A minimalist, not only do I live light, I pack light too. For my three-month sabbatical I brought two pairs of jeans, four 3/4-length sleeve shirts, a down vest, a down jacket, jammies, and under clothing—including woolly pulleys.
My footwear consists of snow boots, snow shoes, and slippers. Serious slippers!
While hiking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these types of tracks: mule deer, grizzly bear, elk, wolf, fox, coyote, and raccoon.
My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.
What type of tracks do you leave?
Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”
My footprints look much like anyone else’s, they just sometimes go where few if any have gone before.
Since realising 43 years ago that indefinite life extension was logically possible (even if didn’t know how to do it), I have been searching for ways to create a society where everyone could have the possibility of living a very long time with as much freedom as possible.
That journey has taken me on many paths.
Sometimes I travel light, sometimes I have truck and trailer to carry essentials.
This planet has a finite limit on the amount of energy it receives from the sun, and the number of people it can keep in a lifestyle most reading this would consider empowering. So we have to accept those limits reality imposes. It is not logically possible to keep on having large families, and for everyone to keep on living a very long time.
If people want to stay on earth, then very soon all must accept one half of a child is their lot. If they want to have more than one child, they must accept leaving the earth at some point within some relatively small number of years (less than 100).
That is probably one of the hardest realities for humanity to face.
Continued expansion of population must eventually run into hard limits that will result in death by some means – lack of resources to survive, war, whatever.
Longevity implies security, requires it actually.
Accepting that will be hard for many.
We have a bit of time, a bit of room between us and that hard boundary, but not a lot.
So in some senses, I try to leave as small a disturbance as possible, and sometimes the requirements of reality demand that my footprints are a bit deeper and more lasting, forging a trail for others.
And right now I am sitting in jeans and a T shirt, with my fluffy ug boots on my feet – its a cool 14 degrees C outside (57F).
Ted — I love your focus. Always have. Always will.
“I have been searching for ways to create a society where everyone could have the possibility of living a very long time with as much freedom as possible.”
Love the slippers. I guess not for me to say, but I hope somebody might remember me with a smile at some point and that I leave having done more good things than bad…
Olga — I’m absolutely certain that’s a fact! 🙂
Laurie, you are a woman after my own heart and I agree with all your footprint principles. I hope that in the future I’ll be able to travel in a less polluting vehicle. I also hope that my crochet gifts will be my legacy. Some of them have lasted over 40 years!
Fatima — Over 40 years? Holy Toledo! 🙂
Things I made for my mum when I was very young are still in the flat where I grew up. How nice is that!
Fatima — How darned COOL is that?! 🙂
I find it very gratifying.
I’m not a minimalist, and I’ve left (or am leaving) all sorts of tracks: the genetic tracks in my daughters, the books I’ve written, the friendships I’ve formed, the smile at a stranger–and anyone who uses social media leaves tracks all over the place.
I hope you’re enjoying your sabbatical, Laurie!
Merril — I love the types of tracks you’re leaving 🙂
You obviously brought the right footwear, something I often don´t get right. I hope I have left a bit of a footprint with my books for children. I try to be good to the environment and I don´t eat meat.
Darlene — I admire the types of tracks you’re leaving! 🙂
i am becoming a minimalist with food, what I buy, where I buy, how it is prepared, less is more, better quality whole foods…
I have clothes that I “rediscovered” in storage that I have now worn to threads and become cleaning cloths…
My photography is one of the visible tracks I leave behind, which in creating photographs I use the minimalist path, the walks are local, the image is generally created right out of the camera, no extra steps involved.
According to some I leave some wisdom behind and a bit of humor when spending time with people…
Jeff — I so appreciate your minimalist approach to food and clothes. And you know I’m a long-time fan of your photography! 🙂
My footprints are usually in mud these days and following them would likely get you lost.
Marie — You’re having a complete and total blast! 🙂
I’m wearing my own fuzzy slippers, Laurie. They look a lot like yours. I love your goal of leaving a small footprint and a big impact. You are doing that in my book.
In your book too. 🙂
Shirley — THANK YOU! 🙂
I hope when my blogging career is up I’ve left a trail of footprints for all men to follow if they ever find themselves on a similar journey as mine :).
Skipah — I know that loads of people (men and women alike) have benefited from your blog 🙂
How am I leaving tracks? This morning I brought back groceries in a backpack from a store less than a mile away from home. My car stayed in the garage.
