Minimalist joys

The new Scandinavian take on the classic Italian espresso maker design, and the sweet whistling kettle, evoke a minimalist morning in our little kitchen

Having accumulated stuff for most of our adult lives, it seems we’re now embarking on a de-cluttering routine, so that our lifestyle could be said to be moving towards minimalism. Just how long this phase will last is anybody’s guess, but it feels as if it could be refreshing, cool, and well, minimal.

I’d like to think that we might be exchanging external clutter with a more vivid interior landscape. I’m aware that I’ve lived with the characters of my novel for the past six months, anyway. They’ve had quite a vibrant story to tell, I think. And now they’re emerging into the greater world, step by cautious step, as beta readers pursue the manuscript.

In many ways, of course, we’re characters in the story we create for ourselves. Our new story is about two ageing folks downsizing into something convenient and comfortable, while still seeking to participate in community and social activities as feasible. In this story, sleek uncluttered design overtakes clunky utilitarianism at every opportunity. In principle, a de-cluttered lifestyle should provide more time for actually living, experiencing, feeling.

I think that would be our ambition, but time will tell if we manage to be receptive to experience, to engage with our feelings and to embrace both joy and sorrow as they come along. I hope we can be open to newness, while being careful not to take on too much responsibility. Life is so precious, and each day is another blessing.

Meanwhile, on with the developing routine, and bring out the calendar, why don’t we, so we can plan the next days, weeks and months ahead? And say, wasn’t that historical fiction’s premise rather well-received? Keep Me in Your Heart is a delightful working title, isn’t it?

So new projects also beckon. That’s got to be an ongoing joy.

One response to “Minimalist joys”

  1. Larry, I must first comment on the picture. The Scandinavian expresso maker is esthetically interesting but expresso is not my cup of tea so to say.. The French press coffee which I make each AM from freshly ground beans is the closest I will come to drinking any European coffee.

    It was with personal interest that I read today’s ‘Roads to Joy’. I have been an accumulator to the degree allowed while attempting to live in harmony with Connie. In some ways Connie & I exemplify the idea that opposites attract.Youve given me a new & accurate descriptor for her, a minimalist!  I’m sure that I would be labeled an accumulator. I believe that my tendency to accumulate “things” has been tempered by being married to a minimalist & having lived in small houses for most of our marriage. (Connie would probably disagree.)

    Having said the above I have still needed to let go of possessions over the last several years due to the tasks at this stage of the family life cycle. I’m glad that in the end possessions don’t really mean that much to me. I’ve often joked that at my estate sale many of the things I held dear will be piled into boxes willy nilly & be auctioned off for $1 or less per box at the end. Any unsold boxes will go to The Salvation Army or other charity Thrift Store. So much for the near, the dear & collectibles.

    In the book you recommended, Dear Life, the author notes that the majority of us would like to die at home but the majority of us will die in an institution. The fact that I will not be able to stay in my home forever has given me impetus to get rid of things. I like one of your comments about de-cluttering:  “In principle, a de-cluttered lifestyle should provide more time for actually living, experiencing, feeling.” 
    I must confess that after pursuing tasks of my age & getting rid of possessions it has taken time for the expected positive feelings to catch up with the practice of letting go of things.

    Best wishes on your downsizing & de-cluttering. Now I believe that I must go & find some things that are cluttering up my life.


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