Living Minimalist 2
It was during another round of a series of electric rate increases for residential homes, that was especially electricfying because water and sewer rates were also increasing, property tax was increasing, along with the increased cost of gasoline at the gas pump, and the County vehicle weight tax. Collectively, these increases put a damper amongst the other bills that needed to be paid. No wonder there’s a saying, there’s only two things that are certain in life: Taxes and Death.
The cost to fuel up my (then) Chevy Van cost me a good Steak dinner. And if that wasn’t enough, my gasoline mileage was insanely bad lugging around all that heavy iron and steel as the cost of fuel rose evey several days. Suddenly, I needed to fill up twice a week. That really amounted to “steak dinners twice a week!”
With no end in sight. I fueled my van so it would over-lap through the weekends when I drove less. But still, the distance from my home to my work place couldn’t be shortened. Public transit wasn’t an option because I was an active parent driving my young toddlers to and from school and other activities.
Something had to be done.
Between several years and changing needs, I eventually sold my van. I bought a used Toyota sedan and embarked on a more entrenched Minimalist Lifestyle.
Next Up: Out of sheer disgust, I hunted down every single issue of read and un-read weekly newspaper advertisements and shredded these into the trash. My inner space was slowly being transformed into a brighter, freer, and healthier less distracting inner-space!
One of the ways to experiment with Minimalist Living, is to understand that it’s a simple “want” to: Downsize, De-clutter and simplify.
Downsize your living space. Downsize your bills. Downsize your expenses. Downsize all those things you bought into your home and now displaces YOU!
De-clutter distractions in your life. De-clutter unnecessary Drama in your life. De-clutter all those sale advertisement, magazines, newspapers, flyers piling up all over your living room. De-clutter your acquired habit to seek out weekly sales, just because its on sale! Honestly, how many snacks, junk food, non-essentials did you buy this Sunday alone! Blame it on the subliminal lure of the color advertisement, and the herd-buying instinct that you’re a better home-maker (female and male alike) when you shop at CVS/Longs Drugs! Costco buyers are a different herd and pretty much in a different frenzy level!
As you Minimalize your life you CAN ask youself proudly: Did I really need to shop at Longs this week? Did I really need to go to Macy’s this weekend for the sale “on sale” Sale? Did you miss it? It does take a while to remove the addiction but eventually it goes away. Instead of spending $75 every Sunday, you can bank that.
Simplify your morning, simplify your activities, or simplify your life to recuperate, rejuvenate, re-claim the “old days” when you can remember a simpler life that suited you! Simplify the time you take to contend with chores which essentially maintains all the excess “baggage” in and around your life; which are distracting and drains a whole lot of energy.
So where did I begin?
When I saw the Light!!
I’ve always enjoyed the relaxing “lighting surrounding a camp site”, as well as “lightning” from the most severe thunder-n-lightning storms! I’d bring out these LED lanterns to survive. In this spirit to survive, the spirit of my Minimalist Living emerged so willingly.
For one month, as a live experiment, with the cooperation and enthusiasm of my family and I, we lived off 4 LED battery operated lanterns for our lighting during the night and early morning. We used them in the kitchen. We carried them into the bathroom. We carried them into our bedrooms. We carried them into the living room. We used the clique: Live like the Walton farm! This being: do everything during the daytime. Sleep at night. If we needed night lighting, night lights were provided from our LED Lanterns!
Urbanized lighting saves!
We refrained from using the oven, turned off “Vampire electrical” appliances when not in use including the LED Television, and other trappings of modern luxury and conveniences.
The issue of cooking (electrical range uses a lot of AC power just heating up), became an exercise of interesting perspective. It enabled us to ask intriging questions about how we did things. Did we have to prepare foods as often, as comprehensively, as habitually as we had?
Not everyone was home anymore. Not everyone had the same schedule. Where we were once an active family in the central nucleus of “home”, we were now a HUB of independent adults, with separate livelihoods, and separate life-styles.
Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle became an essential and favorably attractive alternative.
By downsizing, De-cluttering and simplifying; the physics of opposing attractions occur: You’ll realize by creating less, you actually create more.
More time to be free to do other things, more space, more positive energy, more incentive to create, to think, to design, to wish upon a falling star!
But remember, herd-mentality isn’t a pre-requisite to adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle. In fact, Minimalism is more individualistic than you would imagine. There’s a whole lot of freedom that can be yours in all aspects of the word!