My foray into minimalism
I want to make sure that I don’t come through as a fake as I write this post.
Minimalism, as a lifestyle, is not something that I have ever consciously aspired to. If anything, I would be closer to a Maximalist who believes in the “Life is too short, so, have a good time!” philosophy.
A true epicurean!
Though, I may not be ready to take it to the “Live rich and die broke” level.
For that matter, I was not quite sure what minimalism entailed.
Large white sparsely furnished spaces and artwork that show small objects on large canvases come to mind.
My curiosity was piqued when I looked up the profile of Tynan, a blogger that I occasionally read, and it said, “I only have one pair of pants and two shirts.”
It was clear that it was a choice that he had made and not one driven by the lack of money.
So, I decided to explore minimalism a bit more.
To say that interpretations vary, would be an understatement. There were people who sold or gave away their “things” to declutter their lives; people who could fit all their worldly possessions in a backpack; people who quit their jobs and took up nomadic lifestyles…
Mostly stuff that I could not relate to.
It appeared that minimalism did not always translate to “cheap.” On the contrary, some of the practitioners of minimalism left me wondering, if they were independently wealthy. The pursuit of quality vs. quantity appeared to be the underlying sentiment – be it things, jobs, relationships, etc.
Then I stumbled upon a question that I could finally relate to but did not have an answer for:
“When do you know that you have enough?”
Not surprisingly, if you Googled this question, almost all the answers you get are related to money – enough money to retire; enough insurance etc. While the requirement of money is a no-brainer, I decided to explore other aspects of “enough” as it pertains to a minimalist lifestyle to see how I compared.
Do I have enough home?
I would say, yes. Having sold my house and moved to a condominium, I seem to be on the right track here. In case you are wondering, I have no plans to sell my house and hit the road or join a monastery, yet.
Do I have enough car?
“Yes,” to that too. Though I had no minimalistic intentions while replacing our gas guzzlers for hybrid cars, I will take an “X” on that box.
As I went through a mental list of “do I have enough?” that covered food, clothes, furniture, artwork, etc., I stopped at electronic gadgets.
Do I have enough electronic gadgets that make me happy?
Sheepishly, I have to admit that I have more gadgets than I need, or have a use for.
I have an opportunity to take my first step towards minimalism – declutter my tech junk draw.
But then, why would I give these things away? I have been holding on to them “just in case” I needed them in the future. Not to mention the fact that I paid good money for some of it.
So, I read more about the virtues of decluttering – selling or donating stuff that you don’t need.
I got more questions back.
Are the things that you don’t need – in my case, old smartphones and other mobile gadgets – adding value to my life and making me happy?
The answer was a resounding “no,” they are sitting in a draw and certainly not adding any value or happiness to my life.
Could these things potentially add value to someone else’s life, or make them happy?
I had to reluctantly admit that it potentially could bring happiness to someone else.
Then, why not give it to them?
I was stumped. The logic made sense.
There is something liberating about being able to let go, even when they are only old iPhones that you no longer use.
The feeling of enough!
So, I have decided to give away a few gadgets that I have not touched in over a year.
My first foray into minimalism…
So, do you think that there is merit in minimalism? Click here to add your comments.