Minimalism is Freedom

 
"FEELING GOOD"  oil on linen/ Sold       

"FEELING GOOD"  oil on linen/ Sold       

Our time is a most precious commodity. With the pace of life soaring faster than the speed of sound, I felt called to take a solo retreat to re-evaluate how I spent MY time and to question if I was using it efficiently? 

Realizing that my sons are just entering the workforce, my in-laws we just squeezed a frantic move to assisted living (they selected a lovely facility …OUT of state.)  This “emergency” event of reducing their sixty years of marriage and inventory to approximately 1100 sq. feet of condo was a joyful and herculean event. 

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Meanwhile, my time to review business and purpose while planning this coming year's budget in a quiet environment showed ME that “LESS IS MORE”.  Wow! I was not expecting this wonderful lesson.

In a two bedroom condo with a galley kitchen and one large room with a pretty view, it was only days into my reading and cleaning files that I wondered: “What else do I need? What am I missing?” I had a small suitcase and working out was easy (as the weather was gorgeous), my two easels and art supplies, piles of reading material, camera, and, The Morning.

With no exaggeration: I wondered what I housed at my home back in Charleston.

Freedom. I was Free. The place was only 1300sf. And the galley kitchen, complete with washer and dryer, had a nice window for computer work and my large easel. Easy to clean, easy to enjoy as well as think creatively.

Books on minimalism have been written, and maybe you have read one. I battle the clutter of my family. Their mantra has never been mine. The combination of moving the seniors and then my experience of clear calm visit to Sarasota, Florida was a new Freedom that added a new dimension to my mission of Clarity. 

John P. Weiss, a favorite writer/blogger published a blog post simultaneous to my Freedom revelation, titled:  “Why Minimalism and Hope Make You Happy

John asks: “HOW HEAVY IS YOUR BACKPACK?”

In essence, what are the straps of weight in terms of things and responsibilities do you carry?  “It starts with the little things.” The things on shelves that you have in your life. It includes the knick -knacks, lamps, couch/chairs, cars, boat, studio, garden, bedrooms etc. Now, visualize everything in weight and responsibility on your back. Is it heavy? Now, walk around with it.  Think about how much you need and want vs. being responsible to give time to taking care of.

Make no mistake.  Stuff takes time and space.  Remember, TIME is our most precious commodity.

Once I experienced LESS on my back for 2 months, I was SOLD. The last two years working overtime with my art, I was starting to teach and felt too one-dimensional. I miss working with people and volunteering to organizations that help remedial readers and women in crisis.  Actually, with Freedom I expect Balance.

So, we are on a march. It is a focus. I’m giving myself permission to keep some school photos in zip lock bags and toss the frames, let the books go, (I keep a journal). My sons will not need furniture; I have plenty to start them. I feel better already. Several art supplies that I have extras have been given to friends. It’s work, but I am loving it.

I will never forget George Carlin doing some comedy rant clean enough for TV that went on and on about people and their desire to acquire Stuff.

Then, he get’s louder: “The stuff needs stuff to take care of it and THEN you need a bigger house to put your STUFF.  I think you get the picture.  Carlin was hilarious.  He was also right.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
— E.E. Cummings

Let me know your favorite tricks to simplify your life!

 

Patti Wheat

Patti Wheat, 1557 Regimental Lane, Johns Island, SC