Minimalist attitude makes mall trip so dull

My Aunt Roz gave Olivia a $20 department store gift card for Christmas. (Thanks, Auntie!) Olivia was very excited and requested a trip to the mall a.s.a.p.

She was discussing what she wanted to look for: toys, purses, stationery, and the like. She asked me what I would want to buy.

Stuff and more stuff. Christmas 2016.

I’m an aspiring minimalist. I am by nature, and then my nature was enhanced by my childhood and young adulthood spent moving constantly.

Just about every year of my life since birth, I moved to a different house or spent substantial portions of time traveling to cities outside my hometown, such that I’d have to pack a big suitcase for a months-long stay. This slowed in my early 20s and finally stopped in my early 30s.

Ironically, the pendulum has now swung to the other side. After becoming a mother nearly a decade ago, I mostly stopped traveling.

In 2016, I went to Maui. That’s it. This, in contrast to one pre-motherhood year in which I took six trips to different countries or states.

Anyhow, back to my youth. When you live like a gypsy, you decrease attachment to material possessions. I stopped buying things because I didn’t want to have to pack or part with them in the near future.

That trendy Marie Kondo book about decluttering? I totally could have written that. I could have been her consultant for writing it. (Ha ha.)

If you ever need a friend to come clean out your space, I’m the one to call. Just don’t call me unless you really mean it or you’ll be crying when I leave.

Back to this day. “What’s a minimalist?” Olivia asked.

“It means I like a minimum of stuff,” I told her. “If I buy something, I like it to be something I can use up like toiletries or food. I prefer buying services or experiences. I’m tempted to buy jewelry, but most times, I don’t because after the novelty wears off, it’ll be another shiny trinket in my jewelry box.”

Then I talked about the value of empty space, and the gift of time to relax rather than dusting or organizing possessions.

Olivia fell silent then finally said, “You’ve just taken all the fun out of this mall trip.”

Yeah. I am kind of a boring mom that way. Sorry, kid.

Author(s) on this Post

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

4 thoughts on “Minimalist attitude makes mall trip so dull

  • January 27, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I love this post I’m getting to be a minimalist now, unlike my early years when I was what the Japanese call “Oshare” meaning that I liked to go shopping and buy nice things. I used also buy all kind of stuff that I thought I needed. Now, like you I would rather spend on practical things or if I’m going to splurge than go for services and experiences rather than stuff that just clutters up the house. I like what you said about the value of empty space, and the gift of time to relax rather than dusting or organizing possessions. That will motivate me to think twice before buying stuff that I really don’t need. I still have a house full of stuff, when I’m ready to purge I will call you!

  • January 30, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Glad to find you again. Missed your writing in the S-A.

    • January 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Eric, thank you!
      Dave, thank you, too – and this is exactly why I love you guys!


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