confessions of a minimalist

I have to confess that in recent years, I’ve often lost my minimalist way.

The reason is that I get caught up in an obsession, and then I let myself give in to impulses.

For example:

  • I got obsessed with chess last year, and bought a new chess set, a tournament set, and an embarrassing number of chess books. They’re all getting dusty right now.
  • I got obsessed with ultralight backpacking this year, and ended up buying a large amount of ultralight hiking/camping equipment. I still hope to use all of it, but it’s mostly just sitting in my closet.
  • I’ve bought a Fitbit, and a Fitbit scale, and barely use them anymore.
  • I was training for an ultramarathon a few years ago, and bought a lot of equipment that I barely have used since then.
  • I’ve bought too much coffee and tea equipment that I don’t use very often.
  • I often buy sports and exercise equipment that I barely use.
  • I have more clothes now than I did a few years ago. Not sure why.

None of this is very minimalist, and I don’t have any justification for any of it. Much of it is still cluttering up my closet or garage and I can’t bear to get rid of it all because a) it was expensive and b) I still have hopes of using a lot of it. I confess, those are not good reasons to keep a bunch of stuff I don’t use.

Why did I give in to these urges? Mostly because I was hopeful of having a life that used them. I had fantasies, I think, of being a good chess player, a long-distance hiker, an ultrarunner, etc. And I got attached to those fantasies and then felt I needed to buy the things to support that lifestyle.

I don’t need those fantasies. I don’t need to become anything other than I am.

I don’t need the equipment to be active, enjoy the outdoors, play a simple game of chess, play with my kids. I can get by with less.

I don’t need to hoard all of that stuff. I can keep a few things, sell the rest.

I am still learning.

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