The Minimalist’s Wife

As I have told you before, my dear husband Mr. Awesome is really interested in us pairing down our lives. He recently told me:

“I’m not saying we have to go for a crazy ape shit monk lifestyle, but things have to change so we can focus on the important stuff, like seeing more of each other, and having a healthier and balanced life.”

Words to live by. Especially if you’re a crazy ape shit monk. No really I get it. I totally do. We need to have a more balanced life. He needs to have a better work situation. Right now he has to commute to NYC for work. He spends up to 5 hours everyday sitting on a train. If we moved to a location that was more of a creative hub he wouldn’t have to travel so far to find viable work. If we had less stuff and lived in a smaller, more energy efficient house we might be able to live on less and need to earn less. Less is more I guess. The problem is where do you start?

Some of the blogs that he reads are written by people whose ultimate goal is to have only 100 possessions. Heck, he reads one blog where the guy says he only has 50 possessions. I can’t even imagine how I would start counting all the things we have around here and we don’t even have that much. I know my daughter probably has 200+ peeps (stuffed animals) alone. I asked my husband if the 100 possessions included things like pillows, sheets, dishes and flatware – maybe the three of us could “possess” these essentials collectively? I don’t know with my luck all the crazy ape shit monks probably use sporks.

I’m going to try to start to think of a list of my 100 possessions. What would I absolutely have to have? I’m not even going to start thinking about all my clothing and shoes. There is definitely stuff that I can get rid of. Frankly, it would be a relief to only have one ill-fitting bra in my drawer. It would mean I could stop wishing that they would magically fit every time I put a different one on. Instead I’m going to try to focus on the other objects in my life that I consider to be my essentials. I’m starting to put together my criteria; they either have to be useful and be things that I actually currently use or they need to have strong sentimental value for me. I could get sentimental about an empty baked bean can if I really concentrated on it so I’ll have to be careful with that one.

1. The first thing on my list would have to be my engagement and wedding rings. I know that it technically is two things but I’m counting them as one. See, I’m cheating already! The crazy ape shit monk just started angrily tapping his spork on the desk. I love my rings, both of them and wouldn’t give them up. The stone is an aquamarine. When my husband proposed to me he handed me this large clay thing that looked like an artichoke. He had made it himself. It had all these thin strips of paper sticking out of it like fortune cookie fortunes. They each had a little inside jokes written on them. The longest of them said, “Will you marry me?” and was tied to a gigantic silver ring. It was all very romantic (and goofy) but I can’t say that I was too excited by the look of the silver ring. He immediately told me that it was just a stand-in for the real thing that he wanted to pick out together. Did I mention that I married a genius? This is the ring that I picked out. The aquamarine is way bigger than any diamond we would have been able to afford. My wedding band is a simple platinum band with a beautiful leaf design on it. I absolutely have to have them in my life. Only 99 more to go . . .

What about you dear reader? What would you want to be part of your 100? What would your criteria be? Am I leaving anything out?

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2 thoughts on “The Minimalist’s Wife

  1. michael morguess says:

    I very often look around my house and think about all the things we have that we don’t need, don’t use, or that I can’t remember why we acquired in the first place. When my mom died a few years ago, we went to her place to clean out her stuff and there were so many things that we went through and just threw away. At first, it was difficult; everything seemed like something to cherish. But as we began to go through them, it became apparent that most of the stuff could be tossed–especially papers, but other things as well; it just seemed like so much of it was just stuff she never got around to purging. We saved very few things, and even now, most of the things we saved sit in one of her old suitcases in our garage. Sometimes I think it’s sad, and sometimes I think, what is it all for? What do these tangible things mean to me? I’ve managed to get along without them all of my life, before and after she died. Why do I need them now?

    Andrew Altman had a post a few days ago, something to the effect of “I’d rather have experiences than material things.” I’ve read, and agree, that most of our memories and happiness come from experiences, not things. And it’s true. With that in mind, I would keep things that can bring me experiences and happiness, and not merely because I own them. What would I keep? I have a lot of guitars, electric and acoustic. If I were reducing my possessions, I’d have to keep at least one acoustic, one electric, and one small amp. I like to play and make music; sing with my kids; jam with other musicians. So I’d have to keep them. And our piano. All of our kids like to play. Our music collection, although I guess we could downsize by digitizing everything. And photos (can that count as one?). A baseball glove and bat.

    • Roolalenska says:

      Wow Michael. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The last time I was in my attic cleaning I went through a big box of my Grandfather’s pictures that I had taken on after he died over 15 years ago. I ended up throwing most of them away. I thought of giving some of them to my Father but then I thought that frankly they would just end up coming back to me again in the not so distant future. It’s like you said, I managed to get along without them for so long and why do I really need them now?

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