“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
It’s been a few years since these words by Ellen Goodman pierced my soul to the point of shock, anger, reflection, and ultimately, action.
In the present state of affairs, life in general seems to be entangled in a vicious cycle of busyness, accumulation, and the incessant pursuit of happiness. The question is, is it worth it? And is happiness really the end result of all our efforts?
It seems to me the opposite is true. Stress levels have actually been on the rise, which says a lot about our quality of life. I say we minimize the status quo living once and for all. Why not try something a little less conventional, but more gratifying?
Why not let go?
My husband and I have been minimizing for the past couple of years and if you’ve read my last post on moving, this is the third time we have moved in 36 months.
Pretty exciting, huh?
Let me explain.
The first time we moved, we had about 5 bookcases filled with books, a coffee table, dining table set for 4 people, bycicles, propane gas grill, then later even added a futon sofa to the living room, which was heavy and didn’t match the couch at all. We ended up moving with just the dining set.
The second time we moved, we got rid of the dining set, the light bookcase we had bought after moving, and a set of washer/dryer we had brought from the previous place. Much lighter the second time around, for sure!
This third time, we were able to go beyond what we had in mind to sell. We replaced our heavy latex mattress with a much lighter one (we had sold the spring box ealier this year, too); then we sold my beach cruiser (his beach cruiser mysteriously disappeared, so oh well, it was from Craigslist), my glass desk, the heavy mattress and we ended up giving the couch to family last-minute (I’m against couches; they’re conducive to laziness and procrastination). I have a comfy Ikea chair, so we’re deciding between a tiny couch or another chair for him, paired up with ottomans for both so we’ll still be able to watch movies or documentaries.
This last place looked so spacious towards the end, I was amazed. My emotional state felt so much lighter!
We moved last Tuesday and I’m excited to have experienced a year at a studio apartment, but as I discovered more about myself, I came to the conclusion that walls are good and less is definitely more! The hubs agrees, for sure! I couldn’t be more thankful to have someone that finds value in this lifestyle as much as I do.
I’ll be sharing an apartment tour soon so y’all get to see how this last decluttering has worked out for us, in comparison to an earlier tour. I’m convinced that having the essentials brings more joy than having every square inch furnished in some way or another for the sake of filling up empty space.
Why not let the empty space remain empty?
And just a side note, our place does not need to look like something out of Instagram. That is not the standard, and feeling the pressure to have a lifestyle like those Instagrammers with a following will only bring discontentment; been there, done that. No more, thanks.
I’m tired of the status quo. Life’s too short to be doing things that don’t work for us, no matter if the majority and the popular have a different opinion. It doesn’t mean people need to go to the extreme, and we certainly are not there, we don’t deprive ourselves, but it means taking a look around and maybe questioning if we have to have x, y or z because it’s on Instagram, or Ikea catalog, or what have you.
The more we accumulate the more unhappy we become, anyway.
So we’re going against normal.
We’ve decided to just do us.
Simple as that.
It’s much easier to be carefree and content when you don’t have to meet everyone’s expectations. 😉