Apropos of nothing, I was thinking about this recently…
I have a confession to make.
I read all these blogs about minimalism and simplicity and find it a laudable goal, but one I don’t think I can subscribe to. Sure, I want to own and therefore buy fewer things. I want to live in a small house rather than a McMansion – but the thought of owning 100, or fewer, things does not particularly appeal to me.
Is the off chance that I might need them enough of an incentive to own thousands of dollars worth of tools? To me, yes. I broke several of them out of storage to help a friend and my dad a few weeks ago. I would have had to rent them to accomplish what we got done. We would have made a trip to the store to get them and a trip to return them when instead I threw them in the back of my truck and got the job done. I’m not worried about what they cost, they have more than paid for themselves over the years and it would be more expensive and time consuming to rent them or have to repurchase them.
Do I really need all the books on my shelves and the 7 or 8+ boxes in my parents’ attic? No. Am I going to read The Hobbit for the 4th or 5th time? Maybe. I just can’t bring myself to part with some of the tomes that have given me such joy over the years and will hopefully give my children some of that same joy.
Easy Rider is a great movie, but will I watch it in all its epic glory more than two or three times? Doubtful. The same can be said for Requiem for a Dream.
That said, I have a box by the door containing several dozen books and DVDs that are headed to the donation bin.
I’ve also recently gotten rid of old stereo equipment and kitchen gadgets that I no longer need or use (though I still have too many of each).
I don’t use my kayak or my bike every day or even every weekend, but I have a great time when I get the opportunity to spend some time on the water and love the look of pure joy on my kid’s face as I tow him in the bike trailer. Why would I want to give that up?
To me, minimalism is not the goal. Making the most of what I have is my idea of simplicity. My goal is not to strip my possessions and my life to the core, it is to enjoy what I have.