Minimalist Mondays are dedicated to finding love, adventure, and joy in everyday living through the pursuit of a more simplistic lifestyle. By allowing only what is useful and meaningful into our lives and letting go of that which ties us down, we are better able to live a life of purpose, both for ourselves and for others.
For those of you who are wondering, the garage de-clutter project is moving right along. This week I was able to find a new home for a rather large dog travel carrier that belonged to sweet Misha. Misha, my beautiful Samoyed mix, has been gone for 5 years now, so it was long past time for the carrier to find a new home. It was a little painful to watch the carrier go out the garage door but the pain quickly vanished since I know the carrier will be put to good use.
Now on to my new thoughts for the week: My decision to give up cable.
About two years ago I gave up cable. At the time I was frustrated to be paying almost 80 dollars a month for a whole lot of channels I did not watch just so that I could enjoy two or three channels of my choosing . I was further frustrated and somewhat disgusted that stations which initially had the most to offer intellectually, seemed to be bending down and catering to the lowest common denominator of television entertainment. Hundreds of stations to choose from and still it seemed to me that PBS was the only station offering something truly different from the average TV series.
I quickly learned how to get news off the internet and find movies and TV series I enjoyed through Netflix and YouTube. A good friend of mine told me that I would now enjoy my programs and movies even more because I would have to start consciously searching for what I wanted to watch instead of mindlessly flipping through the channels with a remote . She was correct. It does require more thought to get your entertainment and news this way. It is also not without its frustrations at times. Netflix does not always carry the current season of a good series. I am hopelessly behind on Dr Who now and I don’t know when Netflix will obtain more seasons . I am also at the mercy of friends and family when it comes to watching the Olympics or the Denver Broncos.
Despite the disadvantages of not having cable, dish, or any other network provider, I don’t think I will ever be able to subscribe to a network provider again. This realization came to me this afternoon as I was able to watch the amazing Broncos victory at my sister’s house. ( Super Bowl here we come!) It was a great game and a great day. I was truly blessed to be able to spend the day at my sister’s with my family and friends; but I digress.Being free from traditional TV viewing the past several years I have escaped the constant bombardment of TV advertising. Viewing all the commercials today I realized just how much I have changed over the past two years and how superficial the life advertisers want me to embrace actually is. After the third or fourth time of hearing how owning a Honda will make my life better I actually felt repulsed. I know if I still had cable I would have been immune to the commercials and not given them a second thought. However,since I rarely see TV commercials, today’s advertising experience was like being sugar-free for a year and then eating an entire cheese cake. Sensory overload!
I am I saying that a good aspiring Minimalist should give up TV? Absolutely not! If TV brings you true joy, relaxation, or entertainment, by all means enjoy its benefits. My experience today serves a great reminder to me that we should be aware of the influences around us each day that try to put our focus on possessions, wealth, and social status as a way to achieve happiness and fulfillment. Minimalism encourages us make conscious decisions about what enters our minds and homes and not just be passive recipients of everything the world throws at us.
Minimalism is observed in our physical surroundings but it is conceived in our mental and spiritual selves. So as we work to free our living spaces from unnecessary clutter and become mindful of what we bring into our homes; so should we work to free ourselves from the clutter in our minds and be mindful of what we feed our souls.
Until next time,