As I grow older, I have noticed that I love the ideas of minimalism and the slow movement a bit more every day. To me, they stand for taking the most basic, purest pleasures in life and enjoying them to the fullest: Cooking a great, home made meal with as little fluff as I can, taking my time to enjoy the smell of the spices and the act of creating the experience. Riding my bike through the forest and feeling every curve. Being able to see my kids grow and not miss their childhood years because of all the busywork.
Minimalism stands for freedom
I admire Everett Bogue for going all the way in using minimalism to work from anywhere, and standing for it: Minimalism means giving up stuff. And when you do, you notice that there is more to this life. Less is better.
My goal with minimalism is a bit different, but just like Everett’s it comes down to freedom: I want to rule my own hours and have more time with my family. To some extent, I have been able to do that already: My family still fits just fine in my 1997 Ford KA. We cook most of our food ourselves. I make all the bread we eat. And we don’t have a television.
By prioritizing time over stuff, I have been able to cut working at my day job to 4 days (or 30 hours) per week. And I haven’t gone all the way to my minimalist edge yet; I’m sure that by going further in cutting my consumption, I can still make a lot of progress with my minimalist motivation: using minimalism to make more time.
Whatever it is you want in this life, unless it is more stuff, I’m sure minimalism can help you get there. That’s because, at its core, minimalism is a tool to more freedom: Freedom to choose where you live. Freedom to be quicker in your decisions (because you have less possessions and commitments to worry about). Freedom to choose what you do with your time.
Slow stands for appreciation
If you want to cut the non-essential from your life through minimalism, the next natural step is to slow down and enjoy what’s left to the fullest. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing slowly.
As much as anyone, I’m still often the guy who is always in a hurry, doing too many things and multitasking. But because of the beautiful results I have seen in slowing down so far, I’m constantly practicing to be able to appreciate life by taking time to notice it as it happens:
By eating more slowly, I appreciate the food I am fortunate to have.
By walking more slowly, I appreciate the surrounding I walk through.
By reading more slowly, I appreciate the writer who spent hours to craft that blog post or weeks and months to build that novel. And in the end, the text touches me and pushes me to action on a whole new level.
Less is better, and slow makes it beautiful.