It’s about more than “stuff”.
It’s about more than environmental impact.
It’s about more than frugal living and saving money.
Sure , all the additional perks that go along with owning less stuff is great, but it’s about so much more than anything to do with physical possessions and statistics. I’ll definitely back track in future posts to talk about how to get rid of “stuff” and all of the smaller benefits it brings but if you’re focused on that aspect of minimalism, you’re missing the big picture.
You can obviously do whatever you want, I have no intentions of stopping you but is there really a point to organizing your life, having more time and money just so you can buy a really nice flat screen tv and sit in front of it for five hours a day? That’s no life, and probably one most of us are trying to get away from. You will still be serving the planet with less consumerism which is always a good thing, and you’ll be setting an example that maybe we don’t need as much as we think we do. That being said, why? Tv is a distraction, it’s not living.
We have a lot of free time on our hands when we break free from the shackles of “stuff” and it’s best to use that time making life what we want it to be. Before I got in to minimalism, I didn’t know what I wanted out of life. I didn’t know what I was passionate about, nor did I even know what I liked on a smaller scale. I spent my days working a ton to get money to buy things I thought would make me happy, but I never actually took a moment to sit down and think about what that was. My time was spent working for stuff, acquiring stuff, then being consumed by that stuff.
Which brings me to the point. Minimalism is about purpose, it’s about passion, meaning. It’s not something you’ll think about in the first steps of your journey, but it is something you’ll have to deal with eventually. Getting rid of things can be exciting and new, but what happens when we’ve got some experience under your belt and there’s nothing left to throw away or tidy up? We start to think about our lives and this is where the point of minimalism begins.
With the new free time available, some soul searching isn’t a bad idea. Do I really like watching this much tv or is it just what I’ve always done? Do I actually want to spend my nights staying up late playing video games that add no real benefit to my life? Is the mall where I want to spend a third of my life? The answer for me was no. After some time with myself trying to make sense of my life and trying to find the direction I want to go, I realized everything I want and everything I love is still a part of me. It was just under the masses and masses of things I don’t care about but have taken precedence my whole life.
I love running, I love reading, writing, nature, music, and a whole host of activities that contribute to my life and make me a happier person overall. So instead of watching tv, I’ll put on some music and get things done that I’ve been putting off such as the dishes or cleaning the cat box. I’ll sit down and read a book on Geology, which is another passion I’ve been neglecting because I was busy watching the same Law And Order: SVU I’d already seen four times. I’ll spend time with the people I live with and feel a little more present, like I’m here with them instead of being a zombie staring at a screen.
So, for the sake of our happiness, can we please just take a step back and think, “What is it that I love?” It may not be as easy of a question to answer as it should be, but when we do answer it and put our time and effort in to those things, life becomes a whole lot better.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.”
― Charles Bukowski