“Imagine how much richer life would be if we moved the junk out and made room for new opportunities ...”
Voluntary simplicity, in its widest context, refers to living an examined life;
in other words, one in which you have determined what is important for you and your immediate family
discarding the rest.
I missed posting a blog last week – and then I had only today to get the last one out for this month. I missed it in large part because I was working hard on some projects to turn this:
into something more like this:
In part because my parents were coming to visit for a night. Mostly because it was time to get things settled into place; to get myself settled into place. And though there are still a few details left to add, I do feel much more settled into my cute little bachelor apartment with all it's character and charm!
It was interesting to me, the reaction I got from some people when I was apartment hunting. The landlord tried to sell me on the 1-bedroom unit she had available in the same house. A few friends raised eyebrows or offered cautious smiles and warnings about such a small place. But I was looking for space enough for just me (and my cat!) To which one friend replied, “Yeah but it may not always be just you...”
Thing is I wasn't signing a lease at this place as a (sad) reflection of my then single status. I did it because I didn't want to spend excess money furnishing a full apartment. Because I didn't want parts of a unit I was paying for to go mostly unused. Because I know I get stressed and scattered when my living space feels cluttered and full of items I don't use. Because I knew I wanted to downsize to a manageable space; a space I could fill literally and metaphorically with only the things I needed; a space that felt – safe!
Just think with me for a minute – about the space, room, piece of furniture, or whatever it might be that you gravitate to first when you come home. A space where you are able to let everything go, to rejuvenate yourself, to figure out your next plan of action. Even if that plan of action is to go to a different space or room in your home. In short, your safe space.
For me, it is my bedroom.
During my travels around Australia, I mostly stayed in 4-6 bed dorm-room style hostels. One traveling companion noticed and commented on how I would crawl onto my bed every time I returned to the room; no matter the time of day nor how long I'd been away. I realize now that it was my safe space. The space that I could claim as my own, where I could let everything go, rejuvenate, and figure out my next plan of action. In other shared living arrangements – University dorm rooms, houses shared with friends, even as far back as as my childhood home growing up with 3 brothers – the only space I was ever able to call completely and solely my own was where I slept.
A bachelor apartment made sense and was exciting to me because the entire living space could be arranged to be my safe space! I will admit there have been times in the last two months when an extra storage closet would have been nice; or a few extra square feet to fit in that drawer unit that holds my office type materials; or room for a table/desk to set my look-at-later mail and paperwork pile on.