In defense of censorship

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just in case my aspirations at semi-minimalism may have led you to believe that I am a Liberal, let me correct you … when it comes to standards for myself, I am ultra conservative.  I avoid commercial television like the plague.  I avert my eyes from all of the popular magazines in the grocery check-out lines.  I haven’t watched broadcast news in 16 years (with the exception of 9/11).  Yep, I’m a censor.  For myself.

There are down-sides to my personal censorship.  I am hopelessly out-of-the-loop when it comes to pop culture.  I have excluded myself from these sources for so long now that I don’t know who most of the people gracing the covers of the checkout-line magazines are.  When conversations in social settings turn to TV shows, they might as well be talking football, because it’s all Greek to me.

I like to think of self-censorship as a form of minimalism — leaving space in my mind for things that I love instead of unnecessary stuff.  So I will pass on the latest Dancing With Survivors and instead watch something I love.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, commercial-free from Netflix.  (I’m not telling you what to watch.)


Is tea more minimalist than coffee?

September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I follow a lot of minimalist blogs and this is how I know I am not a minimalist:  I drink coffee — with too much creamer, too often in the day.

And even though I love drinking coffee, I would never drink coffee black.  In fact, I like my coffee weak (“jus de chausettes” as my daughter would call it) with tons of sugar and cream.  I hate sugar packets (is it really anybody’s business how much sugar I use?!) and I prefer my cream in a little creamer server instead of those obnoxious little plastic tubs.

There’s only one place in town that serves sugar and cream in dispensers instead of individual packaging and I go there regularly even though it’s loud and in a strip mall.  Sometimes I just like things the way I like them.

Excess is good.

September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The path of excess leads to the tower of wisdom.” – William Blake

I wonder what he was thinking when he wrote this?  It’s one of my favorite quotes from the movie, “Bull Durham” but now that I contemplate the beauty of ONE and LESS I kind of scratch my head.

Perhaps he meant that only after you have glutted yourself (eaten too much, bought too much, incurred too much debt, lived in a too-large house) can you move beyond consumption?  Thankfully my glutting is done (almost).  I have lived in a big house, I have weighed my life down with debt, I have eaten far more than my share and I have bought things that ended up in the donation pile unworn and unused.

And while I think living with an attitude of gratitude is a greater requirement to moving beyond consumption than gluttony, having an excess of tangible stuff has helped to remind me to be grateful.  I have loved all of my stuff … some in the coming, all in the going!

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Aspiring Semi-Minimalist

September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

What is Semi-Minimalism?

I admire those minimalists with their car-free lifestyles, their six-item wardrobes, their tv-free homes, their 100 things and their lack of goals.  I really do.  I read their blogs regularly and dream of a day when my desk only has five things on it.

But in my reality, I have a husband who travels, two teenage daughters, a full-time job (just expanded to two jobs), a busy volunteer schedule, a cat, a dog, and a mortgage.

So I’m not going to aspire to becoming a minimalist anytime soon.  Instead I will work toward Semi-Minimalism — I will work to only have and do things that I usually love.  I will try to minimize where I can so that I can indulge where I want.  For example, I drive an all-electric, zero-emission car for 90% of my daily commuting and errands.  My other car is a big seven-seater gas guzzler.  That’s how I roll.

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