Minimalism is Relative

Sometimes I dream of a living room with nothing in it but cushions on the floor and a lamp. Then I remember how much I like my overstuffed chair. Last year we went paperless with the exceptions of our child’s schoolwork and the minimal job related paper. It felt good. We did it by going digital by using smartphones, tablets, and our laptops. Not everyone would agree that is minimalism. That’s okay. For a while when I was revved up about becoming a minimalist I looked around the web and compared my lifestyle to others. At times my minimalism has become extreme with The Rule of Three, Aging beauty, and Simple Food. Sometimes those extremes make me happy and sometimes they just bore the heck out of me. What I have found is that minimalism is relative. You can’t compare yourself to others. Go ahead and get all the ideas you want from them then come back and decide what makes YOU happy. There is no manual or number that dictates what it takes to be a minimalist. I compare it to a lecture or workshop. You go and listen, take notes, and then come back to your life and apply what really spoke to you. The rest you let fade away.

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  1. When I first downsized I began to be asked the question “Are you trying to be a minimalist?” I had only heard the term in the context of architecture and needed to look up the definition. What I originally found didn’t suit me. I didn’t want to count my belongings or live in a sparse home. I realize now that I am a minimalist compared to others, but what I am is myself happily living with just the things that make me happy. Whatever the definition I will continue to plod along as I am.

  2. PS: I think our most overt minimalistic example is the fact that we don’t have cable TV. Not a very big stretch for us…but for some people it blows their mind! Pretty funny actually. But I have friends that I admire who live with way less “stuff” than I do. Definitely see the relativity point here!

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