Happy Mani’s Day!
Since making my decision to reign from teaching ASAP, I have been reviewing my minimalistic philosophy of life. Mostly, on the practical side, I have to reduce the shit in my possession so I can fit everything into my car and go back to Michigan. But the rest of it is renewing some things I had forgotten. Stuff remembered that would have helped me with what I am going through now if I hadn’t remembered it too late.
Does this give me joy?
Does this give me sense of purpose?
Does this add value to my life.?
These are the questions at some point that I stopped asking and got off track. Had asked them about teaching or some of the things I have bought with my money I would probably have had a better sense of purpose and more money. So as I prepare to move back home, stuff is leaving my life.
I first learned of this concept many years ago when I was still a Christian reading Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline and then I read his later book – Freedom of Simplicity. Now, one might say this is a Christian thing until you realize every major viewpoint seems to have some discussion about Minimalism in its most base form – living simply. Stoic philosophers sing its praises without even a reference to a deity. Does it fit with the Nine Noble Virtues – I would say ‘yes’. It is more important to work with purpose than accumulate. More important to work on one’s self than acquire things from others.
This last few days, I have been getting rid of things and with each trip to Goodwill or each tip to the dumpster, I feel the load of life’s burden getting lighter. I have fewer things than last week and yet I feel like I have gained something – freedom from the desire to possess.
One particular trial in this was not as one might expect – my books. but rather my games. I have a load of Avalon Hill wargames I collected in my younger days that I have had through many travels and moves. I have held onto these forever and yet today I set aside 2/3 of them to take to Goodwill. I asked myself – ‘when was the last time you played this? It came up surprisingly often – ‘never’ and at other times ‘decades ago’. Some collectors will have them if they stumble into the right Goodwill and find them. But it felt so good – like giving up a dormant part of the past so I am open for something else to enjoy or be more productive. Letting go and gaining freedom. That is simplicity, that is minimalist philosophy. It brings real peace.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.