I am considering minimalism. Why?
I’ve observed that, as people age, they either become packrats, or they detach from their material possessions to free themselves.
Nothing wrong with pack ratting. I’ve done plenty myself. But I’m at a point in my life when it just seems so unnecessary.
Truly, all I need to function and be happy are these items: My papers (I’m a writer. They are mostly digitized now.) Some of my books (even they are being whittled down pretty well). My electronics. Some personal items. Some memorabilia from the kids’ childhoods.
That’s about it. Oh, and maybe a few crafting items. (My sister is teaching me to make jewelry and I enjoy some art journaling.)(And I confess an unrelenting lust for a MacBook Pro.)
There was a time when the house was filled with lots of kids that it was also JAMMED with toys, clothes and family life stuff. It was often oppressive to manage all that STUFF, even though I pretty regularly sifted and sorted.
So I am in the process of freeing myself from stuff. Is that minimalist?
What Minimalism is and What it is Not!
At the heart, perhaps minimalism is about stopping comparing yourself to others and stopping lusting after all the things you see in stores and magazines.
Instead, it’s about knowing what you want out of life and knowing how to get there. Simply. It’s about cutting back the ‘noise’ so that you can concentrate on what’s important.
In our family, we believed that spending time with family was the most important thing. We were careful to not get overextended such that we had to work too much. While many families around us moved into bigger houses and took fancy vacations, we aspired to live within our means.
In some families’ bids for ‘more’, they have forgotten what was important to begin with!
I aspired to live simply with my kids. We never chased after the bigger and better. We took simple vacations that involved spending time together.
Minimalism is What You Make It
Minimalism for some people might look completely different for other people. Minimalism is what you choose to make it. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer here – there is only you doing more of what matters to you.
And it’s about realizing what the fastest and most efficient way to achieve that is, while removing all those unnecessary distractions that get in the way. It’s about choosing what really matters to you, rather than being told by the media. The rest is up to you!
I am incredibly distractible. If the wind blows, I want to go chase it. It’s a problem. Clutter and having just too much interferes with my ability to concentrate. If I can’t concentrate, I’m not creating.
For me, minimalist me is going to downsize, get rid of things that no longer bring me joy or serve me. So my summer includes a garage sale and some massive downsizing.
It feels good. Just as I am emptying the nest and filling the life in this season, I am shoveling out the unnecessary to make room for what I truly want or need.
How about you? Are there things in life you no longer need?
Better yet, are there attitudes, beliefs, behavior patterns that no longer fit?
Let’s talk about it over on Facebook.