This post has been coming for awhile, but it's been cold and dark, our internet connection has been intermittent (I think the snow showers three times a week might have something to do with it) and there is more than enough Seasonal Affective Disorder to go around.
I've been writing this blog for a year. I actually missed the anniversary of it because our internet was down much of that particular week. This didn't start out as a minimalist blog, and I don't see it as it as a one topic blog now. I have no doubt that it is obvious to readers that this blog is more in journal form at times; I'm not selling anything, I do not purport to have all the answers, and I'm far more into connecting with like-minded others with an end to being supportive and supported, and trading information and ideas, rather than audience building.
I've always loved to write and I drifted away from daily writing after having children. Also, I've been making art in an artistic family since I was a child and would like to get back into creating. I personally love to see what artists are busy with in both art and life. What happened was I realized that for me to go beyond the life deadening cycle of laundry, dishes, and picking up other people's stuff, I had to change our lifestyle. I knew this involved less stuff; I've been familiar with minimalism since my teens and have a deep love for the austere and uncluttered. What I didn't realize is that it was a movement. While my natural inclination for less had reawakened when I realized that our stuff was holding me hostage, this happened a short while before I came upon the minimalist movement. It was a stroke of luck to find people with similar ideas. Because I have been preoccupied with streamlining our house, that's what I've mainly blogged about this year. Now I see the end of uncluttering in sight and I feel I have a permanent love for this beautiful lifestyle; its simplicity allows us to more naturally appreciate the wonder in our lives. I cannot imagine not writing about it, but it won't be as often.
I'm just going to be straight with everyone - I'm sewing, painting, gardening, struggling towards sustainability, and fixing up my house this year as well as thinking about many things less tangible. Once I've finished purging, I'll be focusing more on environmentalism and indulging my inner survivalist/doomer just in case it starts to rain fire one day. Hopefully I'll also be making things. Like most people who have chosen a minimalist lifestyle, I'm sure it will continue to influence many of the choices I make, but there is only so much a person can write about getting rid of belongings before they start veering off into issues that aren't about minimalism while desperately trying to make it sound as if they are actually an intergral part of minimalism. Ahem. I'm not going any further.
And now we get to the wee grumble. I guess you could say I've become more and more disenchanted with minimalist bloggers and blogging. I don't wish to write a whole post about it, but I will say that almost all the issues that have been swirling around in my head were written about in an awesome and comprehensive post by Tanja at Minimalist Packrat. It's a must read if you're starting to sour on some aspects of the minimalist movement or could never get into it for some reason. I am unbothered by how anyone chooses to practice minimalism, whether it be with a backpack and a plane ticket or a house and a television. What I don't like is divisiveness, elititism, and nastiness. Yo! I live in Philly, we've got plenty enough of that as it is. Also, I must say that I find exclusivity really, really boring. And un-relateable. It's difficult to relate to awesome! child-free! single! hot! mindblowing! epic! sexy! nomad! cyborgs! vegan! angst! passion! all the time. If at all. Some of us are tired! cheese eating! community building! employed! content! over 25! even over 30! married to packrats! blue collar! diverse! have elderly parents! human! human! human! human! It was sort of driving me away from even wanting to write about minimalism myself, because I was questioning whether I wanted to be a minimalist, not in the sense of living simply with less, but to claim the label. I'm still not sure about that as I'm not big on labels as it is, but I feel comforted knowing there are others who are happy to title themselves minimalist without feeling they have to participate in some arbitrary rules someone else has imposed on minimalism. There will always be people who wish their "tribes" to be as homogeneous as possible, and then there are those few who are brave enough to welcome and accept those who do things differently. We learn more from those who are different than from those who feel exactly the same as we do. At least that's been my experience.
So now you know what's in store for me and how I'm pulling myself out of a funk. A wintry, blah funk. I think things are looking up now.