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home of the small, the slow, and the wild

I’m so glad you’re here!

My message is simple: People are much happier when they are allowed to live their lives at a comfortable human scale and pace. Problem is, society isn’t structured to encourage that anymore. It takes deliberate and intentional action to make it happen. The entertainment industry and media are madly churning out shows and articles that hit at bits and pieces of the puzzle: Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of decluttering houses, Tiny House Nation highlights the joys of downsizing the house and upsizing the act of living, the slow food movement, and we naturally gravitate to shows that star regular folks who toss aside modern society to live in remote locations surrounded by gorgeous natural settings, and relying on the intimacy of close relationships to survive. But you don’t have to hitch a tiny home to your bumper and move to Alaska. I’m doing it right now, right where I am, and as I continue to intensify my efforts to maximize my happiness through returning to that comfortable human scale and pace, I invite you to follow my adventures.

I’m James Garlits, but my friends call me Jim. Thanks for stopping by. You know, G. K. Chesterton once wrote that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, so in that spirit, I know that my grand experiment of living my life at what some of the greatest minds of our time have called ‘human scale and pace’ is going to be one joyous, tryingly twisted trail. For the past several years, I have been piecing together what I call the golden thread of thought running through a half-century of writings from Fritz Schumacher and Kirkpatrick Sale to Manfred Max-Neef and David Wann. And now? Now, I am ready to put my boots on and start intensively hiking the hike. My goal is to be completely transparent with you as I detail my trials and successes in my blog posts. I can’t honestly propose for others what I’m not doing in my own life! For the ones who are brave enough to climb with me, I appreciate your company. I can almost see the top from here, and I think the view is going to be amazing.

I hope you will stop by frequently to see what I’m up to. You will notice as you progress through the blog section that it will contain a fair amount of posts about hiking, bicycling, traveling, and generally getting out into nature.  It really is the missing link holding everything else together that the minimalists, the simplifiers, the slow foodies, and all the others have noticed.  But that isn’t all. Our rampant consumer culture has duped us into adopting practices that steal our joy, wear us out, and take our money as well as our peace. I want to inspire you to fight back and regain a sense of peace, joy, and connection to others.

A wise voice once said that even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. I’m done with all of that. One step at a time, I’m going to work to regain what is mine: The right to go slow. To be small. To be happy, wild, and free. Sound good to you? Let’s do it.

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