Friday, August 20, 2004

This is my new blog.

Ok, that is a pretty simple statement, but what I intend to do is to first, keep my friends and family informed about our lives as we live in Singapore, and second, to keep people informed of our conscious decision to simplify our lives and to live the “simple life” in Singapore. NOT the Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie “Simple Life”, but the Henry David Thoreau, Duane Elgin, Paul Hawkin, Janet Luhrs, Sarah Ban Branach “simplicity movement” type of simple life.

As many of you reading this blog are friends and family, you will remember that I was very active in the simple living community in McMinnville. Attended a number of seminars and even became a group facilitator in order to assist simplicity and group study programs sponsored by the Northwest Earth Institute (A great group, by the way, that have study groups on earth stewardship and simply living. As a side note, I actually was on the webpage the other day and saw that Paul Studebaker is still active, he was the first person who I met in the group and one who really sparked my interest. Paul, I hope that I can get a copy of this blog to you and you can read that I am back on the “wagon!” ANYWAY, I really have come full circle and wanted to journal about our reasons and our path.

Why the simple life? First and foremost, is the fact that I have two children. I do not expect the world to be the same as it was when I was a child. I was able to ride my bike, sometimes from town all the way home (7 miles). When I was back in McMinnville this last trip, I realized that the same could not be done today. Why, simply the changes that have affected the town, as it has grown, and has made that particular ride not possible. But, I believe similar activities should be possible, I want them to be possible for my kids. Slowing down, spending more time with the kids, realizing that they are more important is the key issue.

Another reason is money. Without detail, let’s just say that we are still racked by huge student loans. In order to pay these off faster and get ourselves on a track of saving and investing, we will need to curtail our spending habits, re-evaluate what we value and how we do it. To that end, we are following the 9 steps of “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominquez and Vicki Robin.

Third, Jeff and I are strong proponents of groups that support environmental causes, alternative education, and we want to support these values, even living in Singapore. To that end, we are looking at enrolling Declan in the local Waldorf School, a kindergarten using the Waldorf education method, which is run by a small Coop of the parents and a key group of similar minded people. (More info on Waldorf School in Singapore here We also are hoping to be able to spend more positive energy doing things we enjoy, and we hope that make the place better, and our lives more enriched as the end result.

So, where do we start?

To paraphrase Julie Andrews, as she sings in my favorite movie of all time “The Sound of Music”… “Let's start at the very beginning, A very good place to start,When you read you begin with A-B-C, When you sing you begin with do-re-mi… do-re-mi”. Lets start at the beginning with what is Simple Living, which I will discuss in the next post.

Oh, and while this will largely be about my/our simplification process and how it works in Singapore… it would not be enough for those family members out there, so I will always give a Declan/Kiera update each post as well.

So, on August 17, 2004 Declan successfully went pee in the potty today. Well, semi-successful. He was so happy about the process; he wanted to get off the toilet before he was done. Well, it is a start anyway.

Kiera fell down a week ago and it required a trip to the Doctor and what I assumed to be her first stitches. Well, the doctor here actually used wound glue instead. Pretty cool stuff. She is now recovered and still quite the daredevil. She tries to jump off of the steps, chase after dogs and generally keep up with Declan all the time…Do you think this will scar them for life if they read this post in 20 years?

Love and Happiness

Simple Living Singapore

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