I have a reputation in my family as an almost crazy minimalist. At holidays, when people normally get gifts, the people who love me know I really don’t like stuff. It stresses me out. So they almost always give me things that I can easily eat or use up. Things like nice olive oil, unusual spices, gift cards for e-books, beautiful soaps and lotions, or they take me out to eat at one of the many great restaurants in Charlotte. I like it that way!
There are several reasons I don’t like stuff. I think it all started when we moved into this very small farm house that was built back in the 1800’s, before people really had a lot of stuff. This house doesn’t have much space for extras. The closets are extremely small and there are no storage rooms at all. As a result, if we don’t live pretty simply, we end up with piles of things around the house and no place to put them. The piles of clutter were probably the beginning of my dislike for stuff. I think it goes deeper though. Almost all possessions cost money, need to be cleaned, need to be maintained, need my time, need space, and ultimately do not bring true happiness.
What does bring happiness for me involves people. For that reason, I try not to spend my money on things I need to find a place for in my home. Instead, I want to spend it on food that nourishes my family, as well as time and experiences with my friends and family. If you could see my food bill you would probably choke, and that is WITH growing almost all our own produce. I’m convinced that the food we eat is directly connected to the health and wellbeing of my family, and well worth the dollars spent. So, I do spend the money on local grass fed meats and dairy, as well as healthy butter, cheeses, and oils. I’m not a minimalist in the food department because I know the importance of food on our health and quality of life.
Jay and I also will spend money on time together, time with friends, and time with family. There is nothing more important in our lives. Our kids might think we are a little crazy because we live so simply. Yet, we will blast out money for a beautiful dinner out or a weekend together somewhere amazing, and even treat them to come along. Those moments together are priceless. One day when I am an old lady and look back at my life, I know those connections will end up being what really mattered in my life. I wonder if this is one of the reasons people farm. No one farms because it is so lucrative. I think it has to do with the connection with the outdoors, a desire for independence and peace, as well as an understanding that happiness is more associated with the people you hug, than the things you hang in the closet.
Eat your veggies,