I’m a minimalist for more than five years. I need few things, I have few things, my clothes fit into one drawer and as a family of three, we used to have only four mugs in our kitchen for everyday use. I’m a minimalist and I’ve got many benefits from it. And recently I’m observing a change in myself. Maybe I should call it a life after minimalism.
Now I tend to be more and more easy-going in terms of money, buying, things, clothing, rules, attitude to people. It seems to be something against minimalism, but we’ll see how it’ll develop.
Let’s look what’s inside me now.
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5 Thoughts After 5 Years of Minimalism
1. I understood the non-minimalists’ point of view
In our family I’m the person who organizes home spaces. I’m the person who prepares meals, cleans up, tidies up, does laundry, puts clothes on their places, puts everything in its place, dresses up, washes and helps boys with the toilet.
As my toddlers are growing up and while I’m changing my worldviews and character, I start to appreciate comfort. I appreciate having a little more to make things easier and more comfortable.
I want that my 3-year old has slightly more pairs of socks than he needs. I prefer this kind of excess rather than trying to find a solution when last pairs got dirty or wet and we need to look properly or go out right now.
I want to have excessive linens to be able to change it and enjoy the feeling and smell of freshly washed linens instead of doing the laundry right away to avoid the situation when I have no reserve clean linens.
I want to do makeup a bit more often. I want to learn to do it.
I want to have long hair which needs more time to care about it and probably more cosmetics and things to stay in good condition and look good.
I want to buy candles.
I want my children to have a room full of toys they like. I want them to have a choice. I don’t want to limit them for some abstract idea of minimalism, essentialism, ecology or anti-consumerism. I want them to have beautiful things that make them have a good time and develop, and think, and ask, and have many new and new ideas.
2. Is there a sense in possessing less?
To possess as little as we can. To possess only what we really need. You know what? It’s easy. It’s completely easy. If you only can free yourself of emotions or memories connected with items, you can rid of literally everything. To leave items like clothes, toothbrush, and devices to work on – it is easy.
I think everyone could do what I did. But for what reason? Minimalism is a fantastic experiment. But should it last forever?
Minimalism is very useful when you travel a lot. Traveling light vs. traveling unconscious about the things we take and reasons why we take them is a big difference.
But do you need minimalism to stay with you forever when you live in an apartment in a city, having a family? What is the sense in having no candles or limiting the number of clothes? It isn’t necessary. Is it wise?
3. I can have more things but I’m not attached to them
There is a benefit of minimalism, a change in myself that will stay with me even if I’d decide to leave the path of minimalism. And it’s the ability to not be attached to things. This ability makes it easier to get rid of useless items. I also learned that life without a physical equivalent of memories (souvenirs, mementos) is possible and that it is actually pleasant because I can live here and now and not carry the past with me, not living with the past in my current drawers and wardrobes.
As a result of this emotional distance, I wouldn’t cry if I’d lose my clothes, kitchenware or other things, even my notebooks. My items are replaceable: tops, mugs, socks, cutlery, toothbrush… I’m not attached.
I’d cry only after losing, for example, my passport or access to my Internet profiles. But with some problems, I can get also them back or get new.
4. I’ll play more society games, even these requiring buying or having and using more stuff
I have a thought that minimalism is a kind of youth rebellion. Being a minimalist is a disagreement with how the world is. We rebel against advertisement, consumption, gifts, makeup, plastic, stuff from Asia etc.
But after the period of radical minimalism, the period of discrediting, rebel and denying, I need to find my golden mean between the world and my ideas about the ideal world. I could live radically, buying almost nothing, refusing to do makeup and so on, but such behavior separates me from people around me.
What could my life after minimalism look like?
It’s time for me to get back to the social game of buying new clothes when old ones just don’t look as new, although they still serve their purpose. It’s time to get back to taking care of how my apartment looks like, not only if it serves my needs. It’s time to cook unhealthy anything from time to time to invite someone to a dinner.
5. I’ve tried being eco-friendly, I’ve tried to live zero-waste. And…
When I started getting more conscious about the condition of our planet, I wanted to live eco-friendly. I changed my habits, I thought about the impact of my every littlest action on the planet. I did well in terms of environment friendliness. No disposable tissues, no paper towels, avoiding putting things in a shop to new packaging, using disposable diapers, refusing to replace old items with new…
While some of these new habits I applied easily, the bigger part is just… uncomfortable. I spent more time worrying and doing these actions that took longer than the non-ecological alternative. I wasn’t living. I was forcing myself to be no-impact. It took time, energy and mental energy: worrying. It took me away. It took my life away.
It was limiting. Less time and limited possibilities. Don’t do it.
Now rules for my life after minimalism and after being an eco-freak are:
If you have a choice, choose less, choose more healthy, choose more eco-friendly, choose less packed. But always think of yourself as more important than ideals (such as ecology, minimalism, 100% healthy living).
Life after minimalism – conclusion
You won’t change the world. I won’t change the world. So let’s set our rules, take our experiments, try more conscious lifestyles but then: let’s have fun, joy, let’s feel love, let’s live this life, knowing that nor our life, nor the world are perfect.