Before I met my son's new girlfriend, he warned me, "Mom, she's a Minimalist. So, don't be trying to give her stuff." I had in mind a definition of Minimalist as art. I dabble in art, so I thought he didn't want me to offer her my art supplies. "Don't worry. I won't."
While getting acquainted I learned a bit of her childhood, her impressive education and her struggles to travel 2,000 miles to the west coast and settle in. As usual, I have an excessive amount of "stuff". So I asked her if she needed some linens. No, she would use her sleeping bag. Then as I made tea and sandwiches I thought she might want some mugs. I was politely told, "No, thank you".
One thing I was painfully aware of was that this girl's poverty kept her dressed shabbily. I had some nice jeans left behind by my growing teen niece in the closet. Could she use them? She politely nodded and I enlisted my son to get them off the high shelf.
That is when he explained her definition of Minimalist. I couldn't grasp the concept that this young woman lived her life with two changes of clothing, slept on the floor in a sleeping bag and had a serving set for one in her little kitchen. And I just never got why she preferred to go barefoot all the time! To save her shoes?
It's been nearly a decade since my introduction to the concept. I've realized in many ways, I have been on a path leading me towards adopting the possibility of Minimalism. Most of my life has been one series of stripping belongings down to low levels, picking up, packing and moving, even as a youngster. As a new bride with a husband in the military, I moved a total of nine times in five years. I've had lots of experience preparing for this time in my life to tone down the overabundance of my "stuff".
And so my journey on becoming a Minimalist begins.
Wish me luck!