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Love your recession:The new vogue for Downshifting

I fear that I have become extremely trendy without knowing it. I’ve never been one to partake of fashion’s brief moments of in-ness. Instead I always assumed that I moved to the beat of my own drum.
But this new vogue for Downshifting has caught me unawares -- with my de rigueur pants down so to speak. Apparently it’s now all the rage and up to 20% of the Australian population have downshifted, that is, they have decided to change their lives in ways that mean they earn and consume less.

And here I was thinking that the attributes of my lifestyle were engineered by poverty! In ignorance I had assumed that I was being sentenced to an inconvenient surfeit of financial distress when I was in fact actually enjoying the fruits of downshifting.
Despite all those years of full employment, victimised by the fruits of my own determined go-getter-ness, maybe I was a latent downshifter all along?

You can imagine how miffed I now feel after putting myself through sheer hell these last so many years. My problem, if I’d only recognised it, wasn’t what I didn’t have, but what I didn’t recognise: the rich promise I woke up to every day. Less really is more and I could not see it! What I needed wasn’t a few extra bucks to my name but the balls to embrace simplicity. I was downwardly mobile, earning and consuming less, and I didn’t know how fortunate I was.

This option, of course, puts a brand new spin on industrial matters. If a company decides to downsize its workforce then we should be celebrating the fact. Another fortunate bunch of Australians are freely given the chance to earn & consume less. The lucky bastards! Downsizing and Downshifting can be two sides of the same coin if we want.

Poverty (such as my own), when you think about it, really is in the mind of the beholder.

5 Com:

Red Wombat | April 01, 2009

The supposed trend towards "downshifting" is nothing new - I remember reading about it in the SMH weekend edition something like 10 years ago.

The difference is that now that we have economic belt-tightening all-round, the trend is going to increase (whether or not it's necessary).

For example, I have friends who (despite a very comfortable DINK lifestyle) are now growing their own potatoes, and making their own beer. There's nor question that they are feeling the impending recession in any meaningful way (despite their mortgage). It just "makes sense" to cut corners here and there to save a bit of cash.

Meanwhile those of us who are forced to brew our own beer and forage for furniture out of poverty and hardship are now made to look like lifestylers again (remember the 90's?).

Of course, all this is nothing on the avant garde lifestyle of the vast majority of humanity, who initiated this new chic fad generations ago, in India, Africa, and elsewhere...

Anonymous | December 12, 2009

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Anonymous | January 03, 2010

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Anonymous | January 05, 2010

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