Happiness is less stuff (or a warm gun, depending on who you listen to).
It may also be the one
form of happiness that never made it on to a Peanuts list. But
everything else Charles Schultz did was golden, so I'm not gonna hold it
against him. I would hope he'd find this a fitting homage.
This morning I looked
into the closet and felt relaxed. Some mornings I've felt flustered. Sometimes
frustrated. Sometimes I've even felt overwhelmed. And stop and think about
this: we're talking about looking into the closet! "Jesus, how does this
guy deal with the rest of his day?" you're probably asking. My question to
you is: Have you ever felt like this?
All of the clothes
that I didn't like and never wore are gone. The old ratty comforter I never
used is gone. The boxes of papers, trinkets, and other assorted junk I've clung
to for years are gone too. The closet is no longer overrun by junk and stuff
that I don't like. It now only contains things I like, things that make me feel
comfortable and good about myself. 85% of what was in that closet yesterday is
gone today (or will be, once the garbage and donations are picked up). There's
a lot less stuff in there now, and that makes me very happy.
My closet is an
arbitrary example. I've applied the same principle to the rest of my apartment
and stuff. I am getting rid of all of the stuff that I do not need. If it
doesn’t fulfil a practical day-to-day purpose then it doesn’t stay. If it
doesn’t stay then it’s junk and has to go. And I feel great about it.
I've never been that
keen on stuff. But, like most everyone else, I've managed to assemble a pretty
big pile of shit since my nine month term in the motherly incubator ended. I
did it because that's what you're supposed to do, right? At least that's what
we've always been told.
But I've never liked it. I've never taken much pleasure
from most of the things I possess. In fact, a lot of times I've looked at
things and thought, "what the hell do I even have this for?"
never did anything about it. I felt trapped by my stuff and afraid of letting
go of it all. Because we're always told that we 'need' stuff to be normal,
successful, and happy people. This logic suggests that without stuff, one can
only be an unsuccessful and miserable freak. The real question here is who the
hell comes up with all this stuff?
One saying I've come
to believe is "You are what you eat." I'm also now convinced that
"the things you own eventually own you." And there is simply no need
for it. I mean, who needs all this damned stuff anyways?
This isn't something
that came to me like an apple falling on my head. It's a feeling I've had for
some time that became fully crystallized after I found some websites and blogs
concerning minimalism. I will say more about them and the concept itself
another time. But for now, I'd recommend swinging over there,
here, and that way,
Well I have to go.
I've got lots of stuff to lose, and plenty of happiness to gain. And it starts
with less stuff.
Words I Can't Take Back
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What's a House Newf?
- The House Newf is from a rugged and beautiful island on the eastern edge of Canada called Newfoundland. He was first identified by a potter with a naturalist's flair, and he does in fact live in a house under the watchful eye of a cat that seems bewildered by the universe at large. That house is in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that's where the House Newf writes fiction and essays on things that add value to his life that may add some value to yours. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @theHouseNewf, on Instagram @thehousenewf, and like him on Facebook. The House Newf is a unique specimen. Every home should have one.