The Work/Life Balance: Don’t Have a Rubbish One (and some seriously sneaky peeks at what’s coming next…)

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas and The Great British DownshiftSeasons Greetings to all,

It’s Christmas Eve and following a short trip to London, I’m now home in the bosom of my lovely family and preparing for a few days of non-work related fun!

For the past five months, with the kind assistance of dear Thomas, I’ve delivered a rubbish post-a-day to tantalise you, to tempt, to engage you with a bit of rubbish reduction and I’ve had some great evidence to show it’s worked.  But you can have too much a good thing you know 🙂 so I’m taking a firm grip of my work/life balance and signing off until the New Year to enjoy a break with the ones I love.

Work/Life Balance has been quite the buzz phrase over the past 12 months and it’s often associated with people who are ‘downshifting’ their lives a bit but as the credit crunch has embedded itself across the world (this whole financial thing’s not just a UK problem) people have found themselves downshifting their time and financial commitments just to keep afloat.

Some have done it willingly, some have done it because they’ve been forced into a corner and some have given a positive embrace to living with less and they are the ones who’ve had an easier transition to a simpler ‘downshifted’ life.

This might help you get a better handle on what I’m trying to explain:

The more money you spend,

the more time you have to be out there earning it

and the less time you have to spend with the ones you love.

It’s OK to jump off of the treadmill that says ‘work, work, work, tow the line, spend, spend, spend, then keel over and die’; if you get a better handle on the work/life balance in favour of ‘life‘ you’ll see there’s so much out there to embrace and enjoy and it doesn’t require money at all, it requires time, effort and love!

Downshifters are resourceful souls, they see rubbish as a resource to get creative with, they are avid recyclers, they are savvy shoppers, they mend things, they make things, they share their abundance, they do skill exchanges, they often do a job of work that earns them far less money than they’ve earned in the past and more often than not they don’t wear a watch.  They are governed by their bodies who reliably inform them when it’s time to eat, to sleep, to be creative and work and when to sign off and play.

Some years ago, I offered a few articles on how to downshift to somebody who had a web presence on finance issues.  I didn’t want paying for them, I just wanted to let people know that it was OK to want to downshift (there’s still a lot of negative stigma attached to it) and I received a curt reply telling me there was nowhere for my articles on their site.  Downshifters were just lazy cop-outs who wanted to drop out of the system; I’ve never been so shocked at such a shallow minded view on a positive and environmentally-friendly trend that’s sweeping the world.

How do I know it’s sweeping the world?  That’s easy, I put together InterNational Downshifting Week a few years ago and I have readers from every corner of the globe, many reaching out, wanting to find out how to live a simpler, greener and happier life; we’re back to that work/life balance thing again…

Christmas 2008 is about to present you with the perfect opportunity to consider applying some form of downshift to your life, even if only to cut down the amount of rubbish you create for Christmas 2009.  There will definitely be paper waste, possibly food waste, lots of plastic wrapping waste and you can make a great start to the year by ensuring you recycle every bit of it!

Put out what you can for the recycling men and for what cannot be doorstep collected, speak to a few of your neighbours and organise a rota.  One car taking all the ‘odd’ bits of rubbish to your local civic amenity site makes great sense and you can hop over and read one of my most important Letters For Change and see how to set it all up!  This will put you on a good footing as you enter the New Year.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap this festive note up with an exciting insight to what I’m up to next year…and oh BOY is it a cracker.

In 2009,  you’ll be able to read my next book, The Great British Downshift, which will show you who’s done it, how they did it, how they manage to maintain it, also who really wants to do it and I’ll be talking to some of my eco-friendly expert chums who will sprinkle their magic on the subject too.

And as if that’s not enough, in early January, I’ll be shooting a pilot with Abi Roberts, a talented stand up comedienne and a singer with a voice that’ll knock your socks off.  Together, we hope to be visually delivering The Great British Downshift via the telly later in the year,  so watch this space…

All that remains for me to do is sign off and to wish you all a Rubbish Free (well, greatly reduced anyway) Christmas and New Years holiday and be sure to bookmark this website via the RSS feed thingie in the top right-hand corner,  so you get a regular dose of good, green advice on how to live simpler and happier in 2009!

Rubbishly yours,

TS x x x x x x x x

PS: Start your year with a copy of The Book of Rubbish Ideas in your pocket (not on your bookshelf, it’s no good there!).  It’s only £4.54, reduced from £6.99 and it could be your best buy of 2009!

OR, hop over to the Community Channel website and win yourself a copy instead!