Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
Today, I’m happy to share this story from Denise. She and her daughter Aly (who was featured as a Real Life Minimalist last year) blog about their challenges and discoveries at minimalismissimple.com.
Just over a year ago my daughter, Aly, introduced me to minimalism. Immediately I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. As I continue to make my way down the minimalist path now, I find myself thinking that I wish that I had found this path 30 years ago and how drastically different my life would have been. Back then I found myself tangled up in the typical American dream – good job, family, big house, new cars, and so on.
At 18 I began working for an oil company and found myself quickly making my way up the ladder to bigger and better positions. With the increase in income, I decided my old Mercury Comet wasn’t suited to my new position and went out and bought my very first new car – a Mercury Capri. I quickly accrued all of this debt and I hadn’t even moved out of my mother’s house yet.
By the age of 35 I had married the love of my life, had two beautiful daughters, and found myself wanting the luxuries that came with having the American dream, including a new house, new car, higher paying job, etc. And we got it, plus the expenses that came with it.
Now, at the age of 52, I have experienced a wealth of debt and big splurge purchases, including our oversized house we now live in. All is okay though, but we are not in the debt free position I imagined we would be at this time in our lives. My husband and I now run our own home based business and found that country living was ideal for us. Our business is doing well and we have built a warehouse on the land we live for our inventory, which has drastically reduced our bills each month, and we continue to make small changes daily towards our end goal.
Since embracing minimalism alongside my daughter I have found a new lease on life. I have significantly reduced the amount of possessions we have, and I love the benefits I have found by embracing my new minimalist lifestyle, including more money in our pockets and time to spend with my daughters and husband. The biggest benefit I found? I’ve lost weight and am overall HAPPIER! Can you imagine my surprise when I realized that not only is my journey helping me to downsize and have more time, it’s also helping me to be healthier and more fit than I have ever been in my life – all because I’m looking at everything that I bring into my house, including food, in a different light.
Overall, I’m grateful for all of my past experiences and for my family who stood beside me during the ups and downs, but now I am excited to see where my new minimalist life takes us. We have goals to have our property paid in full within the next 5 years, spend more time with one another than working, and continue to reduce our consumption so we CAN fully live the minimalist life we dream of (maybe even in a tiny house). We’ll just have to wait and see where our journey takes us!