Interesting post title am I right?
But in all honesty, our week without a gas supply (central heating, hot water inc shower, oven and hob) has made me realise a few things and I wanted to share my thoughts.
The biggest thing for me this past week has been about having more gratitude for what we have, and by that I don’t actually mean gratitude for the gas supply. Even without gas we had more luxury than many people on this planet, and that even extends to people who live in the same town as us.
We had four walls and a roof, fresh (albeit cold) running water, food in the fridge, clothing and shoes, money to live on takeaway’s and a supportive family network to utilise for showers and clothes drying facilities.
Even without central heating, being in our home, in our bed was much warmer (and much more secure) than being outside. And it made my heart ache to think of all those people, less than a hours walk away from us sleeping outdoors under thin blankets and a few layers of clothing.
I usually take part in activities through the year to raise money for a charity, the last two years I have fundraised for the MS Society and CRUK. I think 2017 will see me supporting a homelessness charity, be it Shelter or a smaller local organisation.
Our families have been a great support this last week as well, with J’s folks taking in our little dog for the week to help him keep warm and my family, who live more locally, welcoming us round for meals, showers, offering us a place to stay if needed and allowing us to use their clothes dryers!
It’s easy to forget that not everyone has such a tight knit family unit and it’s made me appreciate them even more.
Of course it’s made me think about minimalism! And to be honest it made me think about it from both the positive and the negative.
From a positive side it helped me realise my over consumption, even with having cleared out so much stuff I still had enough clothes to get me through the week when the washing wasn’t drying fast enough. And when it came down to it I didn’t miss physical things, just the options to have a hot shower at home or cook a hearty meal.
But on the downside there were things that would have helped us that we didn’t have around, such as hot water bottles, electric heaters etc. Of course these things aren’t things we need on a regular basis and we were able to borrow from family members, and could have bought new ones if needed, but you have to think – not everyone has people close by to borrow from and not everyone can replace items at short notice. It made me think that perhaps minimalism (or minimalism as I define it) isn’t an option for everybody, and some families might need the security of a stockpile of items that aren’t seen to be necessary on a regular basis.