Stepping into minimalism

For years I’ve thrown around the term minimalist, not until recently really understanding its meaning. This year I set upon a journey, like so many before me, seeking to turn something or a few somethings around. Frequent and excessive consumerism; unnecessary car and motorcycle changes, 3 pushbikes, 8 helmets, 4 bike jackets, countless gadgets, (all the latest models). Running (gear and trainer) obsessions, diet adventures and more roller skates, skateboards, longboards, surf skates and belly boards than a single mid 40’s man should rightly own. Don’t think of all the freediving stuff or every sport wetsuits. Then there’s the wardrobe. A bag, perfect for each specific activity. Wouldn’t one bag have done the job? Any of this sounds familiar? Maybe just another lightsaber, another exclusive Lego starship or maybe another tattoo to fill that void. Physically and metaphorically!

Increasing debt to match the increasing salary, to match the increasing amount of drawers filled with essential items I just had to have to complete that package of items that would make a certain scenario just right. The bigger house.

I knew it was getting out of hand. Lots of shiny new apparent value items all the time, distractions rather than focusing on addressing a mounting pile of problems. I have always been great at paying off debt but surely the time was now to stop starting any new ones. But how?

I hate cleaning, but boy I love tidying. Everything has its place etc.. The feeling of calm a good tidy brings up is almost addictive. I have enough history in that area, though free from all but a few food bad habits, oh for the sweet stuff, I know and recognise bad behaviour. It’s not a fair weather friend I want to keep playing out with. So with a counterweight attitude I have for acquiring shiny objects, balanced with a desire to put it all away safe I needed to nip one in the bud and use the other to achieve it. It was time to start pairing down. I would buy some books to learn how!

Heard of @TheMinimalists ?

Heard of the ‘Project 333’ by Courtney Carver Surviving with 33 items of clothing for three months?

Heard of Leo Babauta, Joshua Becker, Patrick Rhone?

Kindle app and podcast app in hand I started to read and listen.

The identification, particularly with The Minimalists was extraordinary. Two men having experienced a staggering amount of similar life experience to myself had found a way to change their lives to address similar problems, who collated and posed a number of reasons to go minimal that spoke to each of my base concerns, the things I was seeking to address. Guess what they were advising; so many things I had been playing around with for years.

Shortly after my minimalist eureka moment, preparing my mother-in-law to never buy me presents again, I told her I had become a minimalist. She laughed out loud and said ‘becoming?!’ Clearly I had started a long time ago, just never putting a label to it. Well now I have, I’ve become a minimalist. It’s time to pair down. I just didn’t expect the flood and I didn’t expect to have my new methods tested to the extreme, quite so soon. More to come after I describe how I began, then accelerated the pairing down process.

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