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Similar to college, the military, and being faster than a goose vigilante, the might of minimalism is only noticeable when your knee deep in chaos.
I’ve fangirled minimalism for a while because I loved the motto. Take care of business in the front so there’s a party in the back like a mullet but with less side-eyeing.
The minimalism goal is more time, money, and energy for bigger, better things.
I’ll ignore all the fine print for any lifestyle with that side effect!
What Is Minimalism
The Mr. Big feelings I have for minimalism sound like if I try to do it all, it all will be for nothing.
Instead of pursuing every whim, idea, and event, I choose carefully about what I let into my life.
In the pre-times, I said yes to every purse, every event offered, and every unsuspecting donut. The results included drifting along with little time and energy to ponder what I wanted.
By pondering away, I mean standing on a fictional cliff called panic attack with no Valium.
In some ways, I’m still decluttering that part of my life.
Just like other worthwhile skills, it’s small habits built overtime not one traumatizing event. The difference is small, sustained effort versus breaking for a squirrel and totaling a car.
As skills gradually develop, I can shift that energy towards other areas and see similar success.
Easy favorites include not buying stuff because I avoid stores that sell stuff.
Avoiding calendar clutter by being intentional with my finances. If there’s a costly event and my budget’s busted for the month, my only option is no.
No to a brilliant star party, dinner out with friends, or listening to live Harry Potter music.
Instead, decluttering skills have replaced clutter. I’ve replaced feeling overwhelmed with stuff and a stuffed calendar with cutting and cleaning away the weight to find what makes me feel weightless.
Seeing & Believing
Just like homes, hairstyles, and Harry Styles, minimalism is different strokes for different folks.
My minimalist lifestyle looks like owning more than 1,000 things (the junk drawer devours that number and asks for more), oodles of dishes, and enough magnets to make most people feel slightly uneasy.
The consciously condensed includes:
- Retirement accounts
- Credit cards
- Home décor
- Digital and physical photo albums
Some were easy to declutter.
Home décor and credit cards were easy to cull down to what’s best and what’s a mess.
Others I’ve had to intentionally declutter, and it felt like my soul was trying to escape from a tiny opening. Retirement accounts and photo albums made my soul whine more than a Costco-sized wine bottle.
The side effects of decluttering are once an item is slimed down; the odds are in my favor that it will never return to its former glory.
As I get older and settle into my ways, it’s harder for clutter to creep back into my home, mind, and finances because I place a higher value on space more than stuff.
Lately, as items wear out, break, or are primed for recycling or dumping, I’ve paused. Instead of instantly replacing clothes or a DVD player, I paused my replace impulse.
Taking a moment to reflect on buying has given space and grace for possibilities. I’m surprised at how many pauses thwart a purchase.
I used to shop automatically, but now I minimize automatically.
Along with less cleaning and maintenance, minimalism keeps the chaos at bay.
Recently, I had a busy week.
I signed up for a week-long training event that included normal working hours with before and after hours, a blood donation, and the in-laws were in town.
For this introvert, it was a lot. The difference between a nap and being crowned queen of Mount Grumpit.
I chugged along during the week learning, presenting, and giving where I could.
Instead of feeling like a busy black hole of questionable progress, I felt calm thanks to the might of minimalism.
The cleaning was paused because even during normal times, it’s mild.
The emails and to-do list were put on hold because normally there is a trickle of items needing immediate attention, not a firehouse of horror.
My life had been slimmed down before this chaotic week. So, when the waves of crazy came calling, I could set a few things off and deal with the immediate crisis including my classmate getting COVID and my brother going off the grid.
When Friday manifested, I had accomplished more than expected because life seems to heave when least expected.
No needless sanity sacrificed, and everyone survived.
The Might of Minimalism
The number of days in our lives will differ. But the number of hours in this day remain the same for all of us. The only difference is how we choose to use them. We can waste them or we can take full advantage of them.
Said the wise man, Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist.
24 hours a day. That is all I have like all other sentient beings. Per my biological code, some of that time is mandated for sleeping, eating, and paperwork.
What’s left is very little.
And sometimes the little that’s left is spent patching holes from a stormy week aboard a boat called, Ship Happens.