Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Being a Minimalist vs. being a Consumerist

There's a growing trend about being a minimalist.     Minimalist's goals are to live with as little as possible, and some are even living with just 100 items.     They say living with less is more freeing, and less focusing on getting more and more and relying on that for happiness.    Minimalists are on a constant quest to own practically "nothing".    Their happiness is based on the ability to live without - because even something fun or pleasurable is almost considered sinful.     Their spaces often look cold and feel uncomfortable,  and lack personality or style.  I love a great new kitchen gadget, or a variety of shirts to choose from.     When I see something that will make a part of life easier, or more fun, or make me feel a little better, there's nothing wrong with adding it to my life.   My happiness is from something deeper and I don't base it on possessions.  

On the other end of the spectrum we have consumerists.    Those who have to go out and buy the latest thing, or just keep adding to what they already have without a real purpose, or just because it's "pretty" "neat" "cool" or "pleasing to the eye".   There is no real purpose for buying other than it makes the person feel good just to look at it, so they must have it.    Some who have the unlimited resources will make sure it is brand spanking new  - while others who have more financial limitations will go on the hunt for the most inexpensive means possible to get that item, whether it is searching for the best price or buying it gently used.  Or some will just go to store after store, or garage sale after garage sale, or site after site and see something that will make them feel good and just keep buying.    They end up accumulating so much stuff that their life has become a cycle of getting the next best thing, while the old items find their way into the corners of their dwellings, unused and unappreciated.    Often it ends up as clutter, or a waste of money.    I have never been one to "keep up with the Jones'" - and find this to be very limiting and can cause a real lack of creativity in one's life. 

Part of Living Well is enjoying the things I have without trying to get rid of things that I will use for a maximum for every couple of years, and on the other hand, not hanging on to things that I have no use for and have little meaning.   So I often go through the house and purge things - donate or recycle those things that are now just taking up space in my home that someone else will could have a use for.

I have gotten a lot better about bringing things into my life.   In my younger years I used to get things just to "have" them because I like them, even if they didn't serve a real purpose in my life.   Now I like to have things that provide a use or purpose more than anything, and that keeps things in my home manageable and enjoyable without the home looking like a sterile environment with no personality, or a big cluttered mess.  

I love this example of a space with style.   There are just enough items that gives personality to a space.   A well-thought-out design, not cluttered yet not empty and boring.   A space where the resident feels happy and a guest would be very comfortable. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

It has been about 4 years since I've blogged here.   I am picking it up again and changing the theme of this blog to reflect my current life of pursuing living well, one step at a time - to a better, fuller, more simplified life.   Encompassing a richer spiritual life, a  fulfilling family life, an organized home and a healthy eating plan are the focused building blocks to a harmonized state of being.

I look forward to sharing here what I've been up to - what's new and exciting and what's working!