Sunday, August 8, 2010

Living Simply: Is It Possible for a Music and Movie Addict?

If you've spent any time at all reading online news articles or blogs as we've progressed through our latest recession, then it's likely you may have run across the term "Living Simply." This afternoon, I read a great article on about how the economy has forced many people to downsize their lives creating an unexpected side effect...happiness. It seems that "stuff" really doesn't make you that happy at all. It's the experiences that make you happy. Vacations, time spent socializing with friends, taking a class, hiking, etc. are the things that truly create lasting happiness.

As I read this article, I couldn't help but agree with most everything written and I found myself comparing a lot of the suggestions and experiences to my own life. Crystel and I have made a conscious effort to try and live more simply over the past year or so. We've slowly downsized some of our stuff, limited our shopping trips (music and books for me, antiques and clothes for Crystel), and generally tried to put more thought into where our money goes. You know the funny thing? I've actually been happier, and I think Crystel has too. It's worth noting that our simple living wasn't forced by the economy, but rather a choice to try and focus more on things that truly contribute to happiness and less things that bring temporary happiness at best.

That brings me to the biggest hurdle for me. As long as I can remember, I've collected music and movies. My memories are full of tearing the shrink-wrap off of VHS tapes, cassettes, records, DVDs and Cd's. Listening to music and watching movies has long been my favorite hobby. So how does this obsession with music and movies fit into my new living simply lifestyle? Let's just say I am incredibly thankful for the internet.

For starters, I've been able to sell many DVDs and CDs that were just collecting dust via (an Ebay company). Next, I received a subscription (great gift idea)to Netflix for all my movies as a birthday present from my parents. The movie buying excuse was always that my movie tastes don't necessarily fit the Blockbuster inventory strategy, so I wound up buying countless underground comedies and concert films only to watch them one time. With Netflix, this isn't an issue.

Last week, I subscribed to Rhapsody; an online music service. Since Rhapsody released their Iphone app (Finally!), I have access to almost any music I can imagine for free (after paying the monthly fee). Again, with music my tastes are pretty diverse and with the exception of some of the shows on WEVL (especially Jukebox Graduate, my friend Kevin's show on Tuesday mornings), the radio is pretty useless to me. I would buy music just to try and discover new artists which is hit and miss at best.

Hopefully I can successfully continue to implement the simple living philosophy in all aspects of my life. I plan to blog more on this in the future. In keeping with the advice from the article I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I plan to blog more on experiences as well (since that seems to be the real key to lasting happiness).

Has the economy forced you to rethink where your money goes? If so, have you discovered other sources of happiness?

Here's a link to the MSNBC article that I mentioned.

1 comment:

  1. great article. thanks for posting. and good work in your life, y'all!