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Joe worked hard to provide this lifestyle for his family. Every morning he left for work at 7:00 A.M. and returned 12 or more hours later. His commute took 45 minutes each way. He spent his evenings reading and responding to over 200 e-mail messages related to his job as a regional sales manager for a major steamship line. Pressure from senior management and customers was constant, but Joe handled it quite well-at least that's how it appeared from the outside. He entertained his customers frequently with drinks and dinners in fine restaurants. Many weekends he was away on business trips. Joe had the feeling that his work week never really began or ended.
Not surprisingly, Cindy began to feel like a single parent. On those frequent evenings when Joe did not make it home for dinner, she hauled the kids off to a fast food restaurant for dinner, a distraction--something of a treat to compensate for their missing father and husband.
One day Chelsea came to her dad with a drawing and proudly announced, "Daddy, look what I did." Joe pointed to each person in the picture and asked Chelsea to tell him about each one. Chelsea responded, "That's Quinn. He's crying. That's Shane. He just hit Quinn. I am reading a book and Mommy is cooking dinner." Chelsea then pointed to the one remaining figure, saying, "That's you, Daddy." "But why is my face all colored in?" Joe asked his daughter. "That's not your face, Daddy, that's the back of your head. You're working on your computer."
Chelsea's drawing was a stunning revelation to Joe. He envisioned his daughter all grown up and remembering her dad as a person who was always working, a person who was not there for her. At that moment, Joe understood what was most important to him. It was not the status and stimulation of his job, his house, the swimming pools, or the health club. It was his wife and his three children. As Joe reflected, "No amount of money or position or home or belongings can replace supporting one another and going through the process of raising our children together."
Posted June 19, 2008
What is simplicity? The author realized her 'successful' life wasn't satisfying and decided to stop focusing on a big income and living large. Along the way, she also surveyed others who have tried similar lifestyle changes. Their stories and hers are blended throughout the book. Her goal is to help readers realize that simplicity is different for each person -- it depends on what resonates with your soul. It can be found anywhere and can vary from extreme simplicity of limiting possessions to what you can transport on a bicycle to small adjustments that make your lifestyle satisfying. She includes a strong resource section which lists books, seminars, newsletters and organizations that encourage simplicity. This is a great starting point for exploring simplicity and I have recommended it to several friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2000
I loved reading these peoples' stories, stories of people who learned to get out of the rat race in order to create a life full of family, spirituality, hobbies, more meaningful work, etc. It's a shame the author didn't let the stories tell themselves. I started ignoring the sections she wrote giving her self-important interpretations. I would have liked to see some more practical information on how the people in these stories were able to cut back in order to have the lives they wanted too. There is a good glossary at the back with books and websites on simplicity.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2000
If you're looking for peace and serenity read this book. Real people finding out that money isn't their god and that you CAN live comfortably leaving the rat race to the rats and living the life you REALLY need for self preservation in this world run amok by greed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.