After writing this, I began to read more about minimalism. And I’ve discovered that it is BIG. There are books and talks and capital B Blogs and lowercase b blogs on the subject. Lives have been changed and homes have been tidied. It’s apparent that many people are fed up with consumerism and its discontents and looking to change and all of this is very very good.
It also occurred to me that I’m not a very good minimalist after all. I have no idea how many things I own, my closet is a mess and, while I do value the goal of owning less, there are many things that I value more. In short, I’ve discovered that I don’t want minimalism itself to occupy space in my life. I don’t want to count objects or develop a capsule wardrobe. All I want to do is focus my energy on those things that bring meaning to my life, at the expense of everything else. And while stuff doesn’t bring meaning to me on it’s own, a lack of stuff doesn’t do much for me either.
The message, focus on what’s really important, is so simple and universal that it may be a little silly to be writing it down at all. But the question that follows is so important and potentially complex that it merits a thousand blog posts. So just what then is it that brings meaning to your life and how do you find it? While the obvious answer is that everyone has to figure this out for his/herself, I’ve learned enough about what is important to me to want to share.
Being something of a minimalist on the word front, there is no way that I can tackle this in a single post but I do want to say that pretty much everything that I value most falls into one (or, preferably several) of three categories:
It also stands that nearly all of the traps that I fall into occur while searching for something that can be found in one of those categories. I find that by beginning to see how and where I satisfy my needs in relation to these things, I am better able filter the rest. My intention is to write about each one and how it relates to my life. But, to anyone in an introspective mood, I suggest picking one of those categories and asking yourself: how do I best satisfy my need for this?