We were suppose to move in to our new apartment last weekend. But the usual happened. The Maintenance people took their sweet time making the place spotless. The wall being repainted, the missing mirror in the bathroom, the silicon gel to be placed in the tub, replacing leaking bidet, and etc. The husband was right after all, this moving takes time. And money.
So here I am sitting in our old apartment which is now covered with boxes. The hallway is beyond pass-ble The little boy has nothing to wear in the closet because most things are hidden away for the move. I feel like my head is going to burst. I don’t like the mess. I don’t enjoy playing hide and seek with my stuff.
Then last night when we came to visit the place just to check if things are really being done, I took one last look at the empty spaces. I started envisioning how am I going to decorate the place. I feel so excited. I love arranging homes. If only my parents could afford sending me to Interior Design School I would be an Interior Decorator by now. Growing up I always dream of living in a nice big house. We didn’t own a nice big one but nonetheless my parents worked hard to give us the best home. I just love creating beauty out of picking the best sofa for the living room and matching the curtains with it and what color to paint the walls and how the ceiling should look like with the lights in the morning and at night. I find happiness making one ordinary place feeling and looking cozy. But my hopes of doing major decorating in our new place were instantly crushed when my husband immediately disapprove.
I don’t understand him. Most of the things I have he wants to throw. He even said he can live with one Shirt for the rest of his life and only buy a new one once it has holes in it. At first I thought he’s just stingy. He is allergic to the word “buy”. But only recently when I had a revelation that I learned that he is just one of those kind. He hates shopping. But when it’s really needed he always go for quality. He doesn’t care about the price. As long as it would last for years. He doesn’t like clutter. He likes order so much that things piling up on top of one another is like a crime. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, you don’t need it. Throw it. Don’t buy too many things when in the end they are just going to collect dust in the apartment. His thinking intrigues me. Only after I read about the subject that I learn the he is a minimalist.
It’s hard to adjust. Less is definitely more for him. Most of the time we fight about my books on top of the closets, untouched. Or my purses sitting in the storage unused for so many months. Same is true with my make up, clothes, beauty products in the bathroom and framed pictures that crowding the dresser and the walls.
These minimalists have different perspective toward things. Possessions. Even with some areas in life. As I get to read more about the topic, the more I start to consider it. Over the years of being single, before husband and baby, with many years living abroad, travelling extensively I collected so many things that right now are just occupying space. And I still couldn’t get enough. I would stop by at a shop hang out for a few minutes and left with stuff I don’t even need just because they are pretty. I bought things just because my friends have them. I collect and collect, I buy and buy like my life depends on it.
But the husband is different. Packing for a trip is a piece of cake for him. Getting ready in the morning takes 10 minutes. Moving to a new place requires only one suitcase. That’s all. His bathroom used to consist of a toothbrush, a razor, soap and shampoo. No piece of junk lying mindlessly.
He’s got less stuff but put high priority to real things. Like health, travel, education, security and investments.
I even learned that living with minimal things helped so many people.
Minimalism has helped them –
- Eliminate discontent
- Reclaim their time
- Live in the moment
- Pursue their passions
- Discover their missions
- Experience real freedom
- Create more, consume less
- Focus on their health
- Grow as individuals
- Contribute beyond their selves
- Rid of excess stuff
- Discover purpose in their lives
So may be this new apartment holds a new promise. A beginning of a journey. I want to experience the same benefits of living with less and decluttering our lives. After all, the quality of our lives are not measured by our possessions. Having so much doesn’t guarantee contentment.
It’s about time to practice mindful living and not be drowned by consumerism. We are constantly bombarded by images that dictate us we need this and that in order to be happy. We rely on the latest gadgets, designer bags, clothes and new inventions we don’t even need just because we thought it would fill the void, the loneliness, and discontentment.
My husband taught me and showed me over the years that happiness is not about money and accumulating material things. It’s about living a meaningful life. Appreciating what you have and letting go of the temporal.
I could start with a minimalist apartment. I could live with less as long as it will add value to my life.
Minimalist inspirations :