I’ve always been a minimalist at heart. I’ve never wanted for much, I don’t enjoy buying things just to buy them, and too much decor has always driven me crazy. Growing up in a single wide trailer with a family of four didn’t help. I was always surrounded by things. Other people’s things, and things other people thought I wanted or needed, despite my constant pleas for them to stop buying me things.
The problem is that most people don’t understand the concept of someone not wanting things. Who wouldn’t want a brand name sweater? A pretty vase? A basket full of scented lotions? What kind of person doesn’t want a heartfelt gift?
Well, I guess me. I don’t want anything from anyone. Well, except the unconditional overwhelming love and adoration of my husband. That is something I must have, but I am needy and I digress…
My main point here is that I want to truly embrace the minimalist life. Being truly stuck at home for the past… decade? I kid, five weeks? I honesty don’t know anymore… but being stuck at home with my kids has shown me, and 100% verified to me, that my kids don’t need things either. They don’t want things. The less cluttered the space, the more they want to be in it. Give them a room filled with toys? No thanks. Give them an empty kitchen table and you get to see the true magic of childhood. Playdough and paint and glue. Give them a pretty bare bedroom? Relaxing time to read or play on their Ipads (only learning apps, don’t come at me).
This quarantine serves as a reminder to us all that we don’t NEED this much stuff. We don’t need a new amazon box at our doorstep each day with a new toy or gizmo or thing. We don’t need to go to Target to “just look” and bring home $100 in stuff we didn’t need in the first place. (I’m not knocking a long stroll through a Target with a coffee in search of necessities… I hope to do that again someday…)
What do we really, truly need?
For me, since this whole situation began, I’ve needed comfort of my husband, the laughs of my kids, food, soil, and seeds. We’ve learned to cook new things, we have started a garden for the first time (Home Depot delivery), we have done puzzles, had dance parties, played outside for a couple hours each day, learned how to do distance learning. We have adapted to a new normal, and it turns out that the lack of non-essentials is a true bright spot in this new world. I hope this teaches a lot of people about the difference between want and need. I hope it shines a bright light on over-consumption and what the hours of your working life truly should be spent on.
And on a completely different note, I hope everyone is safe and happy. I hope you have what you need, and if you don’t, I hope you have the help you need to survive right now. This is not a walk in the park. It’s not a picnic. It’s hard. It’s such a change and a struggle, mostly mentally. I know I’ve been suffering mentally. I’m trying to take each day as it comes, sometimes each hour. Things will, someday, somehow, come to a new normal. We will see friends and family again. We will be free of the confines of our houses. We will work and play in public. Things will never be the same as they were, but our new normal will be coming, and we will adapt to it, as we have adapted to this new normal. Hang in there, everyone.