Monday, November 23, 2009

redefining myself

as a minimalist.

as something I've been thinking of, and oddly enough was inspired first in my thoughts about my bicycles. I have removed 3 pick up truck-fulls of junk from my house in the last month. I finally pulled the plug and rid 3 bikes from my collection. I tossed 4 bike racks tonight whilst weeding though the useless tubs of parts I've been hoarding for the past few years.

Less is most certainly more.

Simple living is highly under-rated and completely out of comprehension for North American culture as a general whole. Yay be it as such, simple living is ridiculously freeing and a wonderful means to live by.

less stuff = less organization required.

Friends, I've even gone so far as to throw away a cabbage patch kid I've had since I was 3 years old. Fairfax Bouris was his name. A little black cabbage patch kid my grandma gave me for Christmas. I went everywhere with that doll. Hmm...... quite the stuff to confess for an aspiring, burley, bike commuting, beard wearing dude. The point is, there is much that has made up who I am. None of which are objects. All of which are thoughts and ideals.

My core beliefs remain, however the thought process that I used to believe in, the idea that the value of a memory was in the object that wrapped that memory, is false. The value of a memory is the memory itself. Objects that we associate the memory with, are quite useless and in many (dare I say most) cases.....junk.

My strive now is to enjoy the great memories that life affords us, while making new ones, and realizing that stuff is just stuff. Useless objects that we simply don't need and cause us frustration and chaos.

Enjoy right now, the people that are in your right now, and make it great. Reflect on the past great moments that have made up your life. That's what I'm talking about.


coastkid said...

great post...,and true words indeed, so many people are happy in countrys that our own countrys have the cheek to call third world..,life changes and we keep the good memorys as we move along through life...

Hughie said...

I've been slowly doing the same over the past year or so. It's very liberating throwing out stuff that has been tucked in your closet for years.

Easton Heights Blogger said...

I see your point about the memories being more important than the item, but at the same time, coming across an item brings that memory back; how many times my wife or I might say "I had FORGOTTEN that" upon finding a childs toy or item from long ago.
maybe its more of a mom thing. my wife will cry just by looking at some outgrown baby clothes or shoes or a toy.
we have been simplifying also; we have just one car, have focused on limiting/eliminating debt, and when we do need to buy something, try to get something that has lasting value so we won't be throwing it out anytime soon.

Jerome said...

EHB, you bring up some good additional points. We are actually holding onto ALL of our baby clothes (against my personal preference) as we are not 100% that we are done having kids (although with 3 children, the oldest being 5, some days I'm quite sure we're done :) ) and we're keeping them so we don't have to buy them again in the future.

The great points you did bring up though are the ideas of owning a single vehicle, and making smart purchases. The greatest one I think, and a point that is radically absurd in this day and age, is the use of as little debt as possible. Kudos to you and your wife for having this approach. In my opinion, this is paramount and practical as a "minimalist". Minimalist or not, it just makes wise sense.

Great comments guys. Thanks.

Vik said...

I agree that less stuff can often be better than more stuff. I've been thinking of getting rid of some stuff I have in storage as well.

However, I've run up against one problem. Throwing away too much stuff to end up with less stuff doesn't seem like a great solution. Although an exaggeration it would be like killing every 3rd person to reduce the world population and achieve a more happy peaceful world. The result would probably be great, but the process to get there would be so much in conflict with it I can't see it as a viable solution.

So what to do? I don't have the perfect answer, but here are some thoughts:

- buy less stuff
- buy only stuff you love
- buy stuff that has a long service life and is easy to resell or recycle

- keep your stuff organized
- keep stuff you need to use together in the same place so it's always at hand
- share stuff that doesn't need to be used often between families and friends so not everyone has to own the same tools/supplies

Getting rid of....
- don't throw away items that still have value
- reorganize and reuse them where you can
- offer them to friends/family where you can
- find and use forums for gifting or resale of items you no longer want

Although this process isn't as fast or easy as throwing stuff out it has two main benefits...1) it helps get as much value out of the items you want to be rid of as possible 2) it makes the process of getting rid of stuff significant enough that you factor it into your purchasing process helping you live more simply.