Midlife crisis or Minimalism
I was mid air on a flight back from the sunny state to my hometown. I was visiting my then partner whom I was trying to maintain a relationship with that had become a long distance one after three years together and a new job offer. Read More
Back tracking for just a moment, in my early thirties well over a decade ago, I watched an episode on the Oprah Winfrey show called The Secret which was trending before trending was a thing.. I was glued to the telly, fascinated and equally as skeptic. After watching this episode I sent away for the DVD and watched what ultimately started me questioning many things…my lifestyle, my values, my intentions and even my marriage.
This set me on a path of self discovery and I stumbled on a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. This book changed the entire course of my life…sounds dramatic but yes it was that powerful to me at the time. I always deep down felt a desire for Less in my life but didn’t quite know what until I started digging a little deeper.
I instantly started changing my Lifestyle, my values, my wants, my needs, my time as well as my heart. In the process of this new life came the unraveling of an un-happy marriage. (now I’m not suggesting for a moment that you must end your marriage to change or better your life) but it needed to happen for me. We were on completely different paths in life and had grown distant over the years. I was extremely unhappy (as was he) and knew that had to be my first step.
I started to change my attitude towards stuff, toward money, toward toxic friendships, towards my business, towards anything important to me and keeping up with the Joneses was definitely not one of them.. I questioned everything and pushed backed on social norms even more than I ever had in the past. I knew there was a better lighter healthier way.
Fast forward a few years and I’m on my flight back home contemplating how my partner and I were going to keep this long distance thing going, as I was unable to move as my kids where still little and I had no intention of uprooting them from their school, family and most importantly their Dad. I started reading the inflight magazine and stumbled across an article about two guys who completely changed their lives, selling their McMansions, all their gadgets, and getting out of debt. Then I purchased this book which gave me so much motivation and I knew this was a life style for me.
Hello Minimalism!! I’ve arrived.. I was convinced this was written for me. I’d not heard of the term before other than in the architect/art scene and I got this overwhelming light giddy feeling inside. I was so engaged in this article and it sparked something inside me I was so excited.. It was like I finally found well, ME.
When I got home I googled the term Minimalism and to my surprise article after article came up on the topic so I started reading day and night I was fascinated by this topic. I resonated with this so much, I wanted in.. I lived and breathed Minimalism, it became my happy place. I read and still read blogs all about Minimalism, Decluttering, Money and Simple Living and have done so for over a decade now (maybe a little too much if you ask my kiddo’s).
It turns out I’ve been a Minimalist pretty much my whole life before I had a name for it. I’ve always had a neat and tidy bedroom as a kid and in my home as an adult. But I did have way too much stuff just in general (physically & mentally), I just had a lot of storage space to neatly hide
Mission Minimalism began and the desire for less was born. I sold, donated and purged so much stuff from every nook and cranny of my home over the next few years including furniture pieces, toys, gadgets, clothes you name it. My kids used to joke that when I got that purge look in my eye they had to hold the dog incase she was next off to goodwill!.
Once I was happy with my enough in my physical space, I started on my money and then my mind. It sometimes feels like I had an early midlife crisis as my family did not understand what was happening as more items continued to leave my home. But with each day I grew happier and lighter than I ever had before.
There really is something in the desire for less.. Less stuff, less debt, less stress, less worry, less commitments. It was replaced with more calm and peace, more time, more money, more authentic relationships, more space and more heartfelt moments.
I became intentional on what I brought into my home and into my life. I started questioning the status quo, I asked myself do I need this or I do I want this because the Joneses have it. I waited to purchase bigger items and did my research, rather that just buying whatever whenever.
So was it a Midlife crisis or Minimalism that took hold of me all those years ago. To be honest probably both, but it's the best midlife crisis I could ever have asked for. Instead of the stereotypical midlife crisis of buying a new car or expensive jewellery (not that there’s anything wrong with that if that's your thing) I chose the Less path - an intentional mindful path and traded clutter for calm. Decluttering is not the end goal, deciding what is enough is.
As for the long distance relationship…unfortunately it didn’t survive. It was a very painful time for both of us, but with time you heal and we still remain friends.
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