My reaction to The Minimalism Documentary

Is my relationship with ‘things’ healthy?

At a time with “New year new you” posts flying around the blogsphere, social media and the media, it appears that Minimalism paraphinalia is in abundence. Between books like that one by Marie Kondo, or documentaries like Minimalism by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus it feels like the pressure is on for 2017’s word to be “minimalism”.

Ryan and Joshua are two 30 something men who had previously worked hard to reach their corporate career driven goals, but still felt a longing sense of disatisfaction.  This is when they decided to take back control of their lives and happiness by turning to minimalism.

The Documentary follows them as they complete a book tour, discussing their lifestyle journeys with audiences all over the country, and sharing their methods.

There are a lot of aspects of  the documentary that align with my own values with the main essence having meaning and purpose in your life.

The impact of advertising and social media are discussed in relation to conumerism and compulsory consumption that they encourage, this is something I have mentioned on this blog several times in the past, in relation to the monetising of Instagram, Twitter and Blogs; using people to sell things and create objects of fashion.  The increase of envy and comparison to lifestyle, and must have objects since the creation of these platforms must be through the roof.  You could argue that personality type means that some people will always be suseptable to feeling envy or desire to replicate life or outfits, however I’m not convinced this is justification.

The Documentary goes on to delve into the psychological reasoning behind this need for more; placing social value on items in order to fill a void, the hunger for fulfilment and need to feel whole.  I know for one that I used to get real enjoyment from buying clothes and things, and whilst this isn’t the case anymore, this documentary isn’t saying this.  It is about having less so that you can have more enjoyment- for example making room for more books if books are what make you happy- What things are bringing value to my life?

I found the segment showing tiny homes particularly interesting, especially as I watched the documentary on the same day that I discovered the Youtubers TheTinyMumma and NomadiDaddy, who have recently been living in a converted shed.  I found it truly enlightening to look around these homes and see how comfortable these peope were living (albeit apart from poor TheTinyMumma heavily pregnant trying to climb up a tiny ladder to bed…!).

The section on technology is one I think a lot of people could benefit from seeing, especially on the need for more up to date kit and the disposability of previously “must have” items.  I am as guilty as anyone, and am on my own journey to reduce my use, however I think it is a sad indictment on society that we feel the need to conseciously switch off from technology.   I have been trying to reduce my use of technology for many months, including going out without my phone, and only communicating with people to arrange to meet up.  By making communication less frequent, it allows the communication to be more meaningful , which has then allowed for me to be part of closer, more meaningful communities.

Overall I think this documentary is well worth watching if you are interested in enriching your life and evaluating your own values.  Whilst none of what they say is ground breaking, I do think it serves as an important reminder to look at ourselves and how we wish to live our lifes, and for how we wish the world around us to look like.

“Love people, and use things, because the opposite never works”.

2017 hopes

I don’t actually like to put too much pressure on the year ahead, but mentally I always make a bullet point list of things I’m hoping to do, and here it is “written down”. 
Travel to at least three places– I think this is pretty achievable, we’re already booked into Barcelona. We’re hoping to travel Bavaria for our honeymoon and Paris or Bologna is on the cards too, plus I’m sure we’ll be back up to Scotland again. 

Stop being non stop– Going to the Highlands always immediately demonstrates how non stop my life is. I’ve always been someone (pre child!!) who has quiet hobbies, embracing relaxation and unwinding. But since having Ophelia my free time has been radically compressed (hi 3 years of limited sleep) which then means I’m squeezing more into less time. We’d obviously found a rhythm because it didn’t feel ridiculously out of control, but I immediately noticed how odd it felt for me to sit still with no niggling feeling of things I should be doing.  That’s when I knew I needed to be careful. To be that tightly coiled non stop cannot be good for your body, health or lifestyle. So I need to work on this in 2017. Not yet sure how. Maybe I’ll employ a cleaner 😂. 

Don’t be a bridzilla– With just under 9 months until we get married, I’m maybe a bit too relaxed about the whole thing. We haven’t sent out save the dates or invites, I’m a bit worried I’ll get to June and suddenly realise how much I need to do. But realistically, I can’t see that happening.  At the end of the day, as long as people are fed and watered, not much else matters. 

Solve the house issues– We are lucky in that our house is relatively low maintenance and neutrally decorated so not much is needed. Unfortunately we do have out of use chimney stacks which have been a right ball ache; twice we’ve done different interventions but yesterday we discovered neither have solved it. So we start again!I’m determined to properly solve it, no matter the cost! 

Really that’s it, I expect nothing more or less from 2017 because who knows what curve balls it will throw. But as long as we’re surrounded by the right love and support, we can get through it.