MINIMALISM to me

 

minimalist purple  living room with dining space
| Photo Cred: http://www.youne.com/keep-it-simple-minimalist-style/ |

I’ve tried to write out all of my recent thoughts on minimalism for some time now, but just couldn’t get all the thoughts in order to make a cohesive blogpost, so I gave making a video of the concepts a shot, hope it all makes sense, and I would love to hear what minimalism means to you or any thoughts you might on living a needs based, simplified life! 🙂

5 thoughts on “MINIMALISM to me

  1. I have so much I could say in response to you!! So I’ll do my best…
    To some degree, I guess I match what your idea of a minimalist is. And at the same time, I think we have very similar definitions. To me, minimalism is being fully aware of, and mindful of, what contents your surroundings. What is the purpose? How frequently is it of use? How does it serve you? If it has no purpose or no need or use, why keep it around? It’s just taking up space. I like space. It helps me feel less overwhelmed. When there’s too much in my surroundings, I often times actually just shut down. I go hours without talking, just kind of looking around, feeling so anxious. So anxious. I feel like everything is controlling me, I’m not controlling everything. It’s a lost sort of feeling. I’m sure this is some deeper psychological issue attached to my upbringing or something like that, but I, too, am constantly going through cabinets, the fridge, storage, clothes, knick knacks, etc., trying to make my life feel comfortably empty and open, creating space. This effects everything in my life as well, like the music I choose to listen to, or the types of foods I bring into our home. Like you, I fall between the ‘two forks vs. fifty forks’: I have put away already half of our dishes to feel like I have more space.

    Along with this habit, my desire to compress and purge even goes down to my choice of words. If I truly think it’s worth my time to make large statements, or ‘essays’ (such as this one!) it’s because I’ve invested great thought, time, and consideration into it and find that it is truly worth that time and effort I spent. I don’t like having too many words to say, and with what words I do use, I make great effort, especially in writing, to use no filler words, or to use alternate words that better describe what I’m saying. For instance, I hate saying ‘things’ unless I have absolutely no other word to describe what I’m trying to describe. Writing especially makes this easy for me to practice; I’ll write a lot of words, then go through it five, six, more times compressing, compressing, getting rid of whole sentences or paragraphs, changing or getting rid of words, until I get my thoughts down to bones, only saying exactly what I mean to say and not allowing any ‘fluff’ to get in the way of a statement or conversation. Many times this means not saying anything at all.

    This, then, leads into relationships – just like you were saying. Rather than investing my time in just any person I encounter, I choose to observe and carefully pick who I want to invest my time in based on what I see in others. I only invest my time in a relationship if I truly see it worthy of that energy. This always makes seeking and making new friends so exhausting, but if I really think a relationship would work well and be worth the time and effort, I don’t mind spending it.

    When it comes to timing, I think that’s why I don’t like times, and why I prefer just to let my day flow in a sequence of events; constantly having a time to do something by, be somewhere by, meet someone, feels overwhelming, like I have little control, and like there are too many things to remember crowding my thoughts. I prefer having an idea of what needs to be done in a day, and getting to it when I’m good and ready, always efficiently, not rushing or adding any extra stress to myself. Efficiency is a great comfort on days when I have a lot of timings, like taking shortcuts through neighborhoods and back roads rather than taking busy streets, etc.

    With clothes, I am constantly narrowing down, down, down, trying to leave only a few key pieces to choose from, the essentials, and what I wear the majority of the time. A few years ago, I chose a palate and have been slowly, but deliberately, working to remain within the confines of that palate. Along with other questions of reason, like, ‘ do I wear it? Do I like it? Does it look good on me?’ etc., I have also asked the question, ‘does this fall in that palate?’ The palate consists mostly of neutrals, very few earth tones, and dark jewel tones, with the occasional pattern to keep things interesting 😉 it’s funny that the palate I chose has slowly become the palate of choice in pop culture… I think the practice of letting go of something that pleases my eye in style, but does not meet positively the questions above, is freeing. I feel that control and that comfortable emptiness. It is so satisfying, especially since your clothes really say a lot about the rest of your lifestyle; they act as a billboard, almost, subtle though it may be.

    Gifts: I agree. I actually regularly ask the people in my most immediate spheres to not get me any gifts but to rather just spend a few minutes with me to celebrate. Those who are the very closest to me either observe and know what I need, or simply ask what I need. The gifts I receive have often included new Tupperware, wasp spray, toilet paper, cloth napkin replacements, bath tub cleaner, practical things that, if you’re going to spend money on me, I’d rather you spend your money on rather than giving me something I really don’t want or need. For those not in my immediate spheres, if I receive a gift I don’t want or need, out of respect I find purpose for it for a few months, then pass it along to someone I think would better be able to make use of it.

    I guess I hadn’t really thought about it much before, but I, too, strive to live a minimalistic lifestyle. I think that’s the appropriate way for me to put my perspective: I am not a minimalist, but I strive to live a minimalistic lifestyle. I am in constant quest to purge my life of what serves no purpose to me. I seek space and strive for mindfulness of what energy my surroundings are giving me. Like food, what I surround and fill my life with should be ‘good energy’. I would say that, lovingly, my greatest difficulty is living with a man who has no care for that same quest or lifestyle for himself, but would rather fill our storage area with six 30-gallon rubber made tubs packed to the brim with books!! Haha I think I actually only own, to name, about 20 books and I’m always thinking about just giving away most of them but can’t because they’re somewhere in those tubs! Though I’m always purging, and purging, and purging my surroundings, I never quite feel the ‘wholeness’ of the comfortable open and emptiness I’m searching for. The minimalistic lifestyle, for me, is a daily mental acquisition that I consider with regularity how to apply to my life and the environment I surround myself with. When I can shave it down to the very bones of meaning and purpose, I feel the most comfortable with my state of being.

    Wow, so that was very long. And we need to get together soon 😘

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    1. That is all so interesting!! And makes a lot of sense!!! Don’t so many natural habits make so much more sense once you realize they are tied to minimalism??
      And I understand not having a husband who necessarily shares the same tendencies,though for Justin it’s more like he could have 400 different basketballs and a million device chargers, or at least that’s how it feels to me, haha 🙂
      We’re working on meeting in the middle so he doesn’t feel like he’s living in an empty home and I don’t feel overwhelmed with possessions #workinprogress 😀
      I also understand how the rest of life is tied to housekeeping habits as well, I feel like I don’t have quite as much clarity as I’d like for how it affects me daily, there is time to realize all of those things though, but it’s really interesting to read how you know it affects how you live!!
      No worries about the length of the comment, it’s really what I wanted to hear from people!!
      And yes! It’s my turn to come to you!! The weather is really cooling off too, we’re about to be able to do some REALLY great outdoor play dates as well!!!

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  2. Also, I think you would enjoy Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I’m rereading it right now, but I am very slow and deliberate when I actually choose to read a book 😉

    “Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.”

    I really think you would love it.

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    1. wow, I really do I think I would as well! I wonder why I never thought about reading it!! Thanks so much for including the quote, sometimes I need a hook to get me interested in things and that’s exactly what it did!!

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