Not So Big: The First Step in Sustainability

Adult Ed Class of the Week

When: Thursday, September 6, 7 p.m.

Where: Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High School

Cost: FREE

Speaker: Sarah Susanka

The Lowdown: You open your email and find 60 messages demanding immediate attention. Your “to do” list seems like it could stretch from Hollister Ranch to Rincon. Then there’s that pile of stuff in the garage (or your home office) that you really meant to clean out this summer, but summer’s gone and you know you won’t find the time now that school is back in session. When your life is overstuffed with obligations and feels like it’s moving at the speed of 10,000 gigabytes per second, it’s clearly time for a change. Learning what to change and how to change it is what this lecture on Thursday evening is all about.

Sarah Susanka is a bestselling author and architect who uses the architectural metaphor of remodeling a house to help you remodel your life. We’re not talking Extreme Makeover: Home Edition here, where time is short and tempers flare. Drawing upon her own experience and epiphanies, Susanka urges you to take a good long look at the content of your days and ponder. What makes your life more meaningful, and what doesn’t? What do you actually need and what is it time to let go of?

Sarah Susanka
Click to enlarge photo

Sarah Susanka

Why is it that when we’re not working our tails off, we’re shopping till we drop?” - Sarah Susanka

As if she were helping you strip away layer upon layer of old wallpaper, she takes you through a process of examination that will most likely lead you to the realization that you don’t need more things, or more text messages, or more sessions at the gym to be happy. In fact, what you may need is less of all those things, and to live what she has termed “the Not So Big Life,” a way of living that frees you from “the driven, automatic behaviors that keep you asleep at the wheel, while propelling you willy-nilly through your daily routine.”

The beauty of the Not So Big Life lies not only in how it can introduce more balance and harmony into your life; by consuming less, taking up less space, and slowing down the pace at which you live, you are adopting a sustainable lifestyle, and that’s something that everyone can benefit from. Not a bad way to kick off the new school year.

For more on SBCC’s Adult Ed program, see For more articles about Adult Ed, see

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