0003: Let’s Get Minimal!

Image of my home office
The “Nice” section of my Home Office

A couple of months ago or so I saw a Netflix documentary titled “My Octopus Teacher.” It has to do with the relationship between a man and an octopus he befriended while snorkeling. It is a very cool documentary; you should check it out.

I was very touched by the content of the film and the questions it raised regarding life, the meaning of life, and the purpose of life. At least that is how it spoke to me. I was incredibly shaken by such themes that it took me about three days to gain control of my feelings once again. In part, it has to do with my SAD status (you can read about it in my entry titled Winter Blues) and also because the last four months, due to the pandemic, I have been dealing with the passing of family members, friends, and acquaintances. I am not the only one dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 so I’m not going to dwell on that. I simply want to mention it because almost everything triggers my emotions nowadays. In short, I am emotionally imbalanced. 

Since the day I watched “My Octopus Teacher,” the Netflix algorithm has been recommending documentaries. And I have watched a few but nothing to write about…. Until I saw a documentary titled, “The Minimalists: Less is Now.” 

Because the documentary is only 53 minutes long and because I have heard of the minimalists, I decided to watch it. And boy, oh boy! The whole documentary is about the “stuff” we have and about asking ourselves questions such us, “Does this item adds value to my life? Does this item bring me joy/happiness?” “When was the last time I physically grab this particular item because I needed it?” “How long has this item been with me yet I had not use it nor pay attention to it?” 

By the end of the documentary, I was shaken once again. But in a good way, because the feelings I was experiencing at that moment were the illuminating answers to the many questions and uncertainties that I felt when watching “My Octopus Teacher.” 

I realized then that my life is full of stuff, most of it just taking physical space and gathering dust and that in order to enjoy a better, peaceful, fulfilled, tranquil, and exciting life, I need to get rid of a lot of the crap I have accumulated over the years. 

In order to do that, I must learn how to let go, emotionally and physically of the stuff I have. I also must learn to appreciate the memories and experiences I have lived and live by cherish them within me, not with stuff. 

Not an easy process but one I have decided to embark on. Will it be easy? Of course not, but I know myself, and challenges motivate me. And so, I have given myself until February 28 to get rid off of all the stuff in my home office. So follow me in this journey and let’s see what happens. 

#carlosmanuelspeaksthetruth 

4 Comments on “0003: Let’s Get Minimal!

  1. I have seen both of those documentaries. The octopus one three times. I also and trying to declutter my life since we are planning a big move in three years. I totally understand what you are going through. The pandemic has initiated what is important (relationships) verses unimportant (stuff).
    Sending you a virtual hug from Kentucky.

  2. I have been on an “own less stuff” journey for almost three years. I am not a minimalist, nor do I want to become one, but I agree with letting go of the stuff that ties me down, that limits me, that does not bring me joy, and that clutters me and my brain. I still buy things but I go through a process before I buy them, and my purchasing has gone down significantly, especially when it comes to clothing, bags, and shoes.

    In the summer of 2018 I went on the Camino de Santiago in Spain and that has been one of the best experiences ever. Not that everything on the Camino was rosy, I hated it some days while I was walking it, but I would get up the next morning and do it again. Now I want to return and walk the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. In the Camino, you live with what you have in your backpack, everything you have is what you can carry on your back. And the less you carry, the better it is. Before going to the Camino I had already started to think about owning less stuff, but when I finished the Camino and I returned home, I felt out of place and crowded, I felt surrounded by unnecessary things. I remember standing in the middle of my living room just looking around at all the things surrounding me. I have decluttered a lot since then, but I still need to do a lot more.

    Your writing has me thinking about this again. I think I will do a round of decluttering this weekend, I haven’t done in in a couple of months and I think it’s time.

    • Thank you for your comments, Melba. Your walk on Camino de Santiago sounds like a great personal experience. I don’t think I can do it or maybe I could but… no, I can’t do it.

      I love the fact that you are inspired to do a second walk. Sounds very soul-searching and intimate personal. I also love that such walk inspired you to declutter, which is what I’m doing. I don’t know if I can become 100% minimalist but I do like that tenets and they inspire me.

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