Saturday, December 2, 2017

The other minimalism

I’m not a hardcore minimalist. I’ve simply come to the realization I need less stuff than I thought I did in order to be happy and contented. And I’ve learned less stuff equals fewer things to care for, to make room for, to carry from place to place. And that makes me a little more free.

But my flavor of minimalism goes beyond material goods. It’s also about mental and emotional decluttering. It’s about deciding what really matters to me.

The world is filled with people eager to tell us what matters. Yes, some of it is very important. Some of it is worth fighting and dying for. But way too much of it is trivial.

If we aren’t mindful we can get mired in things that don’t really matter to us. When we do, we give power to those trivialities. We spend more of our limited lives anxious, upset, offended, hateful… over what, really?

I’m not proposing you stop caring about things that really do matter to you. I’m suggesting you do an inventory and ranking. Are there things in the It Matters pile that don’t really serve a purpose in your life? Anything that’s counterproductive? Anything you realize you get way too worked up about?

Sure, it gets complicated when the things that matter to us conflict with the things that matter to people who matter to us. (Follow that?) Does it matter that you disagree? Does it matter that you pretend, for the sake of the relationship, that something that matters to you doesn’t matter, or that something that doesn’t matter does matter? Does the relationship matter more? (This is why I’m not good at relationships.)

Do I care whether you become more selective about what matters to you? Mmmmm, not enough that it matters.

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