Sunday, May 6, 2012

Losing my (minimalist) religion

http://walternaeslund.com/
Y'know, minimalism is tiring! Look at everything you have to do:

  • find stuff to get rid of without getting injured by the things that fall on you from your closet
  • get yourself emotionally unattached to each item even though the thought of sending a plate to the trash makes you want to run screaming from the minimalism blogosphere
  • don't buy new stuff for your home even if you just bought a place and suddenly everything needs to be fixed and my, do I ever want a faucet filter because DC water tastes like something died in it
  • don't buy new stuff as therapy even though you've been doing this for years and you're beginning to wonder if Starbucks coffee really is less addictive than Macy's
  • keep blogging about it even as other bloggers get so tired of for-profit minimalism that they quit and you have little left to read that doesn't scream "buy my e-book!"

I've taken a bit of a break from blogging recently. If you've ever asked yourself the question, "what would I do with my life if I won the lottery?" you'll know the feeling. Once you've gotten past the desires for the material stuff, how would you fill your time if you didn't have to work? 

I made my list and lo and behold, blogging was pretty far down. So I took some time off to start some things I really did feel passionate about. I contemplated quitting blogging. And after two weeks of not making a serious decluttering/minimalism post, you know what? 

My condo was a *lot* more messy. 

Blogging is therapy for me. It's profit-making for some, attention-getting for others. I wanted to go down the profit and attention roads for a while. But I'm never going to make money off of the blog and honestly I shouldn't need to. I don't need the attention from 100 or 1000 readers as much as I need the accountability of the few followers I do have. 

Most of us won't make money or get popular by having blogs. But we will have neater houses. That has to be enough for me.

So...you may see some changes. I may post less often, I may combine multiple reckonings into single posts because they take a long time to write and I'm about 200 items behind! I may focus more on myself and what I haven't learned than on general decluttering tips that I've already internalized. 

For those of you that are listening, thanks. You keep me honest and that means a lot to me. 

19 comments:

  1. I am glad that you will keep blogging, I enjoy reading :)

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  2. I agree with Sarah. I enjoy reading your blog, but it really should be an enjoyment for you as well. Blog as often or as little as you'd like - we'll still be reading. :-) I started mine to keep myself motivated and having to find that one item every day definitely helps me. If it helps someone else be inspired to sell, give away, donate, throw out something they don't need, awesome, but it's not my main goal. I'm not looking to be a guru or to sell my readers anything and some days, my blog is little more than "here's what I got rid of today." :-) And those "buy my ebook" bloggers, yeah, I've been dropping some of them as well. If you have good info, people will buy your product without it being shoved down their throats.

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    1. thanks for the vote of support! I'm so impressed that you post every day. I don't know where you find the energy!

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  3. Blog in whatever way works best for you--I will keep reading!

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    1. thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate it.

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  4. Thank you for keeping it real! I say do what feels best and right for you. Blogging can be cathartic for me, but also very pressured. I think maybe I just need a new name/URL to go w/ the lack of theme lol. It's funny though--the less I blog, the better my house looks ;) I'm glad you're around to keep people like me in check :)

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    1. funny how we can put so much pressure on ourselves! I really enjoy reading your thoughts. You're a great, thoughtful writer. What a better way to ditch the things you're frustrated with than by starting over (hm, sounds like minimalism!)

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  5. Keep blogging. It is like a letter from a friend who lives far away and on a different schedule. Good. Comforting. Think of it as one area of no-minimalism-needed. Making money off a blog is a bit like burping in public. Done by some, but not really nice. My next area of angst and decluttering is photo frames. Are they treasures or could I live without them? Getting rid of 10% might work.

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  6. Please keep blogging. You were one of the first blogs I found and you've been a great inspiration. I'm taking very tiny baby steps and blogging all the way. Like you, more for the accountability and community. I don't know where, if anywhere, it will go. But for now, it's a great motivator and reading about others' efforts is too. It's good to know how many bath towels other people think is reasonable to have. As opposed to the God only knows how many I have. That's on the list of items to assess and purge.

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    2. aw, shucks. That does mean a lot to me. The community that I can see in all of the responses is really important to a lot of us. I wonder sometimes if a yahoo group might be better for all of us, or at least be a good thing to add!

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  7. I think you are doing brilliantly. You are such an inspiration. I'm a wannabe minimalist, but my husband is a hoarder; so it's difficult to balance both. Keep your blog for pleasure because then your passion shines through and that's how you create change for yourself AND others. I used to blog every day over on MZW,but now blog once a week.

    And I really hear you on the sentimental side of decluttering. Recently I finally got rid of some of my Grandmother's things; I've been hanging onto them for over ten years; ten freakin' years... Anyway, gone to the auction; I've made some cash, I can still connect with her whenever I want to. I feel strangely relieved...

    Warm wishes
    Rae aka Mrs Green @ myzerowaste.com

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    1. thanks Rae! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement :o) Looking forward to your weekly posts!

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  8. I'm with you: I don't blog to be "famous" or to earn a living from it, I blog if (and only if) I have something meaningful to say, something I want to share with "the world". Sometimes I happen to write 4-5 posts per month, sometimes less, but I don't care :)
    In Italy we have this saying "Follow me, if you love me!" :D

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  9. Keep going at whatever pace you like. I enjoy reading what you have done and where you are coming from. The everyday victories and inner revelations about the stuff are a balm for my clutter wounds. I am a recovering packrat. I can admit that. My goal is to actually be minimalist. But it is slow going, one box of long-time clutter at a time and one resisted purchase at a time too. I do hope you choose to keep going - you are one of my favourites.

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  10. I have to say that I share your ambivalence about the whole blogging thing. I'm actually on my 3rd blog - the first two got shut down because... well partly because my crazy family discovered them and they became significantly less fun after that, but also because I got sort of disgusted with the whole "look at me" aspect of it all.

    I think there's a very fine line with this sort of stuff - and it is really disheartening to see so many people using minimalism, or simplicity, or frugal living or green living or whatever as a commercial endeavor. There's just an inherent contradiction in trying to make money off of what is essentially an anti-consumerist movement!

    And don't EVEN get me started on all those self-appointed "experts" out there - you know the type - "Me all knowing mighty blogger - you lowly peon reader sent here to bask in the light of my knowledge and insights, oh, and buy my eBook while you're ate it." It's hard not to get disillusioned in this environment!

    But in the end, I love blogging because it gives me an opportunity to make connections with other people with whom I can see eye to eye. I LOVE reading about people's personal journeys and the camaraderie I feel when I see that other folks struggle with the same stuff that I do.

    Oh, and BTW, I do have ads on my blog, but it's not because of the money. Seriously, I think I make maybe $5 a month if I'm lucky. For me it's a somewhat arcane tax reason - I don't want to have to maintain 2 separate computers for business and personal use, so if I can call my blogging "business" it allows me to get away with only one computer.

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    1. You see, little things like taxes make sense. At that point it's done without talking out of both sides of your mouth.

      I totally agree that the sense of community being one of the best parts of blogging. I didn't expect to make friends or acquaintences when I started this, but it's been a fun surprise.

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