“Walking in the woods forces me back to nature, quiets my mind, calms my spirit and quenches my soul.”
I’m entering this Friday’s Phlog in The Daily Post Minimalist Photo Challenge where you can view hundreds of photos. The minimalist theme appealed to me, after all I’m a minimalist at heart. I took this photo during a walk in the woods; an up close view of a log with the forest blurred in the background. We often walk by fallen logs without giving it a second thought. Up close the colours and textures are beautiful and the fallen logs play home to many walks of life. Walking in the woods forces me back to nature, quiets my mind, calms my spirit and quenches my soul. I call it wakeful meditation.
This past weekend a freshly pressed blog caught my attention, apparently caught the attention of a lot of people, a minimalist starter guide. I’m a minimalist at heart, I think we (society) carry too much baggage and we put way too much stock into material things. I see it in my neighbourhood, I see it in the malls and I see it in my own home. Who hasn’t been sucked into consumerism? Spent way too much on the latest car, the best furniture or the perfect jeans. Count me in, I’m guilty but what is all this consumerism costing us? I think back to my parents day and if you didn’t have the money for an item you didn’t buy it. Is there something wrong with this way of thinking, or is it better to go and buy the item you can’t afford, put it on your Visa and pay a ridiculous amount of interest. Re-furnish your house and don’t pay anything for two years. Problem is two years goes by mighty fast and guess what all that money you were gonna put away, you didn’t and you’re sitting in the same boat two years later except now you have to start making payments and pay through the nose.
My husband likes lots of stuff, he collects sports items and for any of you who live with a collector you know that the word collector really should be changed to hoarder! Ok so our house doesn’t resemble anything like the reality tv show Hoarder. However, if you came to my house and entered our garage I warn you that you just might not be able to find your way back out. It’s bad, the garage is where my husband stashes his stuff because I don’t want all that stuff in our house. Am I a control freak? If you happen to be talking to my husband he’ll tell you yes and a neat freak too! In reality we just have two very different perspectives. Can you identify with this line from minimalist lifestyle blog “stressed about money and bills and all the clutter and stuff you have? Arguing with your partner about money problems?” or how about this “there is no correlation between spending and happiness.” oh sure you get a little bit of a “high” at the time but it quickly wears off.” Three very important statements. I believe over consumerism brings chaos to your life and negative energy to your space. I know I feel that way about clutter, living with two boys, my husband and my mother-in-law the clutter can get out of hand. I notice when the clutter gets really bad I get really bitchy! As soon as we get the clutter out of the way I notice that I start to feel calm again.
So back to the question – Minimalist, is it really possible? I guess you have to first decide how much of a minimalist you want to be. Do you want furniture or do you want to live with just the very basics – like pictured below:
Can’t say I could do this as I need a bigger table and at least five chairs. Personally I like to be raised off the floor when I’m sleeping. I guess I’m not a complete minimalist, just someone who wants more balance in her life, less clutter and less bills. My idea of a minimalist is to buy only what you need, save cash for what you buy and no more clutter – a place for everything. Now back to our garage, I have a simple answer: a) back in our pick-up truck b) load it with all the stuff and c) head to the nearest Salvation Army. A simple, concise and concrete idea that is true to the minimalist’s heart. Now only if I could get my husband to see it that way!