Okay, “afraid” may be a strong word (although I don’t think it is) but Annie and I were chatting last night about life, money, Sammy, and all the other issues in the world. We’ve been headed in the direction of attempting to be more minimalistic for the past two or more years. I would say we have mostly failed at this but we have certainly made some progress.
The last couple of months I have been thinking more and more about what we can do to enrich our lives more and be more minimal all at the same time. Doing this will be beneficial for many reasons:
1) By focusing more on how to become more minimal we will reduce our carbon footprint.
2) In some ways we’ll have more time because we will be re-prioritizing time spent.
3) We will be spending less money which is good all the way around.
4) Sammy will grow up in a house where the priorities are people, not things.
5) Even though I think Annie and I have a great relationship, I think it will get even better.
One area we have started focusing on is food. Our goal is to eat healthier and attempt to buy as much food (produce, etc.) from local providers versus the big box stores. That doesn’t mean we won’t be at the big box stores but it means we’ll be there less.
We’re also going to start focusing on our home utilities. We want to use less electricity, gas, and so on. We are contemplating cutting our cable and land line with Charter and using Apple TV and an online fax service instead. This will save us money, but overall our goal is to watch less TV. More money in the bank account and more time to work on things that matter! I’m a huge advocate of creating stuff…whether that be a poem, a short story, a blog post, a painting, or whatever it is you do. I think creating is better than watching TV.
There are some other ideas floating around between Annie and I but you get the idea. We are looking in to all aspects of our life to see where we can cut spending without giving up fun and to see where we can do better in supporting our local community.
The end goal is to raise Sammy with the priority that human relationships matter more than material things and over-consumption. We want him to put value on creating things and not just consuming what other people create. My personal belief is that our legacy comes from the relationships we have (friends, family, marriage), giving back, and the things we create.
Other goals are to spend less and save more. By doing this we can retire sooner or give back more…but at least we’ll have those options. We also think it’s important to simply use less…use less energy, less stuff that we consume and throw away. We’re not going to become hardcore tree huggers but we can certainly do better than we are right now.
One of the main reasons for all of this, aside from benefitting Sammy, is I want my life back. I’m tired of allowing the TV and other completely unimportant things to weigh me down and steal the little bit of time I have left on this planet. I’d rather spend more time with Annie and Sammy. I’d rather read more and continue to create the things I enjoy creating. I’d rather travel and talk to people versus sit in front of a TV.
There is nothing more important than time, yet we never work on balancing the checkbook of time like we do our checkbook of money.
When you die, will all those hours of TV have made you a better person?
So here we are, pushing ourselves even more to do something instead of nothing. This life is an experiment and we’re trying to evolve and change as we feel the need. We’re trying to continually enhance ourselves, our relationship, and the time we have. This isn’t about becoming militant with all this and burning our TV’s in the backyard…it’s simply about becoming more aware of how our time is spent.
It’s never too late to start making those changes you’ve always wanted to make.