BARBARA TAYLOR – GUEST BLOGGER
Like all the “isms” there is the danger of preaching it, simplifying it, intellectualising it, generalising it; so please forgive me for doing all of it! I have been asked to write a few words on the concept and the benefits of living with few material possessions. Minimalism.
Ok.. yes I can give you a list of all the things that I live without… that is, dishwasher, microwave, car, freezer, coffee machine, clothes washing machine and dryer, griller, rangehood…… the list goes on. None of this is a hardship at all, because I live a fabulous life, with more freedom than I have ever had, on a little houseboat in France. The things that I do have ?….an anchor, a grappling hook, a bike, life jackets, VHF radio …. the list goes on.
Four years ago, my husband and I decided to buy an old boat in France and restore it to its former 1970’s glory… we did it and we started cruising the canals and rivers of France. This life is not for everyone.. it is a simple life and it is perfect for me; it is a life of luxury without the luxurious things…. it is called “freedom”.
When I was younger, I had lots of possessions. like most people.. I collected record albums and books and the latest kitchen items, like the Sunbeam pressure cooker, the little deep fryer to make the chips for the kids, even the fondue set for entertaining in a stylish manner… the house in the burbs, the pool and the two cars.. I think that as we get older, we need less of this stuff…We probably never needed it, but try telling that to someone in their 20s. I think that we start to realise that possessions tie us down, and if we need them for a sense of security, that is worrying.. all we really need for security is a roof over our heads, enough food to satisfy us, and good health. I also think that we need some savings in the bank.. It is best to start early in life in order to save some money for our security.
By focusing on good nutrition, exercise, the nurturing of all our good relationships, ( drop the ones that do not add to our quality of life) and garage sales that rid us of our unnecessary possessions, we are in a better place to enjoy the rest of our lives, with freedom to explore ourselves and the world in which we live.