There’s been a lot of talk on the blogs (or at least the ones I read), about minimalism: in the mainstream, its future, its relevence. I love minimalism, & think it’s incredibly amazing what some people can do with so little.
That being said, I am not a minimalist. I could never be a minimalist. There are times I’d like to be, when I think my life would be calmer with fewer things. But the truth is, I need more than one set of plates – I’m just not the sort of person who does the dishes every night. I need more than one set of sheets – I often don’t change them until just before bed, & I’m certainly not going to stay up longer to wash one set just because I want to sleep on clean sheets. I still have lots of appliances, although I’ve passed on my bread machine & I still haven’t replaced the mixer I broke making gingerbread cookies. But I still have the crockpot, the juicer, the blender, the toaster (I suppose I could get rid of this since I can’t eat bread), the George Foreman grill (couldn’t live without it!), the tiny coffee maker, the food processor, & the popcorn machine. All of these items get used, albeit some more than others.
I have pared down many of my belongings – books I’ve no desire to read (let’s face it, I’d rather watch The Tudors than read academic prose about them), extraneous pots & pans (two people really only need one small & one big pot, you know?), lots of clothes I don’t really like wearing, cosmetics I don’t use, jewelry I kept for god-only-knows why, MANY t-shirts (how many grey Ohio State t-shirts do I really need?). In a rather awesome move, The Boy & I donated our VHS tapes to the library sale – they sold rather quickly. We jotted down which ones we’d like to replace on DVD someday, but to our surprise, there weren’t all that many. Apparently we could have done this a long time ago!
So while I may admire the people who can get their posessions under 100, I’ll never be among them. Personally, I don’t know how they can do it, what with so many little things to keep on hand – Q-tips? Cotton balls? Band-aids? Don’t those count? Neither of us are sickly, but it’s a lot easier to grab some Aleve or VapoRub from the cabinet than to run to the store at the first sniffle. I probably have 100 things just in the bathroom, even if some of those things are only used once in a while.
But I have embraced simplicity, & found a lot of better ways to do things because of it. Coconut & jojoba oil instead of a variety of lotions, creams, & body butters? Amazing. Bar soap instead of a bottle? Fabulous. Realizing I don’t need a new loofah every month? Incredible. I love washcloths (which I had anyways) so much better!
My books & DVDs are my comfort. The things hanging on my walls make my home. The action figures & art on my desk walls? Those define who I am. I think there’s a lot of beauty in minimalism, but I think there’s more comfort in a print here or there, a fun mug (or twenty – can’t seem to part with those), & a closet with a variety of clothes. Most days I prefer to wear white or black, but some days I really need to wear raspberry or sky blue.
When I first starting blogging, I hadn’t intended to blog about simplicity. “Simply Sunshine” was just a name I liked – I’ve been sunnysky on LiveJournal since 2001, & I just liked the idea of keeping the theme. I thought I’d blog a bit about everything I love, but I think I’ve found a niche here. Simplicity is attainable for many more people than minimalism, although I think we share a lot of the same goals. I think it’s what made primal attractive to me – simplifying nutrition & activity seemed like the next logical step. I know I’m healthier, physically inside & out, emotionally, & spiritually since I embraced it. Getting ready in the morning is quick & simple, food preparation is a breeze (but still fun!), I’ve more time & energy during the day, & I sleep like a rock at night. I may only wear three different pairs of shoes, but my feet no longer hurt!
I don’t miss wanting it all – I’m much more content this way. & that’s a rather nice way to live.