The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

January 5, 2012

My Un-New Years Resolution — Take the Simple Living Challenge

Yukon solitaire for mobile phoneI sleep with my smartphone.

There, I said it. My virtual life is out of control. I am powerless over my addiction to checking email, Twitter, and Facebook. Listening to podcasts while playing endless rounds of Yukon solitaire. Googling the answer to any question that happens to pop into my head at 3am. I know I’m subjecting myself to radiation, and worse, I am robbing myself of much-needed sleep by staring at a bright screen into the wee hours of the morning. I need help.

As if reading my cluttered mind just in time for New Years Resolution season, Sonya from the Kanelstrand simple living blog sent me an invitation to participate in her Simple Living Challenge beginning in February. I need this. I need it like I need a hole in my head through which I can dump out all the unnecessary crap that makes me feel overwhelmed.

Join Me!

Simple living goes hand in hand with plastic-free living.  The less stuff we buy, the less plastic we generally consume.   And I’ll be contributing to the Simple Living Challenge Discussion by offering tips for weaning off plastic.  But there are other ways to consume, with or without plastic, and I am proof of that.

Please join me by signing up for the 3-week simple living challenge event beginning February 1.  Topics that will be covered are:

– financial life, living debtfree
– frugal living
– how much is enough? reconsidering buying habits
– weaning off plastic, turning to reusable sources
– cosmetics that are killing us, how to use natural sources to beautify ourselves
– re-evaluating commitments, re-evaluating Yes and No
– simplifying your goals
– simplifying your wardrobe
– decluttering your home, mind, emotions
– simplifying your online life
– stop multitasking
– slowing down – talk/walk/eat slowly and learn to enjoy the moment
– free up time to do what you love
– spend time with the people you love
– spend time alone
– connect to your inner self and your needs
– learn to deal with stress
– walk more, drive less
– establish daily routines, plan your daily tasks
– celebrate your success

I got a head start on this back in 2009 when I asked for help decluttering my office and got a ton of responses from you all.  Now I need help organizing my time and my mind.

This is NOT a New Years Resolution, by the way.   I’ve never kept one of those.  :-)

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Etsy handmade and vintage

I only post ads for companies I patronize myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

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Beth, I do support your simplification effort and I know you’re doing it because you’re feeling ill effects on your life. But I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your intensity and the way you’re willing to put a lot of time and energy into everything you do. I’ve watched you (through the blog) cycle through these periods of too much computer and then correcting it several times now, and it does seem to me that it’s a function of some of your virtues as much as a bad habit. I hope you don’t feel like overconnectivity is… Read more »

Jason Winters

I guess you can’t completely be ‘plastic free’…you have a smart phone..and I assume a computer.

Go hug a tree…


I’ve signed on. I’m always about simplifying. :)

Deanna Piercy

I had already started a January challenge to buy almost nothing. This fits in perfectly and I’m now signed up.

Eve Stavros

Yes I have taken the pledge! I’ve been de-cluttering, yard-saling (selling), Craigs-listing, e-baying and recently moving in an effort to downsize & simplify. New life in Virginia will have more time for silence, reflection, quiet times with friends…once I get through the hassles of setting up a new household. I look forward to this joint effort to re-energize me and share ideas!


I really want to sign up, but I’m moving. Which is anything BUT simple. Maybe next time!


I’m just on my way to sign up. This sounds like a great idea. Thank you.

David McKay

Well, Beth, I mentioned you again in my blog. Am I just seeking a larger readership by letting you know? Hmm… maybe a little, but I had started my latest post earlier today and in the course of writing it was discovering that my life has become simpler in some ways by the reduction of plastic in my life. Then I read your post, and saw the similarities. The milk up the road at that dairy farm? Delicious! And I met the cow that produced it. Life is pretty simple at six in the morning in a dairy barn… David

knutty knitter

I already do just about everything here so really don’t feel the need at present but I am supporting you in spirit :)

Happy new year

viv in nz


Wonderful! Thanks for the invitation! I’m excited about simplying my life more.


I took the pledge, one of those Confusious sayings is ” The greatest freedom in life is no possessions,” there is alot of truth to that. greg

Clif Brown

Beth, I am so out of it that everything on your list characterizes the life I live…not because I am trying to follow any rules, but simply because that’s how I’ve always wanted to live and what makes me comfortable. Now that I’m retired and in what we plan to be our final residence for life, it looks like we will be able to carry on to the end this way. We don’t watch (or have) TV. Our wall calender might have three things on it in a busy month. I got rid of my stereo long ago. If something… Read more »

Tracey TieF

Thanks for the invitation.

I need to declutter my email.
Every time I open if I have to check off a dozen emails to delete. I need to take the time to unsubscribe. So that can be my first step.
And I need to stop working at some point in the evening.

Love & RRRevolution, Tracey


Well, I’ve been practicing voluntary simplicity for over 20 years now, but if I’ve learned anything it’s that simplicity is a journey not a destination, so I happily took the pledge. Happy simplifying y’all!


All signed up!

Beth, do we get to see what your desk/office area looks like now? :-)


I’m so looking forward to this, thank you for sharing! :)


I need this too! I recently canceled my Facebook account because it was the 2nd time in 6 months hackers got to the email account tied to it. I think I actually had withdrawal symptoms. I’m ok now, which tells me I could succeed at simplifying other areas of my life as well. All aboard!!!

Sharyn Dimmick

I signed up for the Simple Living Challenge. I’m excited to have the virtual company for it. And before it starts I’m going to read through those de-cluttering suggestions your readers gave you. Cheers! Sharyn