Diamond-Cut Life

How To Be Rich In What Matters

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Top Ten Things To Happily Live Without

May 11th, 2014 by Alison · 3 Comments · diamond-cut life

Being rich in what matters flows from what we do and who we are with, not from the things in our lives. Research shows that the514534462_88894375a9 peak in U.S. happiness happened when we were much less materially wealthy than we are now.

That said, a confession: I do believe in collecting lots of good books, and then giving them away. I’m giving away Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, “David and Goliath, on May 30th. To register for the drawing, subscribe to this blog’s weekly posts on your upper right.

I first posted this list in summer 2011. I’d love a comment from you on what thing or item you’d be just as happy without.

  1. Bottled water. Thumbs up on drinking lots of water; thumbs down on using billions of  plastic bottles to do that. Unless you live in a developing country, the quality of bottled water is on average the same as tap water. Let’s use our own bottles, or glasses, or drink from public drinking fountains like in the olden times. We save huge amounts of petroleum when we let go of bottled water . . . . also lots of spending money. Also, global warming is making clean water into an increasingly scarce resource. Here are seven easy ways to conserve water.
  2. Bars or bottles of body soap in the shower or bathtub — why not use the shampoo that’s already on our head and hands? The soapy foam it produces is abundant. I once stayed in a hotel that pushed soap on me as compulsively as a drug dealer. I didn’t go back.
  3. Bras. OK, I realize different bodies need different undergarments, but for this, um, daintily endowed writer, camisoles with built-in bra-shelves double as both pretty summer tops and winter undergarments. While I know many women truly need them, bras feel to me like holdovers from the Victorian era. But maybe that’s just the hippie in me talking.
  4. Foot powder to keep shoes ‘fresh’ — this is an artificial, manufactured need. It’s true shoes get smelly without some care, especially in the summer when we sweat a lot, but let’s use common sense instead of an additional purchase. I open the tongues of my running shoes every time I take them off and wave them around to get the air circulating. My shoes never smell. One could also put shoes in front of a fan that’s already running anyway to keep them fresh.
  5. Tanning beds. At least here in the Pacific Northwest, light-colored legs fly just fine. Although sometimes I use a tanning lotion in the summer.  Tanning lotions yield a lower incidence of skin cancer than the ding-dang tanning salons, which I have read actually outnumber Starbucks in the U.S. And think of the money saved between the two options.
  6. Toilet cleaning products. – I scrub my toilets with a brush withoutany cleaner, specially designed or otherwise. I spend about 30 seconds twice a week on each toilet – and they’re perfectly clean. If I needed a cleaner, any soapy thing on hand would do.
  7. Hair-styling products for men and especially boys. This may be just me, but I think natural, unaffected hair is much more attractive in males than spiked, gelled or otherwise duded-up hair. How much fun is it to touch stiff hair compared to soft hair? Also, I suggest that people who are preoccupied with their appearance have less attention to give other people — their energy is going into themselves and carefully managing how they look.
  8. Special sink or tub cleaner — I simply use old towels (big ones are good) and a little water, first using some toilet paper to remove stray hairs and throw them away. My sinks and tubs are clean, at minimal expense.
  9. Excessive shoes cluttering our closets. The average U.S. woman owns 17 pairs of shoes. When I interact with a person, shoes are the last thing I ever notice. I blame the woefully misguided Sex And The City as a contributor to Western civilization’s obsession with shoes. I have about 7 pairs of shoes (probably 5 pairs more than the average world citizen) and I go everywhere under the sun in them, from hiking and bicycling to weddings, church and fancy Oregon League of Conservation Voters  (OLCV) dinners.
  10. Here is my sequel list of ten more things to happily live without.

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