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历年考研英语阅读理解2001年05

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[00:06.51]2001 Passage5

[00:08.42]When I decided to quit my full time employment

[00:11.27]it never occurred to me that I might

[00:13.38]become a part of a new international trend.

[00:16.51]A lateral move that hurt my pride

[00:18.93]and blocked my professional

[00:20.54]progress prompted me to abandon

[00:23.37]my relatively high profile career although,

[00:26.69]in the manner of a disgraced government minister,

[00:29.93]I covered my exit by claiming

[00:32.35]"I wanted to spend more time with my family".

[00:36.19]Curiously, some two-and-a-half years

[00:38.91]and two novels later,

[00:40.82]my experiment in what the Americans term

[00:43.94]"downshifting" has turned my tired excuse

[00:47.37]into an absolute reality.

[00:50.50]I have been transformed from a passionate

[00:53.42]advocate of the philosophy of "having it all",

[00:56.64]preached by Linda Kelsey for the past seven years

[00:59.87]in the pages of She magazine,

[01:02.29]into a woman who is happy to settle for

[01:04.81]a bit of everything.

[01:07.03]I have discovered, as perhaps Kelsey

[01:09.75]will after her much-publicized resignation

[01:13.28]from the editorship of She after a build-up of stress,

[01:17.03]that abandoning the doctrine of "juggling your life",

[01:20.85]and making the alternative move into "downshifting" brings

[01:24.89]with it far greater rewards

[01:26.98]than financial success and social status.

[01:31.12]Nothing could persuade me to return

[01:33.54]to the kind of life Kelsey used to advocate

[01:36.46]and I once enjoyed:

[01:38.58]12-hour working days, pressured deadlines,

[01:42.11]the fearful strain of office politics

[01:44.84]and the limitations of being a parent on "quality time".

[01:49.78]In America, the move away from juggling to a simpler,

[01:54.11]less materialistic lifestyle is a well-established trend.

[01:58.75]Downshifting--also known in America

[02:01.58]as "voluntary simplicity"--has, ironically,

[02:05.31]even bred a new area of

[02:07.32]what might be termed anti-consumerism.

[02:11.56]There are a number of bestselling downshifting

[02:14.09]self-help books for people

[02:16.20]who want to simplify their lives;

[02:18.62]there are newsletters, such as The Tightwad Gazette,

[02:22.34]that give hundreds of thousands of Americans

[02:24.75]useful tips on anything

[02:26.98]from recycling their cling-film to making their own soap;

[02:31.41]there are even support groups for those

[02:33.90]who want to achieve the mid-'90s equivalent of

[02:36.83]dropping out.

[02:38.64]While in America the trend started as a reaction to

[02:41.55]the economic decline--after the mass redundancies

[02:45.07]caused by downsizing in the late '80s

[02:48.41]--and is still linked to the politics of thrift, in Britain,

[02:52.62]at least among the middle-class downshifters of my acquaintance,

[02:56.95]we have different reasons for seeking to simplify our lives.

[03:01.79]For the women of my generation

[03:03.71]who were urged to keep juggling through the '80s,

[03:06.83]downshifting in the mid-'90s

[03:09.25]is not so much a search for the mythical good life

[03:13.08]--growing your own organic vegetables,

[03:15.30]and risking turning into one

[03:18.02]--as a personal recognition of your limitations.

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