I’m officially calling the last nine days “PlagueFest 2012” for our family. The previous weekend saw me bed ridden with the flu. I knew things were serious when I had no appetite and my internal organs felt bruised. Chris took care of Henry for the weekend while I sipped water and alternated between shivering and sweating.
Chris left Sunday afternoon for a week long work trip. By that point I was upright on the couch and things were improving. I was hopeful that with the worst of it over I would rally for a productive week of solo parenting.
Henry had a fever early in the week and spent 24 hours clinging to me. He seemed to rally for a day and then… stomach flu hit. I was thrown up on a few times and again, have spent most of my days holding him and doing not much of anything (except vigilantly washing my hands so that I didn’t get the stomach bug from him).
Oh, and Chris fell ill with the flu while on his trip. Not sure which one of us got the worst deal: travel when sick or almost a week as a shut-in with a sick child.
How does this tie into minimalism and simple living?
I am so thankful for lots of towels and the three sets of bedsheets in our home. Our flat is a furnished rental and it came with a well stocked linen closet. Lots of bed sheets and towels have been a good thing with a toddler with stomach flu.
I’m also thankful for multiple sets of pajamas. We have three that are the current size, two that were in the ‘box away for mythical second child’ pile because they were a touch small and one wearable but too large set that were a Christmas gift. I used all of them in a 48 hour period.
Are lots of pajamas and linens minimalist? No. But as I’ve written here before, I’m not into count it all and live with next to nothing type of minimalism. I just don’t think it’s possible for most people in the first world to get down to a backpack and one box of possessions and still enjoy their life.
However, I continue to be excited by the idea of making less stuff work for the rest of us. You can pick and choose. You can scale to your lifestyle, hobbies and home. You can empty out your garage but still keep your treasured coffee mug collection. You can donate 20% of your wardrobe and reap the benefits of less.
It’s not all or nothing. It’s not one size fits all. Sometimes that feels like a burden, there are no checklists or one right way to scale down your possessions. But it’s also what makes it possible for everyone to get the benefit of less. Even if it’s just emptying one closet in your house this year. Even if it’s not doing any de-cluttering but making a commitment to buy less stuff.
Are there any areas of your life, any collections or equipment for hobbies, that you have left as is? Our big one is electronics. We did get rid of a few things of my husband’s before we moved overseas but between us we have three iPods (one is a tiny running one), an iPad, two laptops, work laptop, work keyboard/monitor/laptop dock, external hard drive, AppleTV, two cell phones, wireless router and printer/scanner. Not minimalist in the slightest.