Minimalist Living With A Non-Minimalist. Oh Boy

I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support to the post about our family member in stage 4 lung cancer.  It is a rough time for our family but the support we received after the post told us that we have a warm, concerned community.  It also told us that many of you are in the same position with older parents or relatives and understand the dilemma.

Now on to today’s post – and it’s another personal one. It is about a minimalist living with a non-minimalist.  In other words?  Me versus my husband.

I’m extremely happy venturing down the minimalist pathway and find it very freeing.  We own our business, and as many know when you own your business you are all you have to rely on – there is no guaranteed paycheck every 2 weeks.  You must put the time in to doing the marketing and building the business.  We have been very blessed but it has often been very time consuming. Sometimes I found it down right hard to keep everything together. Many times I would spend the weekends out of the house just to get away from it all. Eating at restaurants and  shopping.  I didn’t have much time in the early years of the business and using my time the way I did left me feeling even more exhausted.

Moving into the minimal direction has been rewarding in so many ways, but one of the ways I value the most is the time that I have. I am able to exercise daily which keeps my mindset positive. I eat much healthier because I have the time to prepare my food, and stay away from processed foods. Plus I am able to give back to my community.  We rescue animals, we support feeding America’s hungry children, and we participate in our local events such as breast cancer awareness 5K and domestic violence awareness 5K.

Keep in mind that I am at a completely different place in my life than a 35 year old raising a family, but in the past, even without young children in the home, I still did not have the time I needed or wanted. I remember working outside of the house while raising my two daughters, and it is not easy at all. I wish I would have been introduced to minimalism back then.

Unfortunately, my husband does not comprehend the term minimalism and sometimes it can make me literally crazy!  The other day I decided to start on our closet. I stumbled on a stash of empty shoe boxes (don’t ask – I don’t know WHERE they all came from) and began to pack them up. My husband insisted I not throw them away, stating he can use them to store “stuff”. I told him if he’s using them to just store “stuff”, then he doesn’t need the shoe boxes or the stuff.  Well, what sent me to say that…?  I tried to compromise, asking to recycle 40 of the 50 boxes saved.  Needless to say I got out of the room before he threw a shoe box at me.

The moral of this story?  My husband drives me crazy. No, that’s not it – just kidding.  The moral is we are each individuals and view things differently.  What I see as garbage my husband sees as storage.  He’s slowly coming along and doesn’t miss the hundreds of bowls without lids that I got rid of in the kitchen – matter of fact, he says how nice the cupboards look.

I’ve been married almost 29 years and the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my life: I cannot change anyone but myself.  When he is ready to head down the same path as me, with the shared space we have, I’ll hold the garbage bag open. I sure hope it’s quick before more shoe boxes get into our closet.

Enjoy your day!

Denise

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