Things I miss - 3 years a Minimalist
I don't know the exact date I became a Minimalist. There was no light bulb moment. It was a gradual process. It started as simple decluttering, which led to me doing lots of reading by other minimalists, which led to me eventually realising I was a Minimalist. But it coincided with my youngest boy, Ezra, being born, and he is now 3 and a half.
So with 3 years of Minimalism under my belt, and thousands of things parted with, the two big questions are;
What do I miss? And what of all those things have I had to go out and replace?
Nothing. And None.
Seriously, out of thousands upon thousands of items gone, there isn't a single thing I can think of that I miss. I've wracked my brain trying to remember if there is something we have gone out and bought that we had previously cleared out, and neither myself nor my Husband can think of a single thing.
In all honesty there have probably been moments we have thought we had something, and then realised it didn't make the cut. Whatever those items were though, we were obviously able to continue on without them.
The fact of the matter is, when trying to think about what I miss, all I can think about is how much I've gained.
We now have more time. Quite possibly my favourite of the things we've gained. Time for each other, time for adventure, time to do more of what we love, time to say Yes more. I no longer feel stressed about the state of my home, nor feel I should be using my time to get on top of all that unsurmountable housework. No matter what sort of turmoil my children unleash, it never takes me longer than 30 minutes to get the whole house back to "show-home" status. (The fact I know it will only take that long is why it never actually looks like that though.) But that freedom from chasing a perceived perfection is an amazing benefit of minimalism too. Everything has a home, and a purpose, so tidying up has never been easier. (Even though we now have far less furniture than ever before.) Knowing that even at it's messiest you're never far from being "guest ready" is really quite freeing.
That freedom is another thing we have gained. I've always felt quite tied to "Home" and "Stuff" and I was so unaware of the restrictions it placed on us until we learnt to let them go. From simple things like last summer being able to partake in a House Swap because I had no qualms about someone else living in my home and using my stuff. Since those things were no longer held too tightly. To feeling more open to change and possibility. A friend once sent me an article about a family that moved into a bus and travelled the country with their children for a year. Aside from the obvious horrors of living in such a confined space with all my children, the idea of packing up and taking off actually terrified me. I was too attached to these old bricks, and the question of "What would we do with all our stuff?" rang loudly in my ears. I'm not sure in reality I'd ever convince my Husband to do such a thing, and I'm not sure who'd be bankrolling such a venture, but the idea excites now, where it once terrified.
I'm sorry if you started reading this blog post in hopes of having your doubts about minimalism vindicated. If you were hoping I would confirm your worst fears of parting with all those items you think you might just, perhaps, maybe, someday need, It simply isn't so.
A life with less stuff is actually a life that gives so much more than it ever takes.
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