First Step to Simplicity: Become Comfortable With Yourself

Christiaan wrote a thoughtful post Titled “Why You Should Not Fake it Until You Make it.”

I had to point out this post because it is true on several different levels.

All of us grow up learning how to fit in, to be one with the crowd.  We are taught that if we dress a certain way, behave a certain way and live in a certain way we are normal and will be accepted.

When those “certain ways” do not fit us properly it shows, whether we want to admit it or not.

Part of simplicity is paring down to what is important to us–is it so important to fit in that we have to pretend to be something we are not?

Each of us has these decisions to make, and all of us has a different path to our true comfort zone.  While I cannot point out your individual path I can give you some examples from mine.

I was taught that a home was not a home unless it had certain rooms and furniture.  There had to be a living room in the front of the house, and it had to contain a couch, a coffee table, lamps and end tables at the very least.  These items had to be fairly new-looking and in good repair to avoid being “looked-down” upon.   Bedrooms HAD to have a traditional bed, the bigger the better.  If you could afford a guest bedroom or a formal living room you just totally rocked, whether those rooms got used or not.

Reality Check:  Why in the world must one have a stupid couch if it never gets used? Ditto for the television and big fancy bed. If people rarely come to visit, why waste money and space on formal living rooms and guest bedrooms?  Why not take the money and time invested in those areas and put them to something much more important and enjoyable for YOU?  Would it not be more enjoyable to take the extra rent/house payment money and take a vacation to somewhere fun?  What about pay off a nagging debt if that is your preference?

What is more important to you?  Answer that key question and you are well on your way to a simpler life.

For me, it was easier to sell my pretty couch, loveseat and canopy bed than it was to beg people to move it.  It was easier to get rid of the stuff than it was to continue tripping over the things.  Sure, some may look at me askance when they realise my bed is actually a futon that I stretch out on the floor at night, but by day I actually have a room that can be used for other things. Instead of a couch and loveseat taking up all my precious living room real estate I have a small seat for the occasional visitor that serves quite well as the puppy perch it actually is–an item so small and light that I can move it about easily by hand and transport without issue in my van.  As a result the living room is able to contain the things that really do give us pleasure: our computer, which is our television, phone, stereo, game machine, etc., and Katie’s beloved critters.

I could not make these steps until I realised what was really important to me.  Extra space, transportablilty, clean-ability–these are what is important to me, and these are the goals I seek as I journey through this life.

What is important to you?

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