Why minimalism?

2018 is quickly coming to a close!  Which means my two-year anniversary of pursuing minimalism is just around the corner.  Let me tell you how my journey began…

My Pre-Minimalism Era

Flash back to 2016: my fiance and I had just purchased a house, I’d been in practice as a family doctor for less than a year, and on top of that we were planning our wedding!  So life was … busy.

If you’d asked me in my years as an undergrad, medical student, and then resident, I would have told you I thrived on being busy.  I was always involved in a million different extra-curriculars, committees and volunteer gigs.   That’s what everyone around me was doing so I did it too.  I was good at it and for the most part I enjoyed it.  All in all I made a lot of great memories during that period of my life.  It wasn’t until I got past the rat race of medical education, however, that I started to really crave slowing down.

Simplifying My Life

For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t working toward the next exam, the next goal, the next prescribed stepping stone.  I had free time again.  Having moved from the city to a small town I’d essentially cut ties with all my previous hobbies and commitments.  The world was my oyster.  And you know what I felt like doing?  Sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee and a good book.  Or hanging out with my sister.  Or going for a walk.  Nothing fancy or exciting.  Just the simple things.

Around this time Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up had started to gain real traction, and the word “minimalism” was popping up all over Pinterest.  I was immediately drawn to the idea of decluttering, living with less STUFF and more INTENTION.

Using my newly reclaimed free time, I began sorting through all the things I’d been carrying with me from place to place for the last ten years.  I donated bags of clothes, shoes and accessories, homewares I no longer loved, and books I’d never read again.  All my old school notes went in the recycling bin.  (Let’s be honest, I was never going to revisit them.  I could access all the same information with a couple of keystrokes on my laptop.)  It took the better part of a year to get through all the nooks and crannies of my space.  With every item that left my house a little piece of stress went with it and a morsel of calm took it’s place.

A New Found Sense of Calm

The more calm I felt, the more ruthless I became with the possessions I allowed to a) come into my home, and b) stay there.  Not only was I slowly reducing the inventory of things occupying my space, mind, time and energy,  I was much more mindful when purchasing new items.  I became very particular about only buying things I truly loved and /or needed.   No exaggeration, I must have tried on thirty different striped t-shirts over several months before I finally found one that was “just right”.

My mom joked that she didn’t know how I kept finding things to get rid of!  Somehow though, magically, I did.  And I’m still finding things.  Don’t get me wrong, my house still looks like people live here – there are pillows on the couch and dishes to serve 12 in my kitchen.  I am not a minimalist in the extreme sense of the word.  But my counters are usually clear and for now I’m happy with where things are at.

An Ongoing Journey

A common sentiment voiced by minimalists from all walks of life is that we’re never DONE minimizing.  As our lives evolve day to day, so too do the things that bring us a value.  With that in mind I don’t think I’ll ever be done decluttering – be it my closet, my calendar, or my mind.  I hope you’ll come along with me I strive to simplify and live my life ON PURPOSE, and that you’ll find a little inspiration for your own journey along the way.



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