Saying No To Excess
It was sometime around the new year that I first watched Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things on Netflix. The film follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (or The Minimalists, as they're known) around the country on their book tour, talking about their journeys that led them to minimalisms, and sharing stories from other minimalists they have met along the way. As the credits rolled, I thought about the ideas they presented. "Living with more intention is something I can get behind, maybe that will be one of my resolutions. But, minimalism? Getting rid of my stuff? That idea is a little extreme." Of course, like most resolutions go, I didn't think much about it again.
Fast forward eight months, I struggled at packing two weeks worth of clothes, toiletries, accessories, that would meet the 44 pound suitcase maximum. I was going to Europe for fourteen days, everything in my suitcase, I NEEDED. And then, the airline lost my luggage and I quickly discovered that I NEEDED very little. I was able to make it through my entire trip on just a few essential clothing items that I mixed and matched and washed in the sink of our Airbnb.
When I returned home, fighting jet lag by watching television, Netflix prompted me to watch The Minimalists' documentary, again. Sitting on the couch, their message resonated much more with me now, than it did eight months ago. I heard one of The Minimalists mention their website and decided to check it out. From there, I discovered the minimalist world of Joshua and Ryan. They had books and blogs and 90+ podcast episodes.
Over the past 45 days, I think I've listened to about 50 hours, either while I'm at work or walking my dog, Scout, at the park and it's crazy how much of a positive impact they've had. I've started to value experiences over excess. It's been easier than I once thought to let go of the clothing and accessories and random items that have overstuffed my closets and corners and drawers in my apartment. But, they've not only helped me declutter my belongings, they've helped me declutter my mind. Illness, work stress, and anxiety have given me a "glass half empty" approach to life over the last few months. However, just the other day, someone said to me, "you know, you seem so much happier and more positive."
Minimalism might not be for everyone, but I think we can all agree that we want our lives to be meaningful. Thank you Joshua and Ryan for adding so much value to my life in such a short period of time. Can't wait to see what y'all are up to next.