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.
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.