In Love with an Idea

The process of preparing for this experiment has already revealed a lot to me. Mostly about myself. A little bit about humans in general.

I have these moments where I’ll take a break from my computer work or phone calls and I imagine my world without all of these things taking up space in my life and in my mind. I think “oh how grand it will be to wake up in my sparsely furnished bedroom, choose a simple outfit from almost-empty closet, and go to work in my uncluttered home office.” Like a character from a fairy tale, I expect someone to whisk away my belongings while I sleep.

I’m very much in love with idea of a minimalist lifestyle…but not so much in love with all the work it takes to get there.

There are people who just “chuck it all” and head out to the woods to embrace the writings of Thoreau. With nothing but a journal and peaceful spirit, they walk away from all their possessions and embrace the simple life. Must be nice.

I think part of taking on the responsibility of a simplified life is accepting the work that must be done to get there.

There are days I would LOVE to take everything I own, put it in a big pile, and set it on fire. But this too, is a romantic notion. A fairy tale. Because I would hate to watch the burning of the poetry book my mother gave me when I graduated from high school. It was hers in college. It is my favorite book and I hope to pass it on to my daughter (or son) someday.It’s one thing to say “let it burn” and another to scrape up the ashes of your grandmother’s music box.

I’ve actually been working very hard to reduce my collection of things. It’s taken years for me to get down to the many things I currently own. What I’m learning is that in the end things don’t matter. But this isn’t the end. And we must decide how we feel about our things. Well…you don’t have to but I do.

That’s what this quest is all about. I’m not quitting. Besides, I’m a sucker for a good story and I want to see how this one ends…

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