Sometimes trying to live a simpler life, can be kind of like walking a tight rope. The idea of living with just the basics holds a strong appeal for me, but in sometimes it feels like minimalism does not automatically translate into wanting and needing less. Sometimes, it feels like the things I want and need, just shift.
I know there is something fundamentally off about this, but there it is anyway. For instance, it feels great getting rid of clothing that no longer fits or looks good, but this also makes me think about the things that would add more functionality or versatility to my wardrobe. For example, I don’t own a white button down blouse. I feel like there have been lots of time where I have wanted to look professional, and though I’ve been able to put something together that worked, a button down shirt for me is kind of a necessity.
But, since I am trying to be intentional about my clothing choices, it makes such a purchase somewhat more complicated. I don’t dry clean (trust me, nothing I own would ever make it to the dry-cleaners, so there’s little point in my pretending otherwise), so I would want the shirt to be stain-resistant and wrinkle-free. Then, of course, I only want clothing I actually like, so it should look tailored, even if it isn’t. And of course, I have to actually be able to afford it.Things like this make it hard to just walk into any store, like I would have in the past, and pick the first thing that sort of fits and is on clearance.
Research is involved. Options are weighed. And after awhile it seems like having less stuff is taking up more energy than not being a minimalist!
I have been going slowly, which I know is part of it. On a limited budget I can’t just get rid of everything that doesn’t work and replace it all with a new high-quality, high-style, high-functionality mix and match wardrobe.
Just like I can’t just decide to replace our apartment with a modular home and rooftop vegetable garden, or immediately decide that my primary source of income is now a work-from-home micro business which allows me to travel.
It’s good to have goals, but it’s also good to be able to simplify my life at a pace that is less than frenzied.
Sometimes I feel like I have no business considering myself a minimalist until my life has been transformed to look like something off the over of Zen magazine. But like all other self-improvement related pursuits, it is not a race–it is a journey.
The point of simplicity is to have more peace and happiness, and I need to remember that.