Monday, July 14, 2014

a room with a ball

A few observations on the practice of the Minimalist Lifestyle:

~~  it means simplifying one's life and living with intention

~~  living with intention means not being pushed around by what Society says you have to do, own, buy, go in debt to buy, etc.; living with intention is, I think, same as living "mindfully" ...

~~  the whole idea of Minimalism is that you're not "pushed around" by status standards and demands that are not your own -- however, some people feel "pushed around" by the idea of Minimalism; they're simultaneously drawn to it, and nervous about it.  On the Becoming Minimalist site, one reader Commented in, "Well these are good ideas, but -- we still have to live."  I had to smile about that one...(You mean we can never Buy ANYTHING ever AGAIN???!!!)

It doesn't mean that, but I think part of the reason the idea of simplifying our lifestyles can be scary to anybody, really, is because it goes so much against the grain of Everything Else we're being told and sold...

Skepticism hovers.

("...But we still have to live...!")   :D

It made me recall an episode of the '80s sitcom, "Designing Women" when Mary Jo

remarks on how she just doesn't believe in those interior design magazine photo spreads where the decorator has designed a minimalist room and in the whole room, there's nothing, except a ball.  On the floor.

Tiny Mary Jo thinks that's not decorating.  Most of us would tend to agree.  (It's the other extreme, opposite of having 65 decorative pieces (antiques?  knickknacks? no-no-no...) 

There's an episode of SATC where they mention feng shui, which is a version of minimalism but it's mixed in with eastern religious thoughts from Bali, and some incense burnin' and bell-ringin' that I haven't go the time for -- basically, you get rid of stuff you don't need because it might be -- in your way, or something...

Carrie Bradshaw's computer crashes,

and her boyfriend Aidan tries to help her -- "Do you have your manual?"

-- "No!  I got rid of it in the Feng Shui attack!"

Those sitcom scenes poke fun at the get-rid-of-your-stuff idea (whether it's minimalism, feng shui, or something else...)

But what the Becoming Minimalist writer discusses are just ideas, and questions that don't get asked in mainstream media, which it does make sense to ask --

Do I need it?
Can I afford it?
For what reason am I buying it?
What do I want to do, during life?

Do I want to live, focused on my own priorities and values, putting those first?  Or am I willing to be "led around", so to speak, by voices and influences in society that are speaking for the best interests of the companies selling the stuff?

He doesn't say, "Never have fun again" or
"never buy anything" or
"everybody do it THIS way."

He says the minimalism concept means something different to each individual person, or family.

He wants us to choose activity over tv...

---------------------- Sunday I chose activity with tv --I exercised with tv on.  My choice of what to watch, I contend, is in line with minimalism because it was something I really WANTED to watch (watching "MINDFULLY," watching with intention, not vegging) and there were no commercials on it.

("A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy, on DVD).

Now, the DVD did have to be purchased, but that's cool, because it isn't something that would sit around unused. 

It is, I feel, a Successfully Mindful, Intentional, and Minimalist alternative, for me, to exercising to 30 minutes of regular TV, which would be 27 minutes of noxious commercials and 3 minutes of half-naked, vulgar people bickering.  (Which one would have to pay for, every month, whether watched or not -- I don't do that anymore; a DVD which I want to watch [many times] is the Value Option, for me.)

Charles Collingwood; Jacqueline Kennedy

{miscellaneous info:  while this photo is in color, the show was in black-and-white, in 1962, & is in b / w on the DVD...}


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