There’s nothing quite so simple as a clean slate. A blank page staring back at me, waiting to be filled with something worthwhile. Something that may inspire someone, give new perspective, or maybe validate someone else’s efforts to live a more minimal lifestyle. But the words don’t come.
I sit and ponder the very idea of why minimalism is so important in my life. What has led me down this path of simplicity, spurring me on to be the best me I can be?
First, I think it is something inherent in me. Not from my mom and dad, or in the way I was raised, but many other things that have come together to mold me into the person that I am. I like to think that in my ancestry maybe somebody somewhere led a joyous life and thrived without a lot of baggage or stuff. Perhaps someone who lived in a small wooded cabin, Irish cottage, or even a humble prairie Soddy. Getting by with only those items they needed to survive and provide for their family. That’s all I really want. Joy in the little things. Life in the people I love. To be humble. More compassionate. Tied less to objects and desires, and impressions, and more to experiences, contentment in the blessings I’ve been given, and the carefree peace and attitude that comes with a greater confidence in who I am.
There’s our culture. The Western World is so driven. So many other nations, and I’m not even talking third world countries here, know how to live with less, take pride in, and great care of, the few useful, worthwhile items they possess. They know how to slow down, socialize and rest.
Not the least of reasons is our own culture. The Western World is so driven, by work, attaining more, and the stressful lives we lead. We watch shows on television depicting real people that can’t let go of their stuff. Even to the point of saving actual trash that they eventually have to climb over to get from place to place inside of their home. Folks that must compulsively buy, everywhere they stop, to fill some void. Or regularly wrack themselves with envy over what their neighbor has, fearing how others will judge them if they do not “measure up” to some high standard in their own minds, which leaves them living in a state of depression and bitterness over what they don’t have instead of simple enjoyment in what they do possess.
I don’t want this struggle to be mine, or my family’s. I want our evenings to stop being about exhaustion, lethargy, and guilt about the things around us that aren’t getting done. And our weekends to stop being about anything but rest and family time. Because we’ve got to cram so much upkeep into such a short amount of time, we are missing out on life as it rapidly passes us by. And we’re not the only ones.
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 TLV