With only 17 days left in 2016, I have been spending my time reflecting on my year and planning the next. The New Year is the most optimistic holiday offering a very clear opporunity to try again. When I asked myself what would most improve my quality of life in 2017, the answer over and over again was
puppies Making Space. What I’ve really been craving is more puppies clarity, simplicity, & physical spaciousness.
Over the last 5 years, I have been inching (absolutely crawling) towards minimalism. As I define it, minimalism is not simply having a small number of physical items. For me, minimalism is creating a lifestyle built on intention, refinement, & freedom through boundaries. Minimalism is intentional life design.
Through this lifestyle, I can release all that does not serve me. I can surround myself with only what is necessary, a curated collection of beautiful, suitably ‘Ellie’ items. Its all very romantic.
My fascination with minimalism began when I was a senior in college. As a final project, I was to conceptualize & construct a line of clothing. Throughout this process, I most enjoyed developing the style of living in which my clothing would be worn. I imagined silk slips in pastel colors. Fresh coffee. A bicycle to the farmers market. Lots of white space. My collection was suitably titled Simple Pleasures. Enarmored with a life I wasn’t living, I daydreamed of how I would feel surrounded by so much space. Somehow, it felt like breathing deeply.
The principles I was focusing on — ease, simplicity, warmth, comfort — were the principles I most wanted to cultivate in my own life. None of these feelings were unattainable but my reality was surrounded in clutter. I felt pulled in ten different directions and commited to obligations that weren’t tied to my values. Everything I owned seemed like makeshift subsititues for what I actually wanted. There was no extra time, no empty space, no room for mistakes.
That was 5 years ago, and yet I still live in a space of disconnect. All of my attempts to embrace minimalism have been lack luster (apparently, it can be quite the process) & I’ve never fully incorporated the concepts into my day to day life. My biggest hurdle, I think, is committing to my ideal lifestyle. I fall into the pattern of ‘good enough’. Choosing to hold onto clutter requires less effort than letting go, but it is the only way to make space for something new. This is the direction I want to move in 2017.
This will be a process and I will be documenting my experiments here. What are your resolutions? Anyone else out there experimenting with minimalism?