Today I received a visitor into my home, a young woman from France who is traveling around North America for 8 months interviewing people who are living Simply and/or Sustainably, or who are on a path towards that lifestyle. Her goal is to take her interview photos and notes back to France and use them as a starting off point for discussions around these issues; she hopes to facilitate networking and the development of supportive, local communities of like-minded folks. She got my name from a friend and blog reader who lives in a co-housing community on Vancouver Island.
Of course my children behaved like wild animals, alternately shrieking and fighting. Eventually I separated them and gave them each a snack while they watched movies. I had to shake my head at the irony of hosting a discussion about Our Simple Life while one kid watched Blue’s Room on the DVD player in the kids’ room and the other watched Ratatouille on the big screen monitor in the living room, streamed via an AppleTV.
No, really. We embrace the Simple Life. Honest!
The discussion itself was very interesting. I explained that I had come to Simple Living via frugality when Husband and I formulated The Dream and The Plan. She commented that many of her interviewees came to it through a desire to tread more lightly on the Earth, or to find more time in their lives for their true passions. It was interesting to look at all the different aspects of Simple Living and how they intertwine.
We also talked about the Internet and what a valuable resource it is for bringing people together and fostering a sense of community. On the other hand, she noted that, ideally, we should be forging such communities in our own local home towns and cities. She shared some interesting ideas about how media promotes the idea of the “normal life” (consume, work harder, consume more, buy on credit, work even harder…) such that those of us doing things a bit differently are made to feel alone in our efforts, when in reality we may not be.
She admired my garden and my clothesline and my homemade pot scrubbers. She tried to take pictures of me with my kids while Daughter wiggled her butt at the camera and stuck out her tongue and Son screamed “No! You can NOT take my picture!!”. Sigh. That’s life with young children, very unpredictable and guaranteed to put on a show when you least want one…!
Nevertheless I was excited to speak with her and hear her ideas on promoting sustainable living. I was very impressed that such a young woman (I’m pegging her in mid-to-late twenties) was already so focussed on issues that I was far too busy clubbing and dating to give any thought toward when I was her age. Not to mention her travelling around the world to put her beliefs into practice and try to make a difference in the world. I don’t know if she got much out of her talk with me, but I experienced the wonderful feeling of being part of Something…it was definitely the highlight of my day.