We are all motivated by different things. We might be motivated by a movie clip, a song, or a quote. Or, it could be a question.
One of my friends who reads my blog will ask me on occasion, "How's your uncluttered life?"
It's great for me to take a moment to think about it before I answer her. Living an uncluttered life is a simple concept, but it's definitely not easy to execute. I find myself answering a lot of questions about minimalism that are either curious in nature or are asking me to defend it.
One area that puts me in emotional turmoil is when I'm asked about getting rid of sentimental items. The logical answer is that the sentiment is not in the item but rather the memory that it holds. When we get rid of the item, does that mean we get rid of the memory? It depends in large part how strong the memory is. If I'm afraid I will forget, then I write down what was important about that item rather than keeping the item itself.
There are things though that I find myself not quite ready to let go of, and I don't know whether or not I ever will. One such item is the mug my daughter made when she was in kindergarten. In the picture on the mug, she has this pouty little expression that makes me smile. It's not that I use the mug, but I love that picture. I could easily be satisfied with the picture I've taken of the mug, but it's not enough for me. I need to keep the mug.
And then there are those items that I'm talking to our grown children specifically about whether or not they would want them some day. I don't want to throw something away that has value to them, either through practical use or brings back wonderful memories for them. There were a couple of things I started to throw away and then realized that it wasn't purely up to me to let them go.
I think that's somewhat of a challenge with a minimalism lifestyle. Not everyone is going to buy into it the same way you do, and that's okay. What's important is to respect the ways in which we see things differently. One of my friends had a poster in her classroom of a group of penguins with one of them holding a red balloon. The quote on it read, "Recognize the similarities and celebrate the differences."
That's something so unique about minimalism. It's not a one-size fits all lifestyle. There are no hard and fast rules, and it's a continuous journey. You're never reaching a final destination, but rather, you're growing and experiencing so much more in life by recognizing all that is out there.
So, when I'm asked, "How's your uncluttered life?", it gives me a chance to take pause, ponder it for just a moment, and then answer, "A beautiful and messy journey. In other words, it's fabulous!"
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.