August 22, 2012 in Creating Simple Living
A minimalist life is hard sometimes. I spend a bunch of time talking about how great minimalism in the home is. I honestly think that everyone would benefit from their own form of minimalism. However, I wanted to take a post today to talk about how it isn’t always easy to adopt. If you are struggling, tired, frustrated, or feel lost with the whole process you are not alone. I struggle. You are normal, those feelings are normal.
Changing what you are doing, including changing to a more minimalist life is hard and messy.
Life is hard and messy
… may as well get used to it now Taking the easy road is not usually the best. I was reminded of this reading Wrecked by Jeff Goins. He talked about how life is hard and messy and it has been stuck in my head for a few weeks. Not in the depressing sort of way. Just in the realistic way.
There are several ways that adopting or living a minimalist life is hard that go beyond the time and physical energy and beyond the questions of what to keep or what to get rid of. It is often these difficulties that are the hardest to overcome.
Others thinking I’m crazy
I wrote a whole post about this last week. This is a big worry. We worry about what people think for lots of different reasons – some good and some bad. Some people are more worried than others about this. However, this is one issue that is really out of our control.
Thinking others think I’m crazy
Thinking others will (or do) think we are crazy goes hand in hand with the issue above. It might be a self-fulfilling prophecy or it might be created in our heads. Often it just blows what other people think into a much bigger obstacle than it really is.
Self doubt and questioning.
The biggest is probably self-doubt. We question if we really know what we are doing? If we have really made the right decision? If it is really better for us? our kids? There is amazing self-doubt created when we go against society and in may ways it is beneficial (less people jump off bridges this way ).
I don’t think self-doubt ever really goes away when you are trying to live intentionally. I have self-doubt when it comes to minimalism, homeschooling, writing… and many more.
So adopting minimalism (or changing your life in another way) is messy and hard. Living your own life is hard work, it takes time, others don’t always agree, and it is full of self-doubt.
But it is worth it
I think the only way to work through all these obstacles is by moving forward. Decide where you want to end up (with minimalism in your time, schedule or other places). See that as a final goal and take a step toward it each day. Slowly, as you get closer to where you want to be, your mental muscles get stronger (probably your physical ones too), you become more confident, and you become more sure about your decision. That is how it has been for me.
When we were just starting to adopt minimalism I knew nothing about it. I didn’t even know what it was called. I didn’t know anyone who was doing it. All I knew is that I wanted less stuff so I could have more of my time back. It wasn’t that I had never gone through our stuff before. We had garage sales every summer and I already regularly took trips to goodwill. What was different was that I knew we needed to decrease the total amount of stuff. This was completely new territory. All of a sudden, as if over night, all the things I ‘had to have’ in my house came into question. Did I really need it? Talk about overwhelming… that was a lot of stuff and I am not a decisive person. At least daily (for months) my husband and I would ask each other ‘Are we crazy? Is this smart?’.
I must have gone through everything in our house at least 20 times in the last 18 months. At first I was shocked to find that things I originally really wanted to keep I would decide to give up later on. It is a journey and a learning process. The mental work takes time.
So if you are overwhelmed and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, if you are scared or unsure if simplifying is right or unsure how much simplifying you need — you are just in a normal part of the process we all deal with. I am not sure it makes it easier, but it is always better to know others are dealing with it too
Are you in the process of simplifying? Is something slowing you down? (if you are reading RSS join us in the comments)
Homeschool Book Note:
- You Can Do It Too – 25 Homeschool Families is coming out tomorrow but the pre-order sale is still going on today. Get it for only $8.99 till midnight.
- I love book bundles! Check out this homeschool book bundle going on this week only. $350 worth of books for only $25.
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