Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not a Minimalist

I am not a minimalist. Those who have visited my comfortably cluttered household will agree that I am not a minimalist. I read and enjoy minimalist blogs like Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist, and even mnmlist.com to name a few. I read of challenges to live for 30 days with only 30 items of clothing, or to pare ones possessions to less that 100 items, or to live in a tiny house or apartment of less than 200 square feet. I have even taken steps to allow me to work from wherever I am to the point that I am writing this post on a netbook from my easy chair with a cup of coffee at my elbow. The point is that few if any of these challenges fits my life style, wants and desires. I desire not necessarily minimalism, but abundance, and not complexity but simplicity. And I desire not the simplicity of earlier times -- I don't want to return to the days of chopping wood, drawing water, and using an outhouse -- but the convenience of today, with central heat, modern plumbing, and inside facilities. Unlike Thoreau, I don't really want to spend two years in the woods contemplating the simple life. I want to live it today in suberbia! I want to live it among things that I enjoy. And, since I can only really enjoy things I use, I want to either divest myself of all of the things I no longer use or bring them out and use them. If I don't use it, I can't enjoy it and if I can't enjoy it, I might as well not have it. Life is too short not to use your best.