I met a wonderful *new* blogger on the Interwebs last night named Dusti. She writes over at Minimalist Adventures and she has a wonderfully conscious, grounded, and encouraging blog and lifestyle. I could hardly believe she had gained such insight at only 22 years old. Proves yet again that age is little more than a number.
As we exchanged emails and I told her a little about the r(E)volution I found myself summing up what I was really trying here. I am not just looking to build a tiny house and live in it for a year all the while documenting the successes, failures, victories, and shortcomings. I am slowly – day by day – changing my take on life and finding that delicate balance between need and want; necessary and frivolous. The very ideas are often what takes us from a sense of freedom to a overwhelming sense of slavery.
What about you? Are you a slave to anything? Is AMEX and Visa your shackles of choice? What about that sale over at the Target? Does it have bound and gagged, perhaps beaten senseless by consumption? Or maybe you choose to be victim of something bigger; a gas-guzzling SUV that has room for 4 more people than you will ever chauffeur. Whatever the case, I, too, live in a glass house and I am not gonna pick up a stone to throw. I am going to encourage you to make a few steps in what I have realized is the right direction.
- Sell your car or at least limit your driving. With your proceeds you can pay off the loan you took out to finance it. You can probably even buy a nice bike that will start you on a journey to better health and less dependence on fossil fuel. Each day will allow you to peddle further and further until you find it foreign to even sit in a car. This is something Crystal and I are trying to work into our lives even as I type. If you want a great, encouraging, resource on the two-wheeled life check out Tammy Strobel‘s book, Simply Car Free.
- Begin weeding through your possessions. I mean go through it all. You probably have collections you didn’t know you have. Don’t be afraid to let them go. They were fun for a while but now they just collect dust. Sell anything that may bring a few bucks; eBay, Craigslist, the local newspaper classifieds, etc. If you have clothes that are in great shape and are even popular consider consigning them. The rest of your stuff that you inevitably realize you don’t need you can donate to a number of places in every community. Free yourself of the clutter around you. I did this sometime ago (starting with my books, CDs, and DVDs) when I lived in New York and it began a massive change in my life. I loved every second of it.
- Reexamine your work schedule. Most of us have to work. It is as simple as that. But many of us don’t know how to leave it at work. With our Blackberry’s and laptops we often answer work emails and messages even when we are at home. Say it with me, “NO MORE.” Learn to prioritize your time. There is a time to work and a time to play. If you can cut a few hours and maybe move to a less than 60-hour work week, do it. Don’t be afraid of losing a few bucks in the paycheck. If you look hard enough you will see that those few extra bucks were really only contributing to keeping you at work (think gas, lunches, cell phone, etc).
I am not saying the above three options are not hard. Believe me. I loved my books. I loved being surrounded by the literary word. But I was being held captive by them. I had to find a bigger apartment to house them all even. And most of them I hadn’t read in years. But these suggestions can change your life. They can be the ‘game changer’ as Dr. Phil calls it (not that I watch Dr. Phil, ahem, ahem).
You need only take one step at a time. No one is asking you to change the world today. But I am asking you to change your life starting today! So, are you up for it? What can you do today to make it a ‘game changer?’
Today’s post inspired by Stop. Think. Do.