Some people may see this blog a joining in the minimalism movement that is happening across the world. While it is to a degree, this is my journey, and what matters to some people may not matter to other people. The journey to minimalism is a unique journey for each and every one of us.
So I wish to write my story about why I am joining the minimalism train and learning to unravel my life. To remind myself why I am doing this even though it is embedded in my life history.
I grew up in a fairly typical Sydney family (at least I felt it was typical). I am the eldest of two boys and we were each allowed two hobbies in life, a sport (I was a swimmer even though my body shows none of the signs) and a musical instrument (it is the piano if you would like to know). We were each brought up with only being provided the things that we asked for that were deemed necessary by our parents. We always felt this was unfair given our friends at school had items we wanted but were not allowed to own.
We were always taught that money didn’t grow on trees and that we needed to work to earn it. Now as much as that sounds unfair to a teenager who wanted to look cool, it did teach me a valuable lesson. Although I now come to realise why this is such a valuable lesson and one that I will teach to my daughter and future children.
Going to uni, I had a job at the pool that lasted through the three months of summer, and I had to stretch out that money across the remaining nine months. I learned when I could spend money and what I could spend it on. Sometimes I would spend it on things that I didn’t need, and they piled up in my bedroom. Some of these things I still keep with me today even though I have used them a handful of times if that. These are items I can make do without yet I keep them because I purchased them with hard-earned cash at the time.
So I have items that add little meaning to my life, that I carry through life without using them to warrant owning them at the moment. I would like to pare down these items, but I just can’t seem to let go of them because I might need them “just in case” although I will not likely use them again.
All these items burden me without physically burdening me, hence why I am looking to join the minimalism train and unravel my life. The Minimalists write about how removing the items from your life that do not add value helps to create a meaningful life.
This is something that I am struggling with at the moment, working out what is important to me and purging everything else from my life. My biggest challenge is changing. I am hanging on to my old ways because that is what I know and understand even though I could be living a more meaningful and less burdensome life purging items that do not add value. I need to change my way of thinking and learning to value the important and not the unimportant.
So what is the lesson from my life to date? We think that we need everything that money can buy, however, it does not necessarily lead to happiness. The number of possessions, and the amount of money that we have does not equal happiness.
Relationships are what matter most, and I value the relationship I have with my gorgeous wife and beautiful daughter. I want to spend my time with them and not unhappy with possessions that add no value to my life. People add value to our lives, not possessions.
I will end this post with a quote from the Minimalists podcast that reminds me of my realisation about happiness, people and possessions.
Love people, and use things, because the opposite never works.