Me and Minimalism: An Update

I’m writing this just days after the horrific attack on my home town. My brain is overwhelmed, I keep crying and I can’t focus. But that isn’t my story to tell and I don’t deserve any attention for it. But I acknowledge it because the act of writing a blog post seems so trivial and self indulgent in contrast.

I want to acknowledge that.

But – I’ve been drawn here, to write something after months of silence because minimalism is my sanctuary. (Plus I’ve been feeling the pull back after receiving a number of comments on some old posts – and I felt kinda guilty that I’d stopped when people were valuing my message.)

The last few months have been stressful for me, nothing dramatic or overly important in the grand scheme of things, but stressful none the less. My new, dream job has proven to be incredibly fast paced and busy, with me working late pretty much every day (still the dream though folks – I LOVE it). On top of this I’ve been coming towards the end of my second year at Uni, with essays and exams to prepare for. Overall, it’s felt a little hectic and I haven’t felt in control for a long time.

I truly feel that minimalism has kept me sane.

When elements of life are beyond control it’s natural to grasp control wherever we can. And for me that is at home. I am in control of my personal space.

Minimalism has meant that it’s been easy to keep on top of things at home, despite spending too many hours at a desk. Countertops are clear, surfaces are clean, the floors swept and mopped, laundry happening daily. Thanks to minimalism, it hasn’t taken me too much time or effort to keep things simple.

My stress has also helped my minimalism. In my attempts to maintain order I have found myself clearing out another five bags of clothing, simplifying my morning choices. Plus another two bags of household items, plus another NINE books – creating more space and keeping the place tidier.

And so the two have become codependent. My peace of mind relies on minimalism, and my minimalism is fuelled by my peace of mind.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It sounds kinda odd, maybe a bit obsessive. But actually all I am saying is that my lifestyle choices keep me calm, peaceful, content and help ward off stress.

And isn’t that what our lifestyle choices should be about?

In these turbulent times we should each make choices that help to keep the peace. However small that may be.

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2 thoughts on “Me and Minimalism: An Update

  1. Hi Catherinny – is it not just horrendous what has happened! I cannot look at the news currently because it is so overwhelmingly sad. I do not live in Manchester, but even down here it has changed much about how we perceive things.

    It must be very difficult being so close to the tragedy, we are not isolated entities – if our community suffers we do genuinely hurt for their pain as well. I feel the difficulty comes when a tragic senseless murder of people becomes an opportunity for political virtue signalling and statement. Heartfelt sadness like you express is very different from that and we must not be afraid to feel and express it and reach out to others where ever we can.
    My thoughts and prayers to all of you there in the middle of it and of course the families who are suffering so very much right now.

    It is good to hear that you are enjoying your work – but my goodness you do work hard! I totally get how minimalism must be a saving grace for you in terms of both having created a retreat as well as the ease of maintaining. It makes sense and is a valid point. In many ways my own throwing out efforts are in the hopes of actually having time to create and a calm mind to create from!

    At times I am daunted, my situation is pretty crazy, but I feel I am winning ever so slowly. I had a few good moments when I realised my thinking was all wrong.

    I broke my own rule of not buying anything at all until the clutter was completely cleared!

    I bought some glasses that do the dual job of both hot and cold drinks – after much thought and deliberation. I had BIG nasty guilt despite this. I even tried to cancel my order, but too late -they were on their way! However when they arrived they allowed me to CLEAR out all my motley old mugs and several sets of glasses that were taking up space.

    Who’d have thought buying something can actually mean MORE space! It made me think that it pays to be truly mindful and to assess ones needs carefully. The truth is I did not need the glasses per se, the old ones and mug plethora , would have done – but I was in need of space. Not to fill – just space for it’s own sake!

    Now only one shelf in my kitchen cupboard has glasses instead of three jam packed shelves.

    Perhaps a sea change for me in more mindful thinking. I used to buy impulsively – no more.

    Good on you for doing another clear out! I can see that once I get to the desired space I will have to often review my needs /stuff and clear out on a regular basis.

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    1. Hi JJ. Thanks for your comment, sorry it has taken me so long to reply! How are you getting on with minimising? I know what you mean about having to buy things sometimes. I too bought some glass mugs that can double for hot and cold drinks! It seems wasteful at the time but they are so much more efficient, simpler and cleaner on the eye than a shelf of mismatched mugs! I’ve done the same with our crockery too, clearly out all the half sets and chipped sets and unsuitable sets (who needs plates that don’t fit on the microwave?!) and have replaced with one new set that meets all our needs. It’s also meant reducing the number of plates we have which was daunting. If we have guests now we’ll need them to bring their own crockery or use paper plates – but you know what? It’s mean a couple of months now and we haven’t been caught out yet! It just shows how we worry ourselves too much about the ‘what ifs’.

      It would be great to hear how you’re getting on.

      Like

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