A few weeks ago my husband and I were driving home from a friends house, with the kids creating chaos in the back seat, and he said, “I really do like my small car”. He went on to say that so many ‘other guys’ talk about all the big fancy trucks that they want. They compare and know all about what each model has, and typically their eye is set on one way out of their price range. They look around at what they don’t have in the parking lot or highway and dream about owning it themselves.
Now, to explain my husband a bit. He is a big, bald, grew up on a farm, has owned several trucks (and actually used them as trucks), construction worker. He, if anyone of our friends, would be the guy who should know about, and dream about the ‘next-best-truck’. But, instead, we got a little, black Prius this fall, and this was the car he was talking about liking. Now, even though I think the Prius is amazing, and I think that the environmental benefits are great, and it is super cheap to drive, what really caught me is that it is what we want. We want smaller, we want less.
For women it is different, but still the same. Pinterest is overflowing with people who have whole collections of dream shoes, dream houses, dream everything. It is a whole online location for collecting pictures of what people ‘want’, but will probably never have.
It just struck me as a great picture of what minimalism is. It is wanting less material stuff. So many people who I talk to about our minimalistic life think that we are depriving ourselves, or our children. Maybe we have this great self-discipline and are struggling through. It is seen as this exercise in will-power or burden. Or, they think we are just really poor. But truthfully it is none of these things. We truly just want less. Less car, less shoes, less stuff, less space, less clutter, less schedule, less baggage, less stress and less mess.
Somehow, in the growing up years, the idea of more is ingrained into our little minds. More house, more money, more success, more influence, more and bigger everything. But, it is just that, an idea. It isn’t a fact, it isn’t truth, it is just an idea. And it isn’t my idea. I want less.
Minimalism is more than that though. It is wanting less of many things, because it wants to make more space for life. In my life I want more freedom, more family time, more travel, and more relaxation. More living and loving, and less running to keep up with a moving idea of more that I can never grasp. Chasing the ‘more and bigger’ that society tries to convince me of is something unobtainable, but the the ‘more’ that I am choosing is available and within my reach now.
As crazy as it sounds in our culture, it is okay to want less. I want less.