Minimalism

A Lesson in Slowing Down

So here it is Saturday night and we are a week into the new year.  I promised you all that I would continue writing and taking you along on my journey.  So with that in mind and continuing on my journey of minimizing and letting go I have already noticed a change.  You see minimizing isn’t just about decluttering your life with things.  But as fellow blogger minimalistsouls noted it is about a life transformation.  You can read their article here (https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/57345920/posts/1278132003).

There is one change/mindset that I feel is going to be one of my harder obstacles along this path that I am struggling with  and that is the need to slow down!  I mentioned in an earlier blog that getting rid of the excess in my life was not going to be an overnight occurrence as it did not take only one day to accumulate.   But I, like most red blooded Americans, want it done and want it NOW!  I feel I am truly struggling with this mindset, and as I reexamine my life, it is probably something I have always dealt with.  I have never really been known for my patience.  🙂

I am currently looking around my office/craft room and seeing piles of books (listed for sale on Amazon in case your interested…rzahrte), piles of stuff to give away, and piles of stuff yet to go through.  In my head I am hearing my inner two year old scream, why can’t it be gone now!  I know, I know as I comfort her, I say I completely understand, but it doesn’t work that way.

Really if you think about it, that is the problem or rather one of the many.  We want things and we want them immediately. We didn’t slow down to think about the purchase at the time.  Was it something I really needed, or the family really needed?  We had all the good intentions in the world of using it and looked at it a million times, while it quietly sat on our shelf, telling ourselves that someday I will use it, someday I will need it, someday….someday…..

Someday never came, probably won’t.  And even if it does then what!?  The thing I probably needed/wanted to use or read will be outdated, updated and perhaps available for viewing online or at my local library.  It wasn’t something I really needed taking up space in my home.  This is the reason we have two car garages that do not contain cars and millions of square feet in personal storage units….mindless, thoughtless consumption.

SLOW DOWN!  Just slow down.  The lesson I am learning is that the piles in my home will diminish, I mean good grief its only been a week.  If I take the time to truly make the changes in my life instead of making shoot from the hip decisions, they are more meaningful and are more than likely will stick with me.  Because it is not just about getting rid of the stuff, it is about changing my view point, changing how I feel about it.

So, if you have something you really NEED for your home feel free to ask me, I may be ready to part with mine.  Meanwhile, I will be slowing down, enjoying life and the many people in it.  Many blessings!

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Minimalism

Minimizing…

So here we are at the beginning of our minimalism journey.  I have asked myself several times over the course of this week, “what exactly does that mean?”  Which I dare say, (even if it is only to myself) that is a great question!

So what is it?  I will argue, that minimalism is whatever it means to you.  According to the dictionary minimalism is defined as: a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.  Could I possibly ever be like a Buddhist monk living with only the clothes on my back?  No, I don’t think I could.  But who knows maybe one day I will.

Right now what my husband and I are starting off with is simply letting go.  We are letting go of the unnecessary items in our lives.  The items we know we can live without.  Things like the artwork, nic nacs, cookware etc. that have been lurking in the backs of cupboards and closets gathering dust.  Items that have been showcased on the walls, that I have reluctantly (as dusting is my least favorite chore) ran a wet rag over a million times since it was hung there.  Items that have moved to 3 different states and at least 5 different locations (another closet in another home) where it has enjoyed the oh so exciting life of occasionally peering out of the dark as the door is trepidatiously opened, so that none of the other items should jump out and bite the owner in a mad fit of trying to get to the light.  But I digress…

Letting go is the name of the game right now.  We are evaluating.  I believe we are going to find there is a great deal in our lives that we have that we can truly live without.  It’s not painful right now, it’s easy. I don’t expect it to stay that way.  I think eventually we are going to get to items that we have an emotional attachment to for some reason or another.  A thought that I am keeping in mind is that the thing, the item itself does not contain the person, the emotion, the memory, it is merely a physical representation of what I already have in my mind.  I have read about other minimalists who have taken pictures of the object they are attached to so that they can store it digitally and look at whenever they need to.  This is a great idea!

