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It’s Ok To Want Less

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.

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25 Comments

  1. I think it’s more of an idea of wanting different things. Having a Prius doesn’t equate to having less of a car. It comes from wanting a different vehicle. Both a Prius and truck can cost the same amount; thus I’m having a hard time seeing it as having less v. just liking something different.

    However, I do love your example of Pinterest. I refuse to go on there as I think the majority of people just waste time looking at pretty things rather than enjoying what they actually have.

    Overall, I completely agree. It’s hard for people to understand that there are those of us who just want less. Period.

    • Thanks for your comment! A prius is still a bunch of money, I see what you are saying. (though lots of the trucks people dream of can cost way more) I was thinking more size wise. Maybe I could have worded it better to wanting ‘smaller’ even though society says you should want more and bigger everything. So many people think it is about big, flashy, more to show off, and it doesn’t need to be.

      • Totally get what you’re saying now! The truck could be seen as a Mercedes and your Prius like a Corolla. I interpreted both like a Mercedes because we have super old cars…so anything new=Mercedes to us. Thanks for the clarification 🙂

        • I am with you. We have only had super old cars all our lives until this fall as well. I had a hard time with it because we didn’t have all the cash on hand at that time, but now it is paid for 🙂 Totally against buying any car/truck if it is all on loans. Lots of apartment living, minimalism, and saving. Our family likes road trips, and my husband often has to drive 1-2 hours one way to work (construction) so the gas savings was a huge factor. By-the-way, love your site. I come over every once and a while. I will try and comment more often and say ‘hi’:)

  2. We have less because we want less too. I find more joy in cleaning out what we have than shopping. I prefer well made vintage than new flimsy cheaply made necessities. I enjoy the peace of our slower days rather than the rat race of over-working to over-spend. It IS ok to want less and appreciate more.

    • yes, yes, yes. Beautifully said. Thanks!

  3. Yes, less is good in all means. We are over working, because we want more to spend more. At the end, we are losing beautiful moments in our life.

    Men or Women becomes more and more materialistic nowadays, this needs to be changed.

    • yeah, giving away our time (what we can never get more of) for material stuff. We can’t change others, but we can change ourselves and share what we are learning. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  4. Great post Lori. I think we are on a similar journey. Creating more physical space through less stuff. It gives us room to breathe, be creative, and just be.

    • amen! more time to practice the music stuff too 🙂

      • Yes indeed!

  5. I love this post too. Today so often it’s the view of “look what I’ve got” or rather “look what you can’t have”. Today I wrote a post about how volunteering has declined and why that sucks. Honestly, as I said there, if people did more volunteering they’d see just how much they really have and stop chasing everyone else.

    • yep, so many people have so little. If we see them (instead of looking at the people with more) than our natural comparison instincts would produce a whole different outcome 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  6. Danielle Danielle

    Yes! I agree! I hope to get as far as you! One month down, 11 more to go. I am averaging about five trash bags a week to the goodwill. Im happy to say the basement has really made headway!! Small steps, but the journey has been fun thus far! Thank you for your words!
    thebestofpa.blogspot.com
    You can check out our progress!! Thanks for your example!!

  7. pinterest only dishes up unrealistic expectations with a side of guilt. this could be said about so many things in society/social media, even minimalism (no offense). 😉

    • yes, I agree. I think the problem comes when people try and ‘tribe’ or ‘group’ themselves and then try and get the world to follow them. I don’t want to call myself ‘Christian’, ‘minimalist’, ‘vegetarian’ or other because it seems to create lines. At the same time I need to explain where the ideas come from (each of these have a set of ideas that I agree with and am trying to embrace). I want to focus on changing myself, and sharing. I hope I don’t come across as trying to tell anyone else they ‘should’ be doing something else, or that life is perfect with any special recipe 🙂

      I love pinterest for the quotes and idea sharing 🙂

      • yes…and to follow my last thought through…for me to be minimalist is unrealistic & because of that i tend feel guilty by not achieving that “ideal.” on the bright side, i am cutting back on so much clutter because it calms my adhd mind to have less. 😉 you do a great job & your ideas are well thought through. you totally don’t come across as telling people what to do. i think that’s why i feel ok expressing my opinions with you. 😉 and i’m still not convinced on pinterest. 😉

        • You and your opinions are always more than welcome 🙂 … now you just need to start more blogging on your side sister!

          • thanks! ah yes, hoping to feel more inspired by our new location…& by the arrival of spring! i’m afraid that quite frequently i run out of things to say!! 😉

  8. Dana Dana

    When I talk about working towards being a minimalist, people equate that with deprivation. I love that I don’t feel the need to keep up with everyone and all their “toys”. When my car finally goes, I wanted a Lexus…until my van door broke and it was $600 to fix. I figured the upkeep of a Lexus is not what I want…I too want a Prius!!! I’m just happy my head is on straight and I “get it”. I get it that material items are highly overrated!

  9. I love pinterest for the food pictures. I am a total foodie, and love to try new things. Perhaps I should try foodgawker instead 🙂

    • There is some good looking food on there 🙂

  10. What’s a Pinterest? 😉

    • pinterest is a place for people to “pin” & share with their followers what interests them on the web. usually links to recipes, or crafts, quotes, clothing, photography…etc…
      hope that helps. 😉

  11. XO XO

    Agreed! Owning more things robs peace in the long term. More things equates to more liabilities. E.g., A nice car getting a dent after someone hitting it in the Walmart parking lot. All of my friends brought a dream home and decked it all out. These folks lost their peace (and money) quick with things breaking down, floors getting scratched, cost of upkeep, house splitting in half at the joint, electrical system overhaul, elegant furnishings and entertainment center investments. Everyone of them went broke within a year (and it only got worse). Their peace (and cash) vanished and progressively. They kept insisting I get a house, it’s an investment yada yada yada. I stressed that it is not an investment- wait a couple of years. Well, their all broke while I have 50+k of savings in my $8k a year apartment.

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