I am not a minimalist. For those who know me personally, who have visited my house or have seen the interior of my car (two jackets, favorite sweater, pair of jeans, a bag full of shoes destined for the Goodwill and a broken personal scale) … you likely think that my interest in minimalism is a little bit … hmmm, ironic?
But minimalism has been on my mind a lot lately. That’s been partly influenced by the recent purchase of The Minimalist Mom’s e-Book “Year One.” (Technically, the book is free, but I made the $2 donation.)
Personally – it’s been the best $2 I’ve spent in awhile. I’m tearing through MM’s book like it’s the latest Diana Gabaldon novel and as good writing should, it’s expanding my mind. No – I don’t necessarily envision myself getting rid of my personal items en masse. But I’ve been doing simple things like cleaning out my Google Reader – catching up on posts, unsubscribing myself from blogs that I no longer read enough to warrant the virtual real estate they take. I unsubscribed to a bunch of emails that go to my personal email and ruthlessly deleted a bunch of unread emails.
The idea of minimalism has trickled down to my shopping habits. I’m going to be traveling for work in the near future and need to get a new pair of pants before I head out to Denver. My husband and I have both lost weight recently and have just started replacing items of clothing in our wardrobes – blue jeans. I haven’t touched my work clothes because I work from home. The yoga pants I’ve been wearing for the past five years still fit perfectly … baggy and comfortably. 🙂 It’s only when they start falling down that I will worry about replacing those. However, when I found a pair of black pants at TJ Maxx the other day – on sale for $16 – I carried them around the store and ultimately decided I didn’t want to buy them. I just didn’t feel like it. Of course, I’m going to need to figure out something before my trip in November, but for the present moment … if I’m not in love with it, if it doesn’t fit an exact need in my life – I just don’t feel like bringing it home.
What’s so attractive about minimalism? Maybe it’s my memories of paying down $10,000 of consumer debt and the fact that 11 years after graduating from college, I do not physically possess half of the things that I bought when I was trying to fill some empty part of my life. I shopped because I was bored. I shopped because I was stressed. I bought things to reward myself. I bought things to comfort myself. I didn’t worry when I gained weight, because I could just use my credit card and buy a new pair of pants.
I am very much the same person that I was after college. I am still slightly neurotic. I’m not always the most cheerful person on the face of this planet, but the 33-year-old me would rather shove sharp objects in my eye sockets than go to a mall for comfort. The 23-year-old’s car had an autopilot mechanism that could suss out the nearest shopping mall in a 20-mile radius.
There are some things that are comforting about getting older and maybe a little wiser, but at the same time – I know I have a lot to learn. This fall, I’m learning about minimalism. And I’m really enjoying it.
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