Minimalistically… it isn’t a word, but perhaps it should be. We can think and act materialistically, but why not minimalistically?
Today brought a nice surprise. A coworker offered me the boxes saved from her move. All 32 of them. What will I do with 32 boxes? I hope the answer is to give some of them away. I started considering what I could pack, since I’ll be back and forth between houses for awhile, and thought, well, I need to keep one spoon, knife, fork, bowl, plate, and cup…. and immediately thought now why would I keep any more than that? That’s all I need! What a radical change from the person who used to buy things simply because she had a place to put them and “they might come in handy someday!”
I know it’s not a word, but it should be. Minimalistically speaking, what do I need and what do I want? I read an article a few weeks ago, and one statement stuck in my mind: “if it doesn’t make you smile, get rid of it.” What an interesting and beautiful thought! What if we could all discard the things in life that don’t make us smile? And why can’t we? Why would I drag things that make me sad or angry or stressed through my life?
Thinking of my short list of things I need reminded me of the reason I wanted to downsize to start with. A few years ago, I stayed in a ‘rustic cabin’-a 10×10 shed with bunk beds and a cement floor-for about a week. And loved it. I had some clothes and toiletries, a towel or two, two pairs of shoes, a broom, an electric skillet and some food, a bowl, spoon, and spatula, a cell phone, whatever fit in my small purse, bedding, and something to sleep in. And I was happy. Happier than I’d been in a long time, and I miss that simplicity. I’d need more over a longer period of time, yes, but how much more? What makes me smile? Is it the things I surround myself with, the time to enjoy them, or forgetting about the things and refocusing on what really matters? And what does really matter to me? I don’t look at the things I acquire and think, wow, I remember buying that. That was great! I’m sure glad I have that! No, I forget I even have the stuff. What I remember enjoying is walking in the woods, exploring new areas, meeting new people, gardening, swimming, biking, traveling, and working together with others. What makes me smile isn’t the things I have at all for the most part. It’s living life to it’s fullest, and for me I’ve found that my living is done best when it’s done with less. Minimalistically.