You cannot read Everything That Remains without changing how you think about your life–and your stuff–and without doing something about it, which will make room for more joy in your life.
I promise, or you can return this post for a full refund.
But first, if you are eating or drinking, be careful lest you choke when you read that I’m talking about the virtues of minimalism.
I can hardly spell minimalism, let alone practice it, but stay with me. There is valuable insight here even for someone who has way more than any five people need. Not to name names.
Okay one: moi.
By Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus and published six months ago, the book is a memoir and beautifully written, primarily by Josh, with Ryan chiming in on footnotes, which is funny. (For this reason the paper copy may be preferable to the e-book.)
The authors call it a “why-to” as opposed to a “how-to.” It isn’t just about possessions; it is about anything you do that takes time, energy, or money–relationships, career, committees, TV, Facebook. Does it add value to your life?
Answering that simple but profound question brings profound clarity, enabling us to pare down, focus on what is important, and do what we are passionate about. We all know this, and yet…
As they say on their superb website, “There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist life. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.”
Pause here and click on their minimalism definition if you didn’t already. It’s not about throw-out-all-you-own-and-eat-tree-bark, which never has appealed to me. (Shocking, I know.)
What I need to find is the flavor for a 50-something-writer-wife-aunt-step-monster who lives in three places on two coasts and has (too) many interests. It’s going to take soul-searching and work. I’m not saying (yet) that I’m giving up 10 pairs of Jack Rogers sandals, but there is clutter to clear, and I may need help.
Is there a flavor called Minimalism for Materialistic Spoiled Brats?
Since I started this post I’ve bought two flower vases, a small painting, and a bracelet.
They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This book hit me at the right time. Maybe it will you, too. Let us know.