If it weren’t for my husband and kids, I would own nothing.
Well, not quite nothing. But almost.
My dream decor isn’t quite what is pictured above, but it comes close. For the record, it is my husband A who is the TV addict, not me. I would gladly give it away if I could. Otherwise, the room is perfect–crisp white walls, windows framed by white curtains, a few plants, a few candles, a brightly colored rug. What is not pictured is seating ( a sofa and some floor pillows) a bookcase (with fewer than 100 books and some art supplies for the kids), and a small side table for the laptop. Otherwise–nothing. I need nothing.
Minimalism lends itself well to both living abroad and living with anxiety. It eliminates all the extras, leaving you to focus only on what is most important. For someone living abroad, this is imperative when moving to a new continent when on a budget. And when you have anxiety, it contributes to a sense of calm..or at least it does for me. No worrying about where possessions are or adding to a collection.
But lately I have been thinking about the dark side of minimalism, the OCD side, where people feel compelled to count items and control their spending to the point where they agonize over how many pairs of shoes to own. There is something very, very comforting in being able to control at least a small part of this uncertain life…
So the jury is out right now on how much minimalism is healthy. For now, though, it brings me a sense of security to know I can leave the country with just a few bags and feel as though I have left nothing behind.