A Mud Hut In My Underwear

“Minimalism is intentionality. It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.” – BecomingMinimalist.com

DOES IT BRING YOU JOY?

Firstly, let me start by saying that this whole minimalism thing is a journey just like any other. While I am doing my solid best to have less “stuff” in my life, I am not perfect, in this or in any other arena. But I am getting better every day, and I am better than I used to be, and that’s all you can ask of yourself.

It’s important to remember that having less, doesn’t mean having nothing. It doesn’t even necessarily have to mean less. It simply means the things you do have are purposeful, well thought out, and bring you joy.

If having a collection of bowling balls brings you joy, do that. If a ludicrously expensive painting brings you happiness every time you gaze upon it, buy it. If you want a quality backpack, like my Osprey, because you travel regularly, get it. Spend that money. Spend it with intention. Then, thoroughly enjoy the object of your desire.

DOESN’T SEEM REAL MINIMALIST TO ME THERE FELLA

Recently I purchased new wheels and tires for my truck. Afterwards, a couple of friends made snarky comments like, “‘Chasing Less'” with those wheels…eh?”.

They are missing the point.

I don’t go to the mall. I rarely buy new clothes. I don’t have the latest TV or gadgets. I don’t buy DVD’s or CD’s or any of the other cheap chinese garbage that fill most peoples homes. Those things don’t bring me joy. But it doesn’t mean I don’t buy anything. It doesn’t mean I wish to live in a mud hut in my underwear.

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CARS AND BIKES AND BEARS OH MY!

For instance, cars and motorcycles have always been my “thing”. I’ve had 37 and 16 respectively. In fact, I drove to Charleston, SC just yesterday and sold yet another motorcycle.

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Wasn’t she a beauty! Congrats Michael on your new wheels!

Typically, I get great deals on these vehicles, use them for awhile, and sell them for a tidy profit. Riding my motorcycle, especially on the Blue Ridge Parkway, brings me IMMENSE joy. Joy well beyond what the cost would dictate. That I usually sell these things for more than I paid for them? That’s just an added bonus. A side hustle if you will.

 


But let’s get back to the wheels and tires in our example:

1. I can afford them. They didn’t go on a credit card. I won’t be paying them off for the next 24 months.

2. I got a GREAT deal, as always. Having done this type of thing for a long time, I have a number of connections in the industry. 

3. They have a purpose. We are planning a 50 state road trip after all, some of which will be traveling through some pretty intense terrain, especially in Alaska and out west. The stock tires on my truck were NOT going to cut it. 

4. I didn’t “use up” the original set of wheels and tires so that I can sell them as a set…which will pay dollar for dollar for the set I just bought (see number 2). So my out of pocket cost is, actually, $0.  <—- see what I did there? 

5. Most importantly, they bring me joy. Every time I look at them. They are my painting, my backpack, my collection of bowling balls. 


 

These things weren’t purchased on a whim. They weren’t purchased because a commercial on TV told me to. The purchase was planned for months, didn’t cause financial burden, and brings me joy.

That’s the point.

See you on the journey…

 

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