Minimalism trends have been around for a while. My son introduced me to this concept a few years back and since we continue to have very insightful discussions on how much one really needs to spend to be happy. I found this topic to be very relevant now. The Covid pandemic and its aftermath will push us to think and rethink about life and the future.
One recent morning, my husband and I had a heartfelt talk about the future. We began with guessing how the world might change; and how “our” small world might change. We braved scary thoughts out loud about health, family, finances, and society. Then we shifted to how little we need to be happy. No matter what, we decided, we will choose to be okay.
In other words, should scary stuff happen, we agreed to make a choice on our outlook about it. Along those lines, the pandemic has helped us affirm with each other that stuff, even money, isn’t our highest priority. More important is using this time to become our highest and best selves; enjoying time together (even virtually) with those we cherish; and making time for self-care from the stress of uncertainty. I know many of you reading this have the same conclusions.
Right now, it seems excess of anything is out. Minimalism is in. What excesses could be permanently pared from some people’s lives? There will be big shifts in what we are willing to spend time and money on. Hopefully we find there is more true worth in being who we are than counting what we have.
But financially, then, what if people permanently choose more home cooked meals; more family time; more home theaters; and more neighborhood bike rides? Some parts of the old economy may crumble and not come back, while others will adapt. With a rise of minimalism, the system’s size may temporarily shrink. Big houses, big cars, bigger and sharper flat screened TV …all this might shift.
There may be more illness, more sadness, more pain, and more uncertainty along with new lives, new hope, and new opportunities. We can’t know the whole picture. We can only realize that our own happiness is a choice. That choice can be made in advance by answering this question. What is the minimum it will take for you to decide to be just okay?
Stay safe and healthy