I was talking to my sister today and said “There’s a part of me that really strives for minimalism.” She responded: “There’s a big part of you that feels that way.” Her comment struck me. Was there? In fact there is, and yet I think I’m often shy to admit it. I get bothered when my shelves have things on them. I like the bulk of my walls frameless. I like my windows bare. I’m not an extreme minimalist in any means. Perhaps that’s why I’m nervous to lay claim to such a title. True minimalists would laugh at my attempt, but taken from the context of my family, I’m on the liberal end of minimalism! I’m just trying to sort this out in my head so if this post gets a little to windy- my apologies upfront. 
Here’s an example. For Christmas this year I decided I was going to splurge on some beautiful white dinnerware. I was so excited when I found a beautiful basic set from Crate and Barrel on sale Black Friday weekend. I could get a 4 piece table setting for $14.00! The reviews were great. Liked the simple detail of the rim. I ordered them. They arrived a week or so later. I told Tom I’d need to open them right away- as opposed to waiting until Christmas- least I’d want to return them. I was extatic when they arrived. But as soon as I pulled a few pieces out my enthusiasm diminished. The white was a cool, gray-white. I prefer warm whites. How silly I thought, who cares, it’s a great deal. I pulled them out again the next few days, trying them out in my cabinets, on different table clothes, on my wood table. I just felt ho-hum about them. Then as I began to think about having white plates I realized I’d have to do something with my green plates. Would I store them in my pantry and pull them out on occassion. No! What a crazy idea, why store something you hardly ever use. I’d probably only ever use them because I felt I should since they were sitting around taking space. (Like those poor fitting shirts in my closet that I don on occassion because, well, they’re begging me!) Then I thought, but I liked my green plates, why would I get rid of perfectly good plates. It seemed wasteful, ungrateful. So. . . I think it will be a while before I buy white dinnerware. (Unless of course, one of you is in need of green dinnerware! wink!) 
Crafting makes me a little nervous because it requires so much stuff. I LOVE the library because it means I can read any book I’d like, and not have to store it at my house. 
For our ward Christmas party we were asked to bring can food to donate, the girl in charge made the comment when trying to encourage people to bring stuff that it was a good way to clear out your pantry. How sad it is to think that that was greater motivation for me than feeding the hungry. You’re right! I can finally get rid of that box of sour cream and chive instant potatoes, and that overly-sweet strawberry jam. . .! I took bags of food to donate!
I guess there is nothing wrong with giving away perfectly good things. I always jump for joy when I find items in impeccable shape at goodwill. I love it when a person comments on my outfit and I can say it’s all from a thrift store- and yet, the idea of being the one to pass on such “great finds” makes me sick. I was raised with the “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” mentality- for which I am very grateful. But it also means that I feel guilty getting rid of something that hasn’t been used up. When a shirt no longer strikes my fancy instead of throwing it in the goodwill pile I think: Well I could use it for exercising. This is the other part of me. One side wants to get rid of everything but the essentials. The other, feels guilty getting rid of anything that could still be of use. 

One response to “Minimalism”

  1. I appreciate minimalism when the focus is on reducing things/activities that limit your ability to enjoy what you value most.

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