Wanting less: a practice in minimalism


When my camera lens broke a couple months ago, I realized how much I want. I needed to buy a new lens to do my job, but I wanted to buy a set of frames for my walls and a new pair of jeans and a bar cart that made me feel like Daisy Buchanan. I stressed about purchasing a new lens (which had been on my radar for awhile) because it meant sacrificing some of the other things that I want. 

When at my most centered, I want to give more than I take. I see value in being a contributor who makes worthwhile things instead of following along on the hum-drum of consumerism. But daily, I am frustrated by the sheer amount of things I want.

Everyday, I subscribe to a feed where people put their best items on display. I double-tap their photo because I love their [insert item here], and I wish I had one too. My favorite bloggers and instagramers post sponsored content where they are marketing beautiful items, that while their opinions may be their own, it is adding another voice that makes it harder to distinguish my wants from my needs. 

I know that I can live out of a suitcase for six months. Not having a lot of extra stuff isn't hard. Not wanting to have a lot of extra stuff is harder.

So lately, I've been thinking of ways that I can challenge myself to move my focus away from my wants towards the things I already have. A good healthy body that begs to be cared for, a home that wants to be lived in, a crazy hectic life that deserves to be tended to. A few days ago, I started a 30-day challenge which has offered some valuable starting points for quieting the monster. I've written goals, unsubscribed from marketers, and improved my morning routine. I plan to journal the process, and share a recap here. 


This is not necessarily about saving money, but about needing less emotionally. It's about paring down, identifying priorities, but also it's about the process of doing so. If you're doing the same, let me know. I'd love to talk more about it. 

Here are a couple of my favorite blogs lately that help me bring it back in:

Reading my Tea Leaves - Right now, I'm loving her guide on minimalism during the holidays. This post on giving fewer, more thoughtful gifts was my favorite (late for the holidays, but always applicable). 
Un-Fancy - She writes a capsule wardrobe blog which I think is a helpful inspiration for trying to want less. My favorite post is this one on accepting freebies in turn for marketing that she wouldn't otherwise be willing to spend money on.
Into Mind - I mentioned this blog above, but it's worth mentioning again. Her blog makes minimalism feel so empowering.