Hello, my name is Michelle Harden
The concierge in our building might argue given the number of packages that arrive for me, but he doesn’t realize I haven’t once sent foot into Barney’s, which is only two blocks from my condo.
So let me tell you a little about myself. I am a rare Washington State native.
I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Political Science and a desire to ‘make a difference’ without evening know what I meant. Moved to Seattle and reality set in after one non-profit experience (unpaid) and needed to pay rent. I moved towards traditional capitalism (in the worst job market preceding that of 1981) and worked two jobs to make ends meet, eventually finding monetary rewards in high tech business development.
In 1996, I co-founded my first company, Interact, the first Internet fulfillment company in the Northwest. Eight years later, formed two consulting companies and co-founded another company in the interim. It’s been a wild and interesting ride.
With my husband’s awesome support I have voluntarily put myself on sabbatical. My goal is to do some volunteer work, exercise more, read more, and write more. And start this blog. We can “Lighten Up” this planet in lots of ways.
In 1995, when our boys were still in high school, we conducted our first downsize from our large family home to an 1800 square foot 3 bedroom condominium. The impetus for the move, for me, was an imaginary glimpse into my future based on some current behaviors.
I was busy raising children and running a company, but the rest of my time was spent in the acquisition of stuff. I was not a hoarder by any means, but housewares, everything for the garden, which I loved, clothes for the family, remodeling projects, “collectibles” from antique stores, and on and on.
And one day, I wondered how I would be spending my time once the boys moved out and we didn’t need this big house any longer. Who would I be? A shopper? What would I do with all the stuff I had collected? And why did I spend all that money on this stuff and why did I even need it or want it?
Initially, the effort to downsize was to cease the madness of accumulation. Later, the recognition of what a global ‘acquisition’ lifestyle was doing to the planet became of critical interest and importance to me. Join me in this blog to share thoughts and ideas on how changing our view of what this common virus is harming our planet. I hope for some great ideas and plenty of irreverence. And maybe we’ll get totally off topic. We can decide together. Welcome!