Steph at Make More Meaning recently asked me to contribute a post to a series she has created called Meaningful May. She is exploring different aspects of what brings meaning to our lives and in what ways. Thanks for including me in this lovely series, Steph.
I have been reading about and actively pursuing minimalism for a number of years. Within the minimalist community, there is often a focus on ‘what now?’. That is, I’ve de-cluttered, I’ve pared my clothes down, I don’t have a junk drawer any more, I can see the work surfaces in the kitchen, the cat is no longer buried under a pile of washing – what now? The key purpose of minimalism is to get rid of the excess to make room for that which is most meaningful in your life.
Well, I did it the other way around! I had a set of circumstances in my life, whereby a loved one was ill. It was uncharted territory for me, there wasn’t a lot of support around (my family and most of my friends are in Ireland) and my job had entered a particularly demanding phase. Of necessity, I had to pare back on the non-essentials, to concentrate on the most important element – my loved one and their road to recovery. But it wasn’t enough. And I didn’t know what to do.
One particularly bad day, I could feel the waters closing in over my head and I felt panic wasn’t too far off. Years ago, doubtless, I may have headed to a library! But I booted up the all-knowing Google and typed in ‘how can I make my life simpler?’. I got a lot of nonsense back about minimalism and was cross that Google had let me down. I didn’t need to be distracted with looking at sites about gorgeous interior décor (a welcome hobby but just not now). Then I typed in ‘simplicity’ and again, all these recommendations came up about minimalism.
Impatiently, I clicked on one of them. And then another. And then two hours had passed and I was still reading about this thing called ‘minimalism’.
Turns out, it’s not about interior décor and having white walls! It’s literally a whole other world.
A world of meaning, a world of less. Less stuff, less clutter, less stress, less worry.
A world of meaning, a world of more. More time, more energy, more clarity, more significance.
So, when lovely Steph asked me to be part of this series, I jumped at the chance. Steph writes about how she brings meaning into her life and all the different facets involved. I write about how my road to meaning is paved with minimalism. It saved my sanity. It gave me the tools to stop worrying about the ‘stuff’ and start focusing on what’s meaningful and important.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have all answers. It hasn’t been an easy ride and I still have a long way to go. But I truly don’t know where I would have been if I hadn’t discovered it. Something would have had to give. And I don’t like to dwell on what that might have been. I am lucky and blessed. And I want to give others the chance to find out more about it, in the hope that it may bring more meaning to their lives too.
Have a great week 🙂