Being a ‘real’ minimalist!

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I was quite amused recently when a work colleague turned around to me and said, in a disappointed way, ‘oh you’re not a real minimalist, then’!

So, to back up a bit ….

I had been speaking to a couple of people about transitioning to my spring capsule. Winter has seemed quite long this year with some unexpected snowy weather and I am more than ready for spring. I spoke with pleasure and enthusiasm about some new (and second-hand, so new to me) pieces I had acquired for this capsule and how much I was looking forward to wearing them.

It was at this point that I was reproached for not being a ‘real’ minimalist!

I was genuinely amused rather than annoyed or taken aback. People obviously have different ideas about what constitutes minimalism and there are many myths about not owning anything, never shopping, sitting alone in a white cell-like room or being able to fit all my belongings into a small bag!

If you fit any of the above, then fair play to you! On the other hand, if you have tailored an approach to a simpler way of living, then come sit by me – welcome 😊.

I think any steps towards bringing more meaning and intention into your life are brilliant. They may be life-changing steps or baby steps but what does it matter, as long as they work for you. And what works for you may not work for me and vice versa.

One of the things I find most refreshing about minimalism, is that there is no checklist or entry requirements. We’re all just trying to make small improvements in our lives, as best we can.

There is no man with a clipboard going around checking to see if we meet the criteria or not!

Would I like to be more minimalistic? Of course I would! But I’m doing the best I can. And I live with a lovely man who is a maximalist! We have to compromise nearly every single day. That’s life! And life is about our expectations – not meeting others’ expectations.

So, I smiled at my colleague and gently resumed my conversation. I could have evangelised or become defensive, but you know what, we’re all just doing our best here. Me included! Have a great week 😊

  14 comments for “Being a ‘real’ minimalist!

  1. April 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I can relate to this so much. I have “desires” to be more of a minimalist but I am far from a legitimate “practicing” minimalist. I have let go of a lot of possessions in the past year, moved a lot of stuff out of my closets, given a lot of books away, cleaned out a lot of cupboards with junk in them. But maybe letting go of the perfectionism is a good way to minimize any self-judgement we have, which is as toxic as all the other “stuff” we collect. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 16, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Hi there, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Gosh, it sounds as though you have made huge steps and have let go a lot. But you’re so right – the most important things to let go of are perfectionism and judgement. Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 4, 2018 at 12:27 am

    What an interesting anecdote, Lorraine, and a fantastic post!! I love the take-home message here. I wholeheartedly agree that we’re all just doing our best and taking small steps to improve our lives in ways that work for us. You always bring such a positive perspective to these kinds of things, and it’s very refreshing! This is the exact same outlook I want to bring to and maintain in my life. I’d be curious to know the backstory of the person who made that comment, by the way. I wonder, do they identify as a minimalist (with their own very strict interpretation of the lifestyle) or do they not but have heard certain things about minimalism and think anything that differs from the stereotype is ‘fake’? Intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 4, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Hi Lisa, thank you so, so much for your lovely comment and your continued support. I’m glad you found value in this post. Regarding the backstory of the person, I think it’s your latter point that’s closest to the truth – that is, they are not in the least a minimalist and had quite a narrow perspective, based on bits and pieces they had heard. And disappointingly (for them!), I didn’t quite conform! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 4, 2018 at 11:10 am

        It’s always a pleasure, Lorraine! ❤️It’s quite interesting that the person is not involved in minimalism. People do seem to form very rigid ideas of certain lifestyles and beliefs, and I think that’s a good reminder for all of us about placing judgement. In the past I have been quick to judge and form my own notions about things before finding out the facts or delving deeper into the situation. Mindfulness is now thankfully helping with that, both when it comes to judgement of others and judgement of myself, my feelings and my experience of the world. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

          You’re so right, Lisa – and I like the link you’ve made between minimalism and mindfulness! Lxx

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam
    March 27, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Very well said! I would not say that I was a minimalist, but I do gravitate towards having less “stuff” and always feel wonderful when I clean out my closets. Our adult daughters have left some boxes at home … and hubby is quite sentimental about his stuff … so I just do the best I can with “my stuff” 🙂 I think we really don’t need as much as we think we do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 27, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Hiya Pam, thanks for stopping by. Yes, it’s tricky when we start to use labels like ‘minimalist’ but if you feel better having clean closets and less stuff, then that’s great! And you’re so right, we really don’t need as much as we think we do. Every time I have a clear-out, I have a bit of anxiety and then realise how little I miss the ‘stuff’! Lxx

      Like

  4. March 26, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Yes, the best you can do is not to be materialistic and enjoy experiences. There is no real definition apart from not having copious amouts of unused stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Hi there, yes, you’re so right – it’s not about the amount of stuff, it’s not having unused stuff – that’s the real shame. Thanks for stopping by, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. March 25, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I completely agree with this. There is no ideal set standard of what the perfect minimalist is like. Each and everyone is different with regards to how they live their lives and how many items they own. Some may have more of some than others and that’s no reason to judge. Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Hi there, I love what you say about an insufficient reason to judge. It seems to me that if any subject is mentioned, there is a rush to judgment and, as you say, there’s no ideal set standard – imagine how boring if there was!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. littleblackdomicile
    March 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    So well put. There is a perfect LBD for each of us…sometimes that means one and sometimes that means 10! The beauty is the flexibility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Hi Laurel, it’s all about the flexibility and not conforming to the cookie-cutter ideal, whether it’s a lifestyle or just style!! Thanks for reading, Lxx

      Like

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