COLLECT MOMENTS, NOT THINGSPAULO COELHO
My husband and I initially started our lives together with 4 suitcases, we moved into a rental and needed to buy everything from scratch. We accumulated a lot in that little rental and this was before we bought a house, adopted dogs, and had our child. I spent every paycheck buying things for the house, things for us, spending enormous amounts on food, eating out and just being generally lavish.
When we got pregnant, I spent so much time scouring the net for things to purchase for my child. It was just ridiculous how much time and money I would spend before the baby was even born. Then came all the gifts that people gave me and my house just exploded with things. The first 2 years of Ardyns life saw me buy everything I thought she would need. You learn very quickly that most of those things you don’t need. They are just things that look nice and seem nice to have. They are novelty items, and children are rather simple creatures who don’t care about the fancy stuff. When Ardyn turned just 2 months, we upgraded our car to a family SUV, because we felt it would be safer for our child. We had a dependable car before that, there was no need to buy a bigger one.
The aimless spending was eating into our lives at such a fast rate. We had a house that was packed to the brim, we couldn’t keep it clean and tidy anymore. We had endless arguments trying to clean it up, and our stuff was driving us crazy. We were arguing about the lack of space and why we couldn’t clean up. I watched a few episodes of “Tidying up with Mari Kondo”, and then a documentary on minimalism and the light switched on for me. I watched more and more content on how to become a minimalist, learning what it is about and how could we do it. I began gradually on our journey as we planned our move to another country.
The real breaking point, however, came when we had a few days to pack up our house and we just couldn’t do it. We were so stressed, I was crying over the sheer amount of stuff that I hadn’t seen or known I had stored away. There were so many clothes, shoes, make-up, books e.t.c. I told myself and my family we would never live like this again. We will never accumulate so much stuff, and we will never consume the way we did before. We took the essentials, sold some stuff and gave most away.
Its been almost a year since we began our minimalism journey and this still rings true. We are still on our way, learning what minimalism means to us a family, but we couldn’t be happier or more content. We focus on quality and not quantity. Shopping has become a thoughtful process for us. We look at need and want and make room for both. We look at our budget before we purchase things, we never did this before, we bought now, and looked at the budget later. I’m not saying we don’t buy nice things or enjoy stuff. We do, but we are more intentional in how we consume than we were before. This lifestyle has trickled down into every aspect of our life. It makes you cut down any negative vibes, negative people, and things that don’t bring you joy. You let go of situations that don’t allow you to grow.
It has allowed me to grow into a person who does not care about who has what, and how much they have compared to me. Life is about “moments”, and relationships. Stuff has an expiry date, it can be used and thrown away and it can be bought again. Can you do this with time, life, and people? At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have, but who you are.
Share your experience on minimalism with me in the comments
Love and Light,