Another thought we are contemplating is using the 333 project idea in regards to our clothing (if you are unfamiliar with this, please click here for more information http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/).  While it is exciting, at the same time, I think I am a bit frightened by it, I don’t think my husband is really that bothered.  My problem is that I’m not exactly a snazzy dresser and I am worrying about things like; what if I pick the wrong 33 items, what if I look like an idiot!  These are probably nonsensical thoughts, but worries in the back of my mind none the less.

There is one thought, however, that keeps repeating in the back of my mind, and that is what I am going to leave you with today.       Less is more!      It is more because having less, leaves you with more.  If I have less things, I have less on my mind, I have less distractions.  But I will have more, more time, more energy, more conversations.

I am looking forward to less so that in our world of constant distractions, noise, pollution…I can have more.  Many blessings.

Minimalism

New Journey

Here we are again the beginning of a new year.  Almost 2017!  I was reading back through my writings and hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last wrote.  There have been an exorbitant amount of changes that have taken place sine 2013.  It is time to get back into writing and sharing those experiences with you.

I started working on my Master’s degree in the summer of 2013 and am excited to say that I finally finished this month at the tender age of 38.  Everyone has asked me what’s next now that I am done with school?  But that’s not really what they are asking…..the real question is “are you going to leave your job for something that pays better?”

My answer a couple of years ago would have been “yes.”  That used to be what I wanted.  I wanted to be “successful”, I wanted that “American Dream” white picket fence and all.  However, as I have journeyed through this degree, I realized that’s not REALLY what I wanted.  What I really want is to be happy.  I want to bring joy to other peoples lives.  I want to contribute and make the world a better place.  So how do I do that when I would be consumed with a “better paying job?”  I’m not sure, that is a question I am still trying to answer.

The real truth is and the reason I am returning to the blogging world is that I have a New Journey in front of me, and I want to share it with you.  All my crazy ups and downs.  I am hoping somewhere there is someone who is going through the same or similar circumstances and perhaps that you can find my revelations useful if not hilarious at times.

There are some truths that need to be recognized and established at this point in our conversation.  1. I am 38 years old.  I have been married for almost 19 years and have a 18 year old son and 16 year old daughter.  2. I want to make some very significant changes in my life and feel that the I am being led to do so, right now.  3.  I believe in God and am unabashed and unashamed for my beliefs.  4.  I want to share my journey as part of not only my healing but also part of my helping.

I am ready and primed for my changes.  One of these changes is my health.  My husband and I recently started working with a health coach.  We are looking at our lifestyle and food choices and learning where we can make significant improvements. As we have just begun this path, there isn’t much to say right now, but I will be discussing my journey here in future posts.

The other change we are making that goes along with our health is our lifestyle.  We have for several years discussed the “tiny house” movement and “minimalism” and the likes. It has been a long talk of, you know we really should consider this some day, maybe when the kids are out of the house, sort of thing.  But we are ready now, and are making progress towards that goal.

“Minimalism: A documentary about the important things” a film by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus came out on Netflix on the 16th of December.  Over the course of the weekend I watched the move 5 times!  Yes, I said 5 times!  I found the message so profound and yet so simple that it seemed to just sink deeper within every fiber of my being each time I viewed the documentary.  I was so intrigued with these two young men and the insight they possessed, I was just absolutely glued.  I have since subscribed to their newsletter and have downloaded their latest book Everything That Remains and read the entire thing in one day (I am a slow reader and get bored easily, all of this should tell you it is a great read!).  I highly recommend checking out their website http://www.theminimalists.com/ where information about the film as well as as a free e-book download can be found.

My husband and I began purging our “stuff” yesterday.  I don’t expect this to be an overnight fix, after all my husband and I didn’t accumulate all of this stuff overnight. But already just the thought of getting rid of the clutter and chaos is freeing.  I found this to be a strange sensation and asked my husband earlier today if he felt the same way, he does.  Just the idea of unloading all this baggage from my mind is amazing.

So here it is, honest, raw, real….We are middle aged (that hurts to admit) and we are overweight, unhealthy, and stifled by our accumulations and debt, basically we are average Americans.  Please follow me here for the New Journey, where we hopefully will learn how to live with less, both of our stuff and ourselves. Many blessings.