Detour ahead! Minimalism has not been as easy, as I thought it would be. I envisioned our lives as minimalists being carefree, running through the woods hiking, taking long bike rides, sitting on beaches in far off countries, and just living our best life. While that is certainly attainable for some that isn’t the case with our family.
When I first spoke about minimalism to my husband, I was hungry for new beginnings. I wanted to start over in a sense. I wanted less of everything that was crowding our lives. I began to fiercely go through my items, and get rid of things that I didn’t use. It started off as just decluttering a bit. That turned into trying to live with only what I truly needed. That worked for me. My husband on the other hand didn’t understand why we had to get rid of everything. He wants to keep every shirt he’s ever owned. As we discussed our points of view, I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t explaining my side well enough. He wasn’t seeing how much easier life would be with less.
I felt completely confused, and struggled to understand, why he wasn’t jumping into this with both feet, the same way I did. Then it occurred to me that, I haven’t been trustworthy with my spending in the past. His defense was that every time we get rid of stuff, we go out to replace those items. I know this was true in the past, but I have to prove to him that this isn’t a fad. I can see the changes in myself and my eagerness to stay the course. So I reminded him of my shirt, he recently placed on the lamp to make the lighting less bright in our room. The shirt got burned and literally crumbled in the washing machine! My first thought was not to replace this shirt, instead it was a sense of relief as one more item left our home. What my husband thought though, was that I would need to run out to the store to get a replacement.
So as our discussion went on, he realized the changes I was making were for the betterment of myself. I am no longer asking him to rid his closet of his high school Cross Country Team shirts.(I know, Right!?) His items may mean more to him, than what my items mean to me. I didn’t consider that when I started this journey. My husband rarely buys anything. He uses what he has, but when he receives something new he treasures it and maintains it. He takes great care of things and I admire that about him.
This leads me to my next life lesson. We don’t all have to travel on the same path, to get to the same destination. While my husband has said he likes the idea of our family becoming minimalists, his route looks different than mine. Instead of decluttering first, he chooses to not buy any unnecessary items. He will eventually declutter his closet or tools but for now, I will work around his stuff. Every path to minimalism looks different! While we all want the same end result these are not all identical. The end goal is to live a fuller life with fewer things getting in the way.
My next big life lesson came in the form of my best friend buying a new home. I remember being so excited for her, and wanting to hear all about how she was going to decorate. She has an absolutely beautiful home! What was so mind opening for me was, when I visited her and she told me that she loved her kitchen cabinets because they were “HER STYLE.” They were not the trendy new farmhouse style of white with black handles, or what we see in every magazine, or home remodel show. They were what she liked. That was so refreshing to me. It was almost as if, without evening realizing, she was going against the grain and doing what was right for her. She didn’t feel the need to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. WOW! I left her home feeling excited and I knew that I wanted to do the same.
My final life lesson is that, I realized there are people out there that are just like me! There are people who have found their passion for living with less. They want to share this passion because it has truly changed their lives. They are finding contentment in living simply. When I decided to start this journey, I figured there were a few well known minimalists in the world. I didn’t consider all the others out there, that are not well known, but are still choosing this path. I am finding community with like minded people. It is so refreshing to know you are not alone!
If you are just beginning your journey, know that you are not alone, We don’t all take the same path to get here but we all want the same end results. Your journey is yours and you have the freedom to like what you like! Don’t fall into the trap of being like everyone else because it is what you are told is best. Find what you like and stick with that!
Come back and read my next post, where I discuss how minimalism has changed my life! You don’t want to miss it!
Live Simply Friends,