What is downshifting?
28th March, 2008
Are you living the dream? Or walking zombie-like through the nightmare of modern consumerism? Laura Sevier explores the sanity of downshifting
If we are to survive as a species, downshifting could even be part of our evolution
What does quality of life mean to you? Is it the stuff you buy, keeping up with the Joneses? Or is fresh, clean air, the company you keep, and a less stressful living environment more important?
For Jo Hampson, a former Thames Valley Police Chief Superintendent, it meant dropping 85 per cent of her salary, giving up her job and buying a small business smoking food and making chocolates in Cumbria. After a few years’ service in the police force she had been catapulted to the top of her profession: ‘It was a fab job and very well paid – I had a huge budget and 500 staff from five police stations.’ The problem was, it was taking over her life.
She’d leave the house at 7am and get back after 9pm. There was no time for friends or family or to spend the money she was earning. Before taking a holiday she would have to work until midnight for days ahead, in order to prepare, and when she got back it took three weeks to clear her in-tray. ‘I swore I’d never have another holiday again,’ says Jo. ‘Life is for living and I was not really living it.’
Now her quality of life in Cumbria is, she says, ‘Fantastic. I’m less stressed; I...
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