I got rid of a lot of my old CDs. I am a music lover, appreciating a wide range of genres. So the arrival at the cross roads of music and deciding I could let them go was one of those minimalist victory moments.
Most of those albums were digitized and some I knew I would never make the time to listen to again. With so many streaming and digital music services out there, there’s not a strong argument for keeping CDs around any more.
But I have 17 George Strait CDs and a box set, making the grand total, 21. You see, I was born and raised in a hollow in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky. We had bluegrass music blaring at every little festival our town had and one of the few radio stations that came in was a country station. My daddy sang bluegrass and old country songs to me as we bounced along those dirt roads in his pick-up truck. Everyone had a favorite and early on, I claimed King George as mine. He still is king of country music and my favorite.
So why did I keep all my George Strait CDs? Couldn’t I have digitized them? Couldn’t I just stream them? Yes and yes. And if I’m being honest, I don’t listen to them much anymore. So why?
Because I wanted to. Because its fun to pull one out and see the look on my kids’ faces when I belt out every word into my wooden spoon as I cook. Because when I have the blues, he can still touch a little place in my heart.
This is the beauty of minimalism. This journey of simplifying and releasing isn’t only about the things we choose to get rid of, though we tend to celebrate that loudly. If you really stop to think about it, its more about what we’re choosing to keep. The things we let go of makes the things we keep more important. Sometimes minimalists get a bad rap about getting rid of everything, even things we like. But really, getting rid of so much stuff just means that what we choose to keep means even more, or maybe gets the attention that it should’ve had all along.
Minimalism is a journey. Not a destination. Its not a set of rules. If you feel like you don’t want to get rid of your books, maybe its just a certain set of your books that’s really holding you back from going through all the ones in your home. Or if it’s things from a loved one no longer with you, maybe its one thing from them that you keep thinking of not being able to bear to let go of.
Its ok to pause before going through those more sentimental items. Its ok to decide to keep a whole collection of items. Its YOUR life and YOUR stuff and YOUR minimalism. Release the things you know need to go and let the others hold their right place in your home and life.
So, what’s your thing that you could minimize, but have decided to keep?