Wednesday, December 14, 2022

No, I Don't Want To Be A Minimalist

Being a minimalist is all the rage. There are Facebook groups, podcasters and bloggers promoting this way of life. I say it's all a bunch of hooey. I'm not saying you should be a hoarder or even disorganized, but living in a sterile hospital environment is not for me. They say living without "stuff" makes you less anxious and calmer. Maybe it does that for some people, but I like my "stuff". It gives me comfort. They say things don't make you happy, but having something on hand when you need it is less stressful than spending a day going store to store finding it. We always say "they say", but who are they and how are they experts?

In an attempt to reach a happy medium between starkness and clutter, I went through the house. I organized and eliminated some things that I knew I wouldn't need. That's where the trouble began. I pretty much knew where everything was in my house. In case I ever have vision problems, I could still find my way around. Not so much now. For example, I always kept my address book in my closet on a shelf. My thought process reasoned that it really should be in the desk drawer and so I moved it. A few days ago I was sending a card in the mail. I went to my closet and couldn't find it. I panicked a little and wondered if my mind was not as sharp as it once was. It wasn't as sharp but not in the way you would think. I moved the darn thing and forgot that I put it in a "better" spot. It took me a while to remember. It went back to the closet. Muscle memory is much better than my real memory.

The same thing happened with my checkbook. I put extra store cards and the checkbook in a safe place before I went on my last trip. Yesterday I went to my purse for the checkbook and of course it wasn't there. Another panic feeling in the pit of my stomach. Did I lose it? Did someone steal it? That couldn't be, I hardly ever write a check anymore. Then it dawned on me to look in the safe place, but where was that again? Another hour wasted trying to find it. 

Heaven knows you can't have piles of papers sitting out in plain sight so they have to be stashed away from human eyes in case someone drops by and thinks you aren't taking care of your life. It happened with a birthday card I recently bought for my sister. I am notorious for buying the cards but not sending them. In fact I found a bunch of them in the desk drawer while looking for my address book. I had been to the store for the candy canes we used in our latest craft project. For some reason I felt the need to put the card in the bag of candy canes. More time wasted looking for it. I even emptied the recycle bin in case I threw it away. It would have been so much better and more efficient to leave it on the counter until I mailed it.

My grandma was like that.  By the time she got into her 80's she wasn't much of a housekeeper, but you could ask her for anything and she could come up with it in seconds. One time my parents decided to help her out and clean her house. She was so darn mad. She couldn't find anything anymore. That's how I feel about this minimalist nonsense. I refuse to take the toaster out from underneath the cupboard every time I want a piece of toast. I like my kitchen utensils next to the stove so I can grab what I need. I like decorations and stuff hanging on the wall. Not so much on flat surfaces, but I don't have much of that.

To each their own, but for me I find joy and memories in my stuff. It doesn't have to look like a mess to keep things, but if you're happy in a mess then so what. My kids can throw it away when I'm gone, but for now I am going to be a maximalist if that's even a word. Plus if I ever get robbed, they couldn't find any valuables. Nothing is in the logical spot. I almost submitted to peer pressure at my advanced age, but I came to my senses before it was too late.