I think the real lesson I’ve learned this year is that despite the obstacles, the chaos and the general randomness of life, attempting to live intentionally creates a solid, reassuring theme through it all.
For years before I started to pursue minimalism as a way of life I was a champion organised hoarder. I could satisfy my need to be on top of things by making sure that everything was labelled or in it's assigned container. Whole days were spent putting things in order when it all got out of hand, which of course it always does when you live with someone else who has better things to do than keep everything just so.
With a full time job and two kids, combined with the usual share of winter ailments, life is full of distractions and diversions that pull me away from focusing on actions that will move me further down the path I want to follow.
Change often comes with discomfort, even change for the better. Our minds are comfortable with the status quo and reluctant to forge ahead into known obstacles and discomfort. If we focus on WHY we want to change and fix our gaze to the horizon where our ambitions hover, we can see that discomfort is merely a necessary part of following the path to true north.
We’ve all seen beautiful images of minimalist interiors; white, aesthetically stark, peaceful and beautiful are all words that might come to mind and are examples of what many think is the minimalist ideal. Often these ideals are architectural marvels of design, outside the wildest dreams and reach of the average homeowner. However, minimalist living is more than an aesthetic, it's a mindset. While some minimalists do pursue a simple, clean, zen look in their homes, many do not. Painting all your walls white is not a free ticket to a minimalist lifestyle. My house is full of kids, pets and general chaos, yet we would happily say that we are pursuing minimalism as a family lifestyle.
We can quickly find ourselves slipping from a position of motivation when the going gets rough. Like many others I’m sure, I find inspiration in reading just one more blog or researching just one more cutting edge idea. Unfortunately, putting awesome information into my brain does not directly result in putting one foot in front of the other when it comes to getting off the couch and getting active.
Do you ever feel that you aren’t as minimalist as you could be? Have you had moments of guilt because you bought that extra throw pillow just for the amazing colour and texture, not because you really need a new throw pillow. For shame! Just kidding. The minimalist journey is a long one and often filled with times of slow progress and setbacks just like any other change.