LIVING WITH BALANCE
“I went to the
woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the
essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had
to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not
This famous passage from Walden
has taken on new meaning during the last few years as more
people have begun to look at their frenetic lifestyles and wonder
whether they are truly living the life they want to lead.
The fallout from frantic lives is seen in several ways:
hours lost from searching for misplaced items, sleep
deprivation from long hours at work and endless evening
activities, meals spent in the car rather than around the dinner
table, lack of time spent with family and friends, increased
personal debt from material consumption, increases in
stress-related disorders, and little or no time for good,
old-fashioned fun are just a few examples. Some people are also
concerned with the effects a materialistic and consumer oriented
lifestyle (especially as seen in North America) have on the
As women, we are
particularly prone to feeling the effects from a fast-paced,
overscheduled lifestyle since we are still largely responsible for
running and maintaining the home, overseeing family members’
schedules and activities, and nurturing the emotional well-being
our families. Many
women are also involved in paid employment and their own careers.
It is not surprising that women may look at their busy
lives and perceive a lack of balance, longing for a life that is
less crazy and slower paced.
interest is in more free time, peace of mind, personal growth,
frugal consumption, or ecological awareness, the following
websites may help you find some balance in your life.
Balancing Work and Personal
Associated with Free Management Library, an “integrated
library for non-profits and for-profits, this website offers a
menu of many, many links to articles and other websites related to
managing work and family. You will also find links to other topics as well.
Designed for busy moms, this website declares that it is
all about “achieving a balanced life through working smarter,
not harder.” Here
you will find practical suggestions and advice related to time
management, household hints, organization, and personal growth.
There are also links to websites related to money
management, parenting, and meal preparation.
Tips for Beating Affluenza
Produced by PBS, Affluenza is a television show that
highlights in a humorous way the effects of over consumption on
individuals, families, and the environment.
The writers define “affluenza” as an “unsustainable
addiction to economic growth” and “an epidemic of stress,
overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the
This site contains some excellent suggestions for
“treating” affluenza as well as a selection of related books
Knowledge for a Sustainable and Compassionate Future
For those who really want
to get serious about simplifying their lives, scaling back, and
protecting the environment, this website by Duane Elgin (the
author of Voluntary Simplicity, written in 1981) contains
links to sites related to “voluntary simplicity, sustainability,
and consciousness and culture.” Voluntary simplicity refers to a movement toward a way of
life that is “outwardly simple and inwardly rich.”
Surfing these links will give you a good idea as to what
voluntary simplicity is all about and provide some direction and
suggestions as to how to incorporate changes in your lifestyle.