reduce what you have, love what you got

Dresden china passed down a generation that we regularly enjoy.

I smile every single time I look at, or touch, a favourite object because it gives me such joy! I am amazed that there are some items that I derive such happiness from. Is this contrary to being a minimalist?

My instinct is to pare down anything that clutters my life: emotionally, mentally and physically. Regarding household and work items, my rule is ‘something comes in, something must go’. Yet I wish to draw attention to what I consider a companion experience with minimalism. Love what you do have!

So I love my teapot. It’s not just any teapot. It is a happy memory of a well chosen gift and a reminder of many wonderful conversations while using it. Its function is exquisite and the colour and design inspire me. We have a modest collection of dishes and they comprise only favourite hand me downs. I share similar thoughts and feelings about many of the objects that have won a position in our minimalist household. The key for me is that these objects hold a story and serve us with their ability and beauty. They do not fill a void or are used to prove status.

It is the furniture and few pieces of artwork we have chosen to place in our relatively small home that allow us to see the smooth walls and clean lines on the floor. There is a limited number of surfaces to place “dust collectors”; a term from a fellow minimalist that makes me giggle. We have very little storage space and by design we keep it that way. Nothing to repress and hide away in a dark place. Having fewer objects allows us to see past them to the joys of experience.

How about waking up a little earlier in the morning to be able to linger in a cozy hot bath. Bundle up with a cheerful scarf before heading out into a blustery day. Be mindful not to tense muscles in the cold and to cleanse the spirit by inhaling the icy air. The birds don’t seem to mind the temperature as they chirp and flit from tree to overhead wire. Say hello to weary walkers as they pass by. When in my office I plan, as only an organized organizer can! I write whenever possible because it feels good. And meeting with clients. Wow, meeting with clients who trust me and share their most creative and deepest selves. So uplifting!  I love the sunshine right up to its last beam at 5 o’clock. Before dinner, my Love and I raise a small glass of something and the shadow of the tulip shaped flutes on the wall refracts beams of red and white light. The stem is turned like wood, smooth and curved. I see my partner caressing his glass and I am reminded of how he touches me, referring to the focused grasp of his hand around my waist as he pulls me in for a kiss. How speaking my name with such love reaches out to turn my attention. With a cherished friend we chat by candle light well on to midnight, after enjoying a delicious meal together. After our guest has gone, we sigh with comfort under our duvet, toes touching as we fall asleep.

This is not balance. The objects we choose to surround ourselves with don’t compete for our attention or affection. If they have a reason to exist, it is to enhance the priority of engaging in a satisfying life.

What object in your space do you love and how does it contribute to your well being?


3 thoughts on “reduce what you have, love what you got”

  1. Would you say it’s equally important to be mindful of when our affections for such objects changes?

    For a few years, I was using as my dresser a beautiful handmade piece I’d bought from a neighbour when he moved to Australia. I loved it, and still do, but it really wasn’t big enough to store my clothes (Do I have more than I need? That’s a question for another day.) The dresser I’d had growing up had been passed on to my niece, and after she left home, my sister no longer needed it. I was delighted to take it back and to have a proper dresser again, even though it had seen better days. Now that I’ve lived with it for a few years, I’m tired of the broken knobs, the wobbly legs, and the bottom coming out of one drawer, and find myself longing for something sturdier. Yet it makes me sad to think that no one will want my old dresser or understand its historical significance.

    1. That’s a very good point, Janet. Although, it looks like your affection for your old dresser is still present when you say it makes you sad that it may not be wanted or valued for it’s significance. Knowing that something isn’t working for you, however, is a sign that there may be a barrier to functionality. So being mindful of when an object has outlived it’s purpose, for anyone to use, is practical. A solution may be to fix it up – then you could still enjoy it and get the sturdiness you crave. Or spend a mindful moment on what the dresser means to you and process all that comes with it. Sometimes the ability to let things go can come from just applying some attention to validating any feelings you have around the piece. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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