March 2018 - Van Life Part 2: Abundance & Minimalism

from by Kimwei

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Abundance and Minimalism
I am a minimalist and often people can't cope. Clothes is what gets one of my friends. She keeps offering to buy my shirts. I say "but I've already got three." My part time teenager thinks the main problem in my life is that I don't have enough soft toys in my bed and earnestly bought me a life-sized fluffy duck out of his own pocket money, to rectify this problem. 

It’s true that I have only one pairs of shoes, which developed gaping hole right in the middle of the recent snowstorm, that I expect the god of irony was to blame for this, and that duct tape didn’t work on the hole, and I had to borrow your football boots, and this week I’m on emergency flip flops whilst I wait for the cobblers to do their work. Sometimes that’s minimalism, but I still think it’s worth it.

I live between my small van, housesitting and docking with friends and there's nothing like having very little space to make one thing obvious: minimalism is not lack, it's abundance. Being minimal is not about deprivation, it's about having what you need and getting rid of what you don't. 

Furthermore, having more than you need is a form of lack - it becomes a lack of space, lack of time and lack of resources. It becomes trying to get to one thing, whilst something else which should have been let go of, is still there, in the way. This is true of stuff, but once you get it with stuff, you get it with everything. Time and scheduling. Money and spending, after all, to be rich, you only need one pound more than you need.

These days, even emotional events are hoarded, daily photos, emails and texts automatically saved. Our past does not fade naturally. My emotional life too requires a minimalist attitude, reminding me to delete, delete, let go, become myself anew. Otherwise, well, it's trying reaching and grab the hand of who you’re going to be, whilst still holding onto the hand of who you were.

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from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon, released January 30, 2017

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