When I started telling people I was a minimalist, some had no idea what it was, why I would want to live this way, and some were pretty critical. Today I wanted to share why I chose minimalism and what it has changed in our lives. When I first heard about minimalism I honestly don’t remember what I thought it was exactly, but I knew I loved the idea of simple living. I dreamed of living on a farm, spending hours outdoors, living off the land and certainly off the grid. When I learned what minimalism was and that I could actually pursue a life of less, I was all in.
That being said, my friends and family looked like deer in the headlights when I first talked about this lifestyle. Some were confused by it, and others were actually a bit critical. They didn’t fully understand it and thought we were going to go off the deep end and would start living with only a backpack and a few essential items. That isn’t the case at all though. Choosing to live with less has opened up a whole new world for us.
To start at the beginning, I will let you in on a few secrets of mine. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. I loved the idea of making art projects with my kids, making delicious gourmet meals, cleaning the house to perfection, and snuggling babies all day long. Then lupus joined my party. I was tired, fatigued, achy, and I felt like a light switch had gone off and I was this new person that was far less than who I wanted to be. I struggled to think straight and couldn’t remember things moments after being told. I felt like I was living in a dense fog that I couldn’t see through.
When minimalism was introduced to me, I didn’t know how much it would help me. I had no idea the amount of joy, it would bring me. While I still have occasional flares, I can say that my health has been better than it was years ago. I actually am currently dealing with a mild flare due to my Blood Pressure being high and beginning a new medication. So this is on my heart right now. In years past when I would flare I would find myself crying in my bed because I was missing out on life and I had stuff I needed to do. I had loads of laundry, house work, meal prep, and all that comes with being a homemaker. I would make myself sicker, by worrying about all that I wasn’t getting done. Thankfully I have an incredible husband, who never hesitates to pick up the slack, and is my number one support when it comes to my health.
So as I am currently, in a state of fatigue and shakes, I can say that I am not worried about the house, or chores that need to be done. I can sit on the couch and write this because I have found peace in the journey. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I am a strong woman that has been handed some junk, but it is part of my journey and I will survive.
When I first discovered minimalism one thing that stuck out to me the most was the idea that I didn’t need to “manage” all the stuff I owned. Before this, I didn’t realize I had been managing so much. I was just used to doing it all, and trying to stay afloat. Now I can ask myself, if each item is worth the time and energy it takes for me to manage it. Most of the time the answer is no. I also learned that if you are holding an item in your hand and asking if it is worth managing and it isn’t a clear YES, then it is probably a NO. Let it go and move on.
I decided for myself that minimalism was a good fit for our family. When I am not constantly managing all that we own, I have time to rest, read, play, and do the things that matter the most to me. I don’t feel the weight of the rat race, trying to push forward and win. I am much more peaceful and rested. Knowing that my lupus is a very real problem, choosing to take on a minimalist life gave me peace of mind.
Along with all the fatigue and aches, I also really didn’t have the mental capacity to think ahead or stay in the moment. When I gave up all the stuff, I found space to let my mind expand. I wasn’t thinking about things yet to do, or unfinished work. I had the time to rest which in turn gave my brain a break. Now when my kids are talking to me, I can listen and respond. I can remember things that I couldn’t before. I am not just reacting to the moments, I am able to mentally respond in a way that is kind and thoughtful.
While I am in no way saying that if you have a medical condition, Minimalism will fix it. However, I do believe, living this way, has lifted a weight off me so I can live more, and worry less. I can enjoy the simple things. So how do we decide what makes the cut to stay in our home? We ask simple questions. For example I was holding onto some Christmas Decor recently that I loved. While holding each item I asked myself, is this item worth my time, energy and effort to manage it? Most things I was able to part with. While many items were cute, and I enjoyed them, they were not worth managing for me.
Managing your items isn’t always easy. We don’t actually think of each items cost for living in our home. If you have to care for it, clean it, put new batteries in it, or store it 9 months out of the year, those are all costs to keeping items. You should weigh each item by this measure. Our time and energy are worth more than a sticker price. Why allow yourself to feel that weight of stuff when you can simply choose to manage less?
What are you managing today that isn’t worth your time and energy? When you start removing items from your home it is like opening space not just in your home, but also inside of yourself. You can breathe freely, and think clearly.
Live Simply Friends,