The beautiful author of Mind. Beauty. Simplicity wrote The 10 Misconceptions of Being A Minimalist last week. I love that she wrote about this topic. Oftentimes people spend a little bit of time observing me, noticing that I only wear black dresses to work, and rarely, if ever, talk about any shopping besides grocery shopping. Then they notice that I’m regularly bringing in things from the BMM house that I decluttered. They ask “do you have anything left inside your home?” I smile and kindly say “We have everything that we need, love, and use.” Inevitably someone says, “You’re a minimalist, aren’t you?” I smile again and say, “I guess you could say that.”
Personally, I hate labels. Say your vegan. Watch everyone roll their eyes or push their plates away from themselves. I was vegan for a couple of years. I did it because my body was really inflamed after living for 30 years eating foods that I was in fact allergic to. Who knew that your tongue wasn’t supposed to tingle after eating a kiwi? Eating the vegan way helped my body recover and heal. I was doing vegan to literally heal my body. Not to judge others. Yet everyone assumed I was judging. I didn’t judge. I was focused on recovery and healing my body. I stayed in my own vegan lane.
When it comes to minimalism, I try to avoid that label too. People assume I’m an all woo-woo, black belt sustainable, rich, and really miserable living in a home with nothing inside it. Hahaha! That couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes I do love my local natural store and I do try to fix things with natural herbs and food but the woo-woo’ness came long before the minimalism. If you read about my May 2021 challenge on trying to reduce the BMM household waste, you will learn that it’s a constant struggle to be Pinterest or Instagram-worthy sustainable. I waved the white flag of surrender and decided that I would absolutely avoid plastic shopping bags 100% of the time. (This is totally within my skills and ability to make that happen). The rest of the zero waste/ sustainable movement is optional for me to try as an experiment. As you may also know, I’m on my third no spend year because I have student loan debt and I’m by no means rich. I’m happy but not rich.
The minimalism label that couldn’t be further from the truth is that I’m miserable living in a home with nothing inside. I have experienced childhood trauma that left me with perfectionist, people pleasing, and borderline OCD tendencies that are very hard to manage. My anxiety is high unfortunately like my blood pressure, which is also unfortunately high. Living the minimalist way has helped me reduce the visual noise or clutter or stuff management duties so that I could enjoy being home.
Before embarking on this minimalist journey, I always had the feeling that I needed to manage the stuff. I rarely sat down to read or watch TV. Going for family walks or bicycle rides would have been 100% out of the picture. I shopped so that I could stay away from our home. It’s been an interesting experience to see my mindset shift from maximalist to minimalist and everything that goes along with it. Judging (pun intended) by the number of books that I read each year (connect with me on Goodreads!), I’m finding more and more space to read. I love being on the minimalist journey. I never in a million years would have expected to be on a journey where my student loans would be paid off before I turned 65. I never thought working towards fully paying off our home was in a realm of possibilities. And never, ever would I have thought that there was a chance I would retire before 80. But here we are and it looks like all of that is going to happen well before I originally expected.
Three years ago I officially kicked off my personal KonMari tidying event. It started as a triple-dog-dare to myself. Before I walked into my local library I said to myself, “If the Marie Kondo books are available, this is the weekend to read and declutter.” Low and behold, guess what I found? The Life-Changing Magic … Continue reading How Minimalism Has Helped me Communicate
I’ve been a runner for over 15 years. It’s something I picked up in my mid-20s. I dabbled in the beginning years. Over the last couple of years, it’s MY THING. I love to run. I run on vacation. I run a couple times a week. I love competing against myself. I am always asking … Continue reading Why Do we Tie Salary to Worth?
In 2015 I left public accounting to work locally in a hospital’s finance department. Public accounting was more fun than I expected it to be. The recruiters during college made public accounting out to sound awful. They tried to bribe me with bagels to come work for their company. Nice try. I wasn’t working a … Continue reading Signaling Change to the Universe