meant taking on diligence of my time. Remember the blog on needing a shirt for the evening which had been washed that morning? Hanging clothes to dry with enough time before you need to wear them is a pain for me, but much less so for others.
Q. What is one thing you simply could not live without?
A. Music! I think I would at least need a radio if I lost all other methods of music. I don’t play an instrument, so I can’t make my own. And singing to myself just isn’t quite the same…