Saturday, July 18, 2015

MINIMALISM – LESS IS MORE





I adopted a minimalist lifestyle a couple of years ago when I lost my rate race job. I realised that I had accumulated a lot of chattels that I no longer used or needed. They were taking up space and collecting dust. 

So I had a series of garage sales and also sold some items on ebay. What I was eventually left with were a few items that nobody wanted. So I gave them away to charity organisations. It was one of the best things I ever did. I realised that they were just a burden to me as I would have to store them or pay to move them if I wanted to travel.

I also had a car that I needed when I had a rat race job. When I decided to retire and be a part-time writer, I decided to sell the car. It was a depreciating asset that I no longer needed. I sold it through the local paper and have been getting around by public transport and bicycle ever since. I don’t miss the expense, ratbag drivers, police harassment or traffic jams.

When I first retired I was overweight. I had been overweight for a couple of decades and had tried high protein diets, low calorie diets and more exercise without any success. Then I noticed that a friend of mine who had been retired for over a decade only had one meal a day and kept his weight in check by this simple habit. So I decided to give it a try. I limited my meals to one square meal a day and maybe a snack or two if I was particularly hungry.

I also walked or rode a bicycle for just a half an hour a day. I lost two stone within three months and have kept my weight down ever since. It was a great feeling being able to get rid of my old wardrobe and buy a few good quality clothed instead. Now I have more energy and eat only when I am hungry instead of at regular meal times. When you get older and lead a more relaxed lifestyle you don’t need to eat three meals a day.

When I got rid of all the excess chattels out of my life I knew there was no point in replacing them with another set of chattels. Now I make a list of groceries I need every fortnight, go to the supermarket and get them and then leave immediately. If there is anything else I think I want to purchase it goes on my wish list for at least a month.

I find by using this method many of the items I thought of buying were just a “want of the week”. After waiting a minimum of one month I usually have no desire for them as my circumstances have changed. I have completely eliminated impulse buying. One of my favourite mantras is “I like the bhuddistic calm of having money in the bank.”

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