A preoccupation of living a minimalist life is reducing the stuff you own so you can focus on the things that matter – having less stuff in order to live more.
This process of reducing is easy in the big scheme of things and it’s satisfying that you get an instant gratification from decluttering.
But in the decluttering and reducing, it’s easy to forget the bigger aim.
I’m guilty of this; using all my effort to make sure I don’t bring in or take on extra items or things that will take up my time and stop me from living more.
However, it’s also important to focus on furthering the life that you want to live now the stuff is out the way.
I’m asking myself how well I’ve done in creating a bigger life out of less stuff.
It’s a scary question: am I living a bigger life?
At first it was hard to answer and I couldn’t see a big difference but when I stopped to look at it properly I could see the things I have added to my life as opposed to what I’d stripped away.
And It shows in the little things, for me one of them is very simple – books. I used to read a lot when I went travelling and loved it, then I got back and work and other things got in the way and it’s been years since I’ve read something cover to cover.
Now I have found that I look forward to reading as I can devote real time to it as opposed to fitting it in, and using our local library as opposed to buying them is even better!
Another one for me is being able to spend more time with friends. I now find it easier to prioritise this as a result of stripping back my life and coupled with freeing up money from stuff I can make the most of this time with them without worrying about my finances, which was definitely something that blocked this in the past.
When it comes to the bigger life I guess one of the biggest is to follow a dream and make the changes to your life to do the things you really enjoy.
This is something that I now feel comfortable to say I am working towards; after 14 years I’m going back to university (part-time) to do another degree. Scary stuff and something I genuinely wouldn’t have contemplated following through in the past as I could always find something in my life that I could use as an excuse to stop me.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, focusing on the here and now, and the easy wins instead of an end result that we know will be harder to achieve.
Day-to-day you may not be able to spot the incremental changes in your life but it’s important to step back from time to time and take stock of how far you have come to inspire and encourage you for the future, remembering that having less means living a fuller life.
With nothing in the way I have realised something bigger – I can make the future I want for myself.