Another moving sale my wife has today and tomorrow. Another chapter is about the close and another new chapter is about to start. Actually the new chapter also started already with me being in Michigan already while the family is “holding the line” back in Indiana.
All of our beds are up for sale, including the mattresses as well. It is a serious moving sale. We are going to move. Seriously.
Since I have been living in the “stinky apartment”, I have been living a very minimalistic lifestyle. Not being a very picky person anyways, I have not slept in a bed in the last four months more than a handful of times. And believe it or not, I am still alive and still doing fine. Actually I reached the point, that I do not miss sleeping in a bed at all.
A quick inventory of what I have in the “stinky apartment”:
- My favorite armchair (important for the “feeling“)
- A small table which I stopped using as it was too tall for the armchair and since my armchair is my favorite, that kind of sealed the table’s faith
- Two plastic boxes: to store kitchen stuff and canned food
- A few kitchen stuff in the kitchen, a toaster, a small microwave, a coffee maker (I never used the kitchen cabinets nor the dishwasher and use only occasionally one spot on the stove to boil water, make scrambled eggs, etc.)
- I have a few hangers in the closet which are dangerous to swallow, otherwise 98% of my clothes are in the two suitcases on the floor => I feel like a fugitive sometimes: ready to move on in a matter of minutes
- The usual basic bathroom stuff in the bathroom
- The family left here a small vacuum cleaner and some cleaning supplies which are in the storage room
- I have a drying rack
- A sleeping bag, a pillow and a blanket to sleep on/in between/under/without
- And the wireless router (WIFI) in the living room => very important! Hehehe…
And how am I doing? I can honestly say that I am doing fine. I have no cable TV. Did not even bring a TV set with me. But I have to be honest, I use my laptop a lot and utilize the WIFI to watch clips online, read the news, read blogs, emails and other things need to be done.
I read a few articles and blogs about living a minimalist lifestyle. Well I have the opportunity to try it now as it is. And it helped me tremendously. It helped me to recognize the followings:
- All the furniture at home in Indiana is nice to have. Nice to have a couch, nice to have a kitchen island, nice to have a dining table, nice to have another table in the living room, etc., but we would be just as fine without those => absolutely not important in life.
- All the different gadgets that we have at home in Indiana are great to have, makes life in certain cases more convenient and tools for example are needed to help to maintain all the stuff that we have, but we would be just as fine without those => absolutely not important in life.
- It is amazing, how much I do not miss watching TV. In most cases even after being back home to Indiana, I return to Michigan without ever turning on the TV. The news are worthless. TV shows are not very entertaining in most of the cases. Sport broadcast I can follow through the internet or stop by at a local bar if I am really into watching on big screen. Otherwise it is mainly trailers of horror/zombie movies which personally I am not interested in at all, or commercials, which tries to make you go shopping (see next point), which I am not interested in at all, or reality shows, which has zero added value to anything in life, so I am definitely not interested in at all. The few documentaries? I am cheap enough not to pay $100 per month for a package just to be able to watch a couple of documentaries per week. So watching TV as it is => absolutely not important in life.
- Shopping is necessary in certain cases (like getting groceries), but in lot of cases we just start buying things because we think we need them. We think we need them because we want to fit in. We think we need them because we will save money if we buy 20 lbs potato (but will through away a month later half of it…). So even groceries shopping can easily be overdone. We think we need them to make us happy. We buy just simply because we can afford to buy them. Everything comes in a packaging, which will be already waste. Nothing is better indicator than how much trash you produce. Our family had period years ago, when we produced lot of emptied packaging and we had to empty the trashcan very often. We also discovered a very strong proportional correlation between how much waste you produce and how high your credit card debt is… Long story short: I have a small trashcan here in the “stinky apartment” and if the family is not here, it takes three weeks to reach the point to empty it. And in most cases it is not because it is full, but because it started to make the “stinky apartment” even worse. While I am here alone, I only go groceries shopping if I ate/drink everything that I had. So shopping to a very limited extent is necessary, but in most of the cases we would be just fine without it => absolutely not important in life.
Then what is really important? My family.
I know what you think: it is a cliché! And to some degree you are right. But in my case I just realized it in a way I never thought I will. I miss them so much I cannot even describe with words. I miss them so much, that sometimes in the middle of the night just watch their pictures on the phone. Prior to this living apart episode, I had travelled quite a bit both domestic and international, so we have been apart for various stretches, but never this often for this long. And that time I ignored them so much in favor of other things, which at the time I thought was very important to keep them happy. Not realizing, that I made my family unhappy, despite my efforts were with the intention of making them happy. Example: working too much, thinking that is what is necessary to have enough money for certain things and to ensure a good life for them. Which again to some extent is true: in today’s world you have to have money to get by. But from my side while working as hard as I could, I ignored my family while I was working for making money to make them happy.
When my family is here in Michigan, visiting me for the weekend, we all sleep on the floor on the sleeping bag. We lay next to each other on the floor, just as we are sleeping every time when we go camping. And the more I think about it: that might be the main reason why after each camping adventure the family was so recharged, so relaxed, so happy. We were not separated from each other: “go sleep in your room”, “you stay in your room”. While we lay on the floor in the “stinky apartment”, in the dark room, with the minimal light getting through the small window from outside, many times we are just giggling, joking around, laughing loud. Never had a thought of “how much we miss our bed”, “how much we miss shopping”, “how much we miss all the stuff we have at home”.
While in the “stinky apartment”, the girls never complain why we have to sit on the floor eating on the top of the two plastic boxes. That is what sometimes we do while camping. And we still enjoy our food, we still have our belly full at the end of the meal and we prepare together, we eat together and we clean up together. Amazing, how well kids can adopt to situations. As long as they feel they are loved AND feel that we pay the necessary attention.
Do I really need a bed? No. But I need my family to be here. Really-really bad…