来自祖父母的生活一课 How to Live Simply: Lessons I Learned from My Grandparents

还记得自己上一次感到快乐是什么时候吗?

午后,捧一杯清茶,任暖暖的阳光透过窗户洒在身上,打开音响,听着悠扬悦耳的轻音乐,闭上眼冥想片刻。此时,心静如水,虽身处喧嚣闹市,却能感受到久违的快乐愉悦。原来我们苦苦追寻的快乐有时竟可以如此简单。

或许生活其实很简单,不过是作为当事人的我们将其变得复杂。我们总想着:当我们得到更多、拥有更多时,才会快乐、幸福。殊不知,快乐不在于拥有得多,而在于计较得少。当我们专注于自己真正的“所需”,而非相互攀比之下的“所要”时,即使不富有,也可以享受生活、感受快乐!

适时地返朴归“简”吧!返朴归“简”既是一种生活方式,也是一种生活态度。抛开繁杂和过多的物质束缚,用一颗知足的心去拥抱简单而充实的生活,我们将和快乐不期而遇。简单的快乐,你值得拥有!——Maisie

How to Live Simply Lessons I Learned from My Grandparents

My grandparents actively practiced simplicity. They both grew up in very large families and lived through 1)the Great Depression. Saving 2)for a rainy day and avoiding 3)rampant 4)consumerism was integral to their life philosophy. Rather than seeking fulfillment through material items they chose to spend 5)quality time together, with family, and in nature.
我的祖父母一直过着简朴的生活。他们都在大家族的环境下成长,并且都经历了大萧条的年代。未雨绸缪地储蓄和杜绝无节制的消费是他们的人生信条之一。比起通过物质来寻求满足,他们更愿意和家人在一起共度珍贵时光,享受大自然。

Over the years my grandparents noticed dramatic changes in their community. Every year more farmland was devoured to build larger and larger homes. As real estate prices rose many of their neighbors sold their little homes and 6)lots. Soon they were the only small house on the block, surrounded by a 7)sea of 8)McMansions.
这些年来,我的祖父母注意到他们所在的社区发生了翻天覆地的变化。每年,越来越多的农田被吞噬,用以建造更大的房子,且愈演愈烈。由于房地产的价格节节攀升,他们的很多邻居都卖掉了自己的小房子和土地。不久,他们所在街区就只剩下祖父母家的小房子,而周围全是麦克楼。

My grandparents built and lived in a small 600-square-foot cottage for most of their adult lives. Countless family members encouraged my grandparents to expand their home. But they didn’t want a bigger place. They loved their little home and were content with what they had. For instance: they gardened, repaired their own clothes, and drove the same car for over 15 years. I still remember riding around in their old, green 9)Mercury beast and sleeping in their super tiny guest room.
我的祖父母建造了一间占地600平方英尺的小屋,他们大部分的成年时间都住在这里。很多家庭成员劝说我祖父母扩建他们的房子,但他们并不想要一个更大的地方。他们喜爱自己的小窝,也非常满足于已有的一切。比方说,他们自己打理花园、缝补衣服,15年多来开着同一辆车。我依然记得自己开着他们那辆老旧的绿色水星牌轿车到处游荡,睡在他们家的超级小客房里。

In many ways, I’ve 10)modeled my life after my grandparents. Through their example I learned an important lesson: It is possible to live a small and fulfilling life. So let’s talk about those ideas…
在很多方面,我一直效仿我祖父母的生活。从他们身上我学到了重要的一课:我们可以过一种简单而满足的生活。我们就来谈谈这些理念吧……

Save extra cash by living small. Home-ownership is one of the largest expenses in America. By living in a small home, you can save a lot of extra cash. Here’s what David Crook, a Wall Street Journal columnist, has to say about home-ownership: “You can easily end up spending three times the purchase price of a house. Today’s buyer of a typical $300,000 single-family home who takes out a 30-year loan will end up paying the price of the house again just in interest. Add 30 years of property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, regular maintenance and a couple of 11)big-ticket repairs or improvements, and the total cost of buying the home could easily 12)top out at well over $1 million.”
节约开销,储蓄余钱。在美国,买房是其中一项最大的开销。住小一点的房子,你可以节省很多额外的支出。关于买房,《华尔街日报》专栏作家大卫•克鲁克这样写道:“买一套房子最终付出的钱往往是原本房价的三倍。如今,如果一个家庭以30年按揭贷款去买一套标价30万美元的房子,仅其支付的贷款利息就足够再买一套这样的房子了。除此之外,还要支付30年的财产税、房屋财产保险费、日常维护费,再加上几次高价修葺或改建,你花在这个房子上的总价钱很可能就超过了100万美元。”

grandparents1Plant a garden. My grandparents lived in a small home, but had a huge garden. They loved gardening because it reduced their grocery bill, improved their health, and gave them an excuse to be outside. Even if you live in a small home or apartment you don’t have to 13)forgo gardening. Vertical gardening, community gardens, and window farming are all options to consider.
开辟自己的花园。我祖父母家的房子虽小,却有一个大花园。他们热爱园艺,因为这不仅能减少鲜蔬杂货开销,改善他们的健康状况,还提供了一个进行户外活动的理由。就算你住在一个小房子或者小公寓里,你也不必放弃园艺。垂直园艺、社区花园和窗台种植都是可以考虑的选择。

Avoid lifestyle 14)creep. Lifestyle creep is when we try to keep up with the 15)mythical 16)Joneses and end up unhappy and in debt. My grandparents avoided lifestyle creepy by paying for their own home in cash and building it themselves. They also reused and recycled everything. For instance, they drove the same car for over 15 years and didn’t buy anything new until their stuff was worn out.
避免生活方式的攀比。生活方式的攀比指的是我们试图向那些显贵人物的生活看齐,结果却导致自己不开心并负债累累。我祖父母就避免了这种情况,他们没有贷款买房,而是自己掏钱动手建房。他们还尽量重复使用和循环利用所有东西。例如,他们的车一开就是15年多,其他东西在没有用坏之前绝不买新的。

Living well on less isn’t about 17)self-deprivation. My grandparents taught me that living a simple life isn’t about self-deprivation. Instead, it’s about giving yourself the time, freedom, and money to pursue your dreams. Becoming debt free, 18)downsizing to a smaller home, and going car-19)lite are a few ways to take control of your life and start pursuing your dreams.
简单生活并非亏待自己。我祖父母教育我说,过简单的生活并不是亏待自己。相反,它能赋予你时间、自由和金钱去追求梦想。没有负债,住小一点的房子,减少用车频率,这些都有助于你掌控自己的生活,开始追寻你的梦想。

Take action. If you’re thinking of living a simpler lifestyle, take action! Below are a few tips to get you started: Consider starting a vertical gardening project or join a community garden in your neighborhood. Add up the amount you spend on housing and transportation every month. 20)Brainstorm ways you can cut those expenses. The next time you have the urge to go shopping ask yourself if you really “need” more stuff. Be mindful of your consumption choices and remember your priorities.
行动起来。如果你正考虑过更简单的生活,那就行动起来!以下是一些小建议:考虑开始一个垂直花园项目,或者加入你附近的社区花园吧。计算出你每个月花在住房和交通上的支出。思考减少这些花销的方法。下一次你急着去购物时,问问你自己是否真的“需要”更多的东西。慎重对待你的消费选择,切记你的优先级。Tammy Strobel/文

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