Then, just moments ago I read a short blog post from a writer who pulled on her boots to join youth from her church who canvassed the community to give a hands-up to those in need: https://jennsmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/10-minute-monday-made-for-walking/
Marian — Brava!
And I just followed the link you left, THANK YOU 🙂
I hope I leave tracks that someone would like to follow. I am impressed with you lightness of living!
The Coastal Crone — I bet a dollar to a donut you’re doing just that, and then some 🙂
I am trying to leave small footprints and large impact. Working on minimizing STUFF.
I am guessing you are in Montana somewhere, just don’t know the city. Or Sun Valley area of Idaho!!?!?
Kaye — “Small footprints, large impact.” I love it!
As to my location… yours is a good guess (but then again, they all are) 🙂
Laurie, I know your tendency to clear out the clutter and open up your space for living… unimpeded by stuff that seems to accumulate sooner or later. Me, too! While I like my space to reflect my tastes and life-style, I hate clutter, I despise plowing through the flotsam and jetsam of a junk drawer to find that elusive gadget that I will use once a year. I want to see tidy book shelves, plain, tasteful furnishings and good art, not an aggregation of small expendables littering every available inch of flat space. I just want to leave this place ( our World) better than I found it. Anyplace that I lived for more than a month saw the labor of my hands, building flower and vegetable gardens, clearing brush and weeds, planting perennials and shrubs. I want to rejuvenate the Land I live on and make it fertile again. I like to make changes – for the better!
Sandi — I’ve seen firsthand the phenomenal things (usually GREEEEEN) you do to a space once you’ve been there a while 🙂
I’ve never been one to acquire a lot of stuff, but I know very well I could get by on a whole lot less and continue to downsize. If I ever do live in an RV, I will get rid of practically everything I own. I will miss my framed nature photographs the most. As for shoes, I’ve never understood how so many women seem to covet them. I have a handful of pairs and wear each type until they wear out.
Jeri — The cool thing about your nature photographs is that you can always enjoy them in an online album (and they don’t have to be dusted) 🙂
Although I admire those who are minimalistic, I am not one at heart. However, I do live fairly simply.
The first set of footprints I’ve tracked and shared are those of my family ancestors. My research followed their trip from north-west Germany (or possibly Denmark; one meaning of my last name Denecke [dene-eke] is “little Dane”). And, on my mother’s side, from Poland. As some of my nieces and nephews are now having children they appreciate knowing the source of our family tracks. As I make my own tracks I want to honor the risks and sacrifices they took to be here.
I personally am leaving footprints of treasuring and saving open spaces, refuges for wildlife and solace for our human spirit. And, as I’ve shared and you know, I leave the many marching steps of an activist at heart leaving tracks toward a better society and Country.
My front closet holds 3 types of snow boots: tall, work, and fancy. Then, next to them, stand a few pairs of heels and flats for work and social occasions.
Audrey — I know your commitment to treasuring and saving open spaces, refuges for wildlife, and solace for our human spirit. And I’m so grateful to you, and women of your same calibre, who march for a better world. Thank you! 🙂
“My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing” —> Well, I think those are the kind of boots we are needing these days. Sigh.
As to my boots, they are classic, in brown and quite high… And I have a pair of slippers which look like yours, BTW! 😀 Happy week, dear Laurie! 😉
Aquileana —happy, Happy, HAPPY week to you, too!
(It seems there are several of us who have similar taste in slippers) 🙂
In my late teens, I had to pack for a nine-month adventure. Thankfully, the government-run youth I was joining sent me a packing list. Packing has always fascinated and puzzled me. Next time I need help, I’m emailing you, Laurie. : )
What footprints am I leaving?
As of yesterday, I’m leaving size eight hiking boot prints accompanied by miniature dog prints in the fresh snow. Yup, we got another dump. Thankfully, it’s melting — we really aren’t used to all this white stuff.
Leanne — Your nine-month adventure as a teen sounds like a great prompt for a story or book! 🙂
The only tracks I’d like to leave are “sound tracts,” filled with lots of laughter!
Joan — Amen siSTAR! 🙂
“Leave light tracks can be a good motto for life our “life tracks.” Sometimes we need illuminated tracks or ones deep and clear enough for others to follow, as long as where they’re headed is positive. The worst tracks are the damaging ones- that leave behind detritus and ruin the world for others (and the earth itself). Tread lightly, dear friend, but make a big impact – like you’re doing with your writing.
Linda — I love what you shared here, thank you 🙂
Interesting. I wrote the above comment before reading any of the others. As I skimmed up the scroll of comments, I see that Shirley Showalter said something almost the same! How eerie! I guess it makes sense since we’re in a similar mindset.
