Upon reading the Publisher’s Points to Ponder this week, I realized that without even knowing it, I had already taken several steps toward becoming a minimalist, too. I worked for AT&T, where I made a comfortable living. My husband and I each owned a laptop, and we had a desktop computer. We owned almost every gaming system out there with numerous games for each. The number of DVDs we owned would boggle the mind. However, the job was very stressful, and I had to drive an hour one way to work. Unfortunately, the work was not rewarding, the games were a distraction from real life, and the movies just filled the time between work and sleep. I never really felt like I was accomplishing anything or helping anyone—this was not the type of life I wanted to live.
William and I discussed our plans and realized the steps we needed to take to improve our quality of life. Our first step was to pay off our debts and not create any more. It was not a difficult decision because we knew the type of life we wanted to live. We started dining in more, and we minimized our purchases to get closer to our goal.
When I decided to leave my corporate job, my initial intent did not have anything to do with becoming a minimalist. I wanted to live a less stressful and a more fulfilling life. I wanted to live in the country where I would have some land to enjoy while living closer to my dad and brother to help them with their cattle. Other items on my list included finding a place where I could get involved in the community, finding a church home where I could become more involved and allowing God to use me the way He saw fit.
We currently have no car payments, but we have added some debt with the renovations to our home. Although we do eat out more often now, once we are in our house, we will cook more often. Cooking at home not only saves money, but it also brings us closer together when we cook as a team. One of my personal goals is to build most of the furniture that will be in the house because I love building things and working with my hands. Of course, there are some things we will get rid of once we are unpacked, but for now, our main goal is to resist adding anything new. One of the hardest parts of minimalizing is to keep it going. It is so easy to revert to that mindset of “needing things,” but things distract us from our true purpose. Besides, I find open and uncluttered areas are so much more comfortable and inviting, not to mention easier to clean.