“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 lived.”  -Henry David Thoreau


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 environment.

 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.

 Whether your 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 Life 

            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 American Dream.”

            This site contains some excellent suggestions for “treating” affluenza as well as a selection of related books and websites.


Awakening Earth:  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.


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