Is Minimalism Smart or Lazy?
There is a lot of debate these days about those people who chose a “different” lifestyle. Is minimalism smart or lazy?
Maybe It Is Just Smart. Some of the happiest people out there seem to be embracing minimalism with open arms.
But like all things, this is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. Opinions are like you know what – everybody has one.
However, many people are slowly starting to come around to the minimalist point of view. People like……me.
After years of chasing that elusive American Dream that was supposed to make me happy, I finally decided that happiness must come from somewhere else.
So where does happiness come from?
I started reading, watching documentaries and researching on this topic and saw that I was not the only dismally unhappy person out there.
Apparently, happiness is supposed to come from the inside, not the outside. But how can you access any internal peace and happiness when you are so busy that you can’t think straight?
So I examined my life from the standpoint of someone on the outside looking in.
The Way Things Used To Be
When I was single things were much simpler (although lonelier).
There were times that my apartment was clear, my car was clean, my laundry was done, my bills were paid, the checkbook was balanced and everything was right in my world.
I would literally just kick back and enjoy some well deserved relaxation time and sometimes choose not to leave my apartment the whole weekend. If someone wanted to see me (friends, family or boyfriend) they had to come to me.
It was wonderful.
The Way Things Are Now
Fast forward some years and now things are totally different.
The house is never truly clean, my car gets cleaned about twice a year, I rarely see the bottom of the laundry basket, bills are on auto pay so if anything out of the ordinary comes in it is usually paid late, you are supposed to balance your checkbook????
With two full time jobs, other side incomes, two kids, two dogs, church, ball practice, music lessons, sleepovers, doctor appointments, elderly parents who need help (wow, this list could just go on and on) things are definitely more hurried.
So it is rare that anyone gets to be lazy at our house.
I realize that in American society we are all supposed to be ambitious. If someone is not, then people start to wonder what is wrong with them.
A. Do they have a mental condition?
B. Are they hiding a medical affliction?
C. Or are they just lazy?
How about “D” – none of the above?
IS IT REALLY LAZY TO WANT A DIFFERENT LIFE THAN THE ONE DESCRIBED ABOVE?
Of course it isn’t. It is really just common sense when you think about it. So if your life is not making you happy, then make yourself a new one.
Minimalism just makes sense in the world we live in today. Less stuff equals less worries.
What To Remove From Your Life
I am a big fan of this article: 72 Ideas To Simplify Your Life. It helps you put your life into perspective and helps you determine what is most important to you – because everyone is different in their life experience, wants, and needs.
Of course the first step is usually to get rid of excess stuff in your home. Somehow that allows you to think better. Then you tackle the other clutter in your life.
Some people only need small changes in order to be happy. Other people need something monumental in order feel at peace. Whatever your future road to happiness, it is completely up to you to make it happen.
What I Am Doing
I recently decided I had to make some huge changes. Although I pretty good at keeping my house decluttered, I was amazed at what I could still find to get rid of.
I also decided to dedicate myself to writing on this blog. I have had various blogs/websites for several years now, but I never seem to have the time to regularly maintain them. So I recently merged all the current sites into this one domain and started writing on it every day. (See how I used minimalism to simply my internet imprint and workload?)
It’s quite therapeutic, I must say.
After that I decided to sit down and evaluate what a happy day would be like for me. Then I decided to incorporate those things into my day EVERYDAY. Sometimes this is a real challenge, but I am doing fairly good so far.
Here is my list:
- Talking Walks
- Watching Movies
I would advise everyone on this path to do the same thing. But this is where you have to be honest. Don’t write down “lifting weights for an hour each day” if that doesn’t truly make you happy. (Notice how lazy all my items sound?)
Write down what you WANT to do, not what you think you are SUPPOSED to do.
And it’s okay to be a little selfish here. If alone time is what you really need and want, then write it down. Every minute of your day doesn’t have to be dedicated to someone else. You matter too.
So that’s it for today. Check out Essentialism by Greg McKeown (above) for more motivation.
What are you doing to make your life more fulfilling? Whatever it is, I hope you scheduled some lazy time in there.