One day we got tired of having stuff. It wasn’t that the “stuff” did anything wrong. We just really focused in on our lives and decided that “stuff” didn’t do it for us anymore.
We looked outward to what we truly wanted. We wanted to experience things that “stuff” couldn’t offer us. We new we wanted to travel extensively and we couldn’t do that with a house and yard work to look after. So we started getting rid of “stuff”.
And a funny thing happened along the way. It felt good to get rid of “stuff”. In fact, some of the “stuff” we got rid of, we actually wondered why we had it. And really it came down to the fact that we had 3300 square foot of space, plus a garage, plus a 1/3 acre plot of land, which meant we had a lot of space for a lot of “stuff”.
But as we continued to sell and move things out, overwhelmingly we were asked why.
Why are you doing this?
Won’t you miss it?
Will you truly be happy in a small space?
Yep, we were definitely way outside the norm. We have friends that have purchased bigger houses and a lot more stuff in recent years. They collect art. They have added ponds and streams to their backyards. They have bought new cars. They have changed out their furniture. They’ve invested in new fences, new roofs, and updated kitchens.
And we’re living with less.
I’m not saying either way is right or wrong. Its completely a personal choice.
Yet when you do something as drastic as this, you find yourself defending yourself. You aren’t one of the “Jonses” anymore. You aren’t fitting in with the American Dream. How could you do this?
And it seems no matter what you say, you still get these quizzical looks and these puzzled expressions.
When they are talking about installing granite countertops and top of the line appliances, I’m living in a rental done up with Formica and 80’s mod cabinets. Hey, my dishwasher works. I’m happy.
But you can see the look when they walk in and start looking around. Really? This is so college-chic they are probably thinking.
So what could I truly say to make them understand my position?
I talk about minimalism and how we’re only consuming what we have to consume.
I talk about how we’re planning our next big trip.
I talk about our goals for the future.
I talk about how my blog is bringing in more than enough income for me to live on anywhere I choose to live.
I talk about my thousands of friends on Facebook.
They complain about their jobs.
They count down the days til retirement.
They talk about the cost of the new water heater and the new flooring they just put in.
Nope. There really isn’t much to say. And to me, that’s the entire point.
You can say whatever you choose to say as you begin going down your own path to simplification.
But if they don’t get it, the looks and the puzzled expressions will continue.
Just smile and be happy you’re on your way.