It began as a simple act, one thin piece of paper needing to be filed away.
I opened the first of two small security boxes, each containing twelve green folders. As I slid the paper inside its designated file, a broken tab caught my eye. I pulled the folder out, inspecting its contents. The pages were old, torn, yellowed with age. Papers I had long forgotten, most of which I no longer needed.
I made two piles, one for the shredder, the other to be refiled. But I didn’t stop with that one folder. I sorted through each file, amazed at the amount of papers our small family had accrued. Half an hour later, I was done. Each file was cleansed, a large pile of papers ready to be shredded sat by my feet, and my two file boxes had been reduced to one.
I stared at the pile before me, happy, content, and a little confused. I hadn’t planned on this, and yet here I was, another piece of my life simplified, another pile of junk ready to be tossed, another room one step closer to the minimalistic life I desired.
How did this happen? I used to plan my days around simplicity, wondering what I could do to make my life easier, constantly looking for something to throw away. I set goals, made plans, even plotted steps on a calendar. I looked forward to the day I would have a simple, minimal life. And it all seemed so hard.
Was it meant to be this complicated? Probably not, but I think in the process of creating goals, I had forgotten the most important part. I had forgotten to enjoy the journey.
Minimalism isn’t about having less in your life, though that is one goal. Simplicity isn’t about an easy life, though that is definitely an asset. What this is really about is the journey, the changes in ