Deciding to take a more minimalistic approach to life and most of all things is really an eye-opener in many ways. It is in no way an easy struggle (because a struggle it is in many ways) but it has given me some insights about myself and my life and I will keep going forward.
As with everything it becomes a religion to some. Like yoga or politics or veganism, it is all or nothing. They make minimalism and de-cluttering into a contest. Who can do it most and best? You are worthless if you can’t live with a 10-piece wardrobe or in a 30 squarefeet-house or with a 3-year shopping ban…whatever.
I am not going down that road. I take very very small steps and I keep buying stuff I don’t really need, and that I regret a week (or even an hour) later. I have a really hard time parting with some stuff (mainly dresses) but I am slowly getting there. And I have come to realize that in this age of consumerism the reward I get from buying something at the end of a hard work-week or as a consolation for something bad – it´s really shallow and doesn´t really make me feel any better (except maybe 10 mins).
Actually I have realized that too long I have been taking care of other people and compromising too much of my own needs, and I will certainly be more selfish. Or self-centered. It is also why I feel great about being single at this time in my life (that has been an adjustment!), because getting to know me, myself and I is taking some time:)
I like minimalism in so many ways and will strive to be better (and guilt-free) at it because I want to live my life in the way that I see fit, without glancing at others. My dream is to have a home I love, filled with books, cats and exactly the stuff I enjoy – nothing else. I want a wardrobe that works for me without giving me an anxiety-attack about the amount of money I spent, and I want a good, sound debt-free economy that I can feel comfortable with as I retire and grow old and finally have time to travel and read and write. And when I pass I don´t want my son to spend three weeks going through enormous amounts of garbage (like I did when my mother passed)…
Still – I love clothes and I will continue buying things at times. I would also like to continue creating a home I enjoy. And I have re-discovered cooking as a hobby. And I have a bucket list of places I haven’t seen, things I haven’t done and people I haven’t met. Even as I turn 60 in April I think life is too short and there is too much left to do to be bored. So why should I do retail therapy to fight boredom?
I am not alone in considering minimalism, de-cluttering or living with less. There are numerous blogs, sites and even movies out there. I will try and compile a few for those of you who are interested in finding out more.
To me life is all about changes, you can make plans but you never know what will happen around the corner. If your plans and dreams get too rigid, you will be up for disappointment. Like I always envisioned myself living in UK for a few years after retirement, I realize now that it will not happen after Brexit. So – I will re-think and find somewhere else to live! Just haven´t found what I´m looking for yet:)
I will start a new job March 1st. That is a HUGE change as I´ve been almost 14 years at my old place. It is exciting and slightly scary:)
It also means I will stop looking actively to move out of Stockholm right now. I have a one bedroom apartment in the City centre, and I could use another room. But I am really lucky to have this place and I will try and get it in order and make it a place I feel comfortable in. I have lived here for three years in April and I think the reason I haven´t really loved it is all the circumstances around the move (bad split, empty nesting, crazy people I switched places with and the fact the expensive furniture I bought all came with problems) – but now I think I am ready to fix it. 2018 will be my year to do some cocooning…
I also need to get my s-t together when it comes to health. My knees are acting up (I have arthritis in both) but with exercise I will handle it. So why don’t I exercise? Otherwise I am a pretty healthy 60-year old, and I´m truly thankful for that, as I have a few illnesses in the family and people around me who are not so lucky. Good health is partly living healthy and a very huge part luck, but as I can´t do anything about the luck-part I will do my best about the other.
So – my reflections for the new year 2018 includes a lot that could be interpreted as promises, but nope, they are not. I will not promise anything – the future can hold anything (a new President in the USA would be a good one! A Brexit-exit another one) and I want to be flexible, but I am looking forward to 2018. I hope it is going to be a very good year!