Linda — Great minds think alike 🙂
I am leaving brushstrokes, lots of brushstrokes organized into energizing landscapes and other aspects of my ordinary everyday life Laurie. When you said snow shoes I thought of snowshoes which is something quite different. Hit me right in the funny bone!
Terrill — I love your brushstrokes!
And now you’ve got me laughing about snow shoes and snowshoes 🙂
I don’t know what kind of footprint i leave but i hope it will be one that will make people say know that is someone special whos making a difference to try to make the world a better place.
GoldenHairWeb — I betcha people are saying those things even now 🙂
What an excellent prompt, Laurie. Thank you. The most common prints I’ve been leaving of late are the snowshoe prints as I hike through my surrounding hills. Rather than footprints, I’ve long seen my life as a series of ripples I make as I toss small pebbles into the metaphorical river. I will probably never know the affect those ripples have, I just know they will. So, I work to make them the best ripples they can possible be. And that’s enough. I envy you your minimalism.
Janet — I love being on the receiving end of your refreshing ripples! 🙂
Mmmmm I don’t belive you have to particularly connect or like the shape of my footsteps but I would like you to step inside them for just a short time , come along just for the ride . You might be surprised what you might discover .
Cherryx ( too late this week I know )
Cherry — You’re brilliant! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world would take the time to walk a mile in each other’s shoes? 🙂
My footprints go where my curiosity dictates – hey, I’m a former journalist turned mystery writer. And yes, they sometimes get me in deep doo-doo.
When i travel I take my laptop but try to keep the clothes to minimal for me – not as few as you, Laurie. What i hope to leave behind – my writing – articles, memoir and the mystery books. And my garden.
Sharon — Your legacy sounds delightful 🙂
I’m leaving footprints of my legacy across America while traveling in my 40-foot motor home. Guess that’s not too minimalistic is it? I have leapard fur slippers. I travel all over the world in a backpack. From Siberia to Israel. Trains. WWII ship. You name it. I’m new to your blog so forgive my rambling. I wrote Lady and the Sea to leave my legacy to my family and friends across the globe. Encouraging words, prayers, hugs, and a lot of love. And I wish you oceans of sabbatical blessings.
Sharon — How darned COOL is that?! Further, I’m going to check out “Lady and the Sea.”
And welcome to Tuesdays With Laurie — great to have you here 🙂
I just cleaned up after my mum’s parting this earth. Actually, we did it together over the last 6 years of her life. We packed a box for each of her grandchildren to be mailed when she was gone. Friends each got one of her amazing tea cups from her collection and her hankies went to memorial service attendees and former students. It took me one afternoon to left go of the rest. I vowed right then and there that my children would not need to clean up after me. I have always hated dusting so I don’t have many of those kinds of things. When we moved I got rid of 44 journals and $5,000 worth of books ….I have had to replace several pair of shoes recently, but when the new come in the old go out. I don’t want to leave anything except good memories and kindness…
I just found a BIO Urn option, where ashes are put into a special urn and as everything dissolves a lovely tree is left in the earth…sounds just about right to me.
One foot print for me right now is still a drag…..I do not like it but I keep walking anyway
Good post and question.
Thank you for all your comments on my book review blog!
Patricia — I resonate strongly with what you shared here. And Len and I are already on the Bio Urn bandwagon. Our son has his marching when the time comes 🙂
I love traveling light (or at least lighter than what I have at my disposal at home). We used to cram our camping gear into the back of our Toyota Corolla or Tercel and take off for the mountains for two or three weeks at a time. Occasionally rent a cozy cabin. Those are the times when one realizes what little one needs to survive and function well in the world.
BWCA canoe camping is the ultimate in traveling light. It’s limited to what I can lug from one lake to another in two trips. I could go “Luxe” like some folks do, with ice, coolers, fresh food, roomy tents, etc., but if I did, I’d never get anywhere! 🙂
Chris — Ohhhhh, I love the great-outdoors word picture you painted! 🙂
Living in your part of the world is such a different life to mine! We hardly get snow here, and I’d never see mule deer, grizzly bears, elks, wolves, coyotes, and raccoons on a dog walk. Maybe a fox if I’m lucky… but not lately. 🙂 Amazing.
SassyBrit — Your side of the pond is amazing, too. I’ve been there on numerous occasions and adore it! 🙂
My tracks are simple, made by slippers. 🙂
TheSilence2017 — Your comment made me smile 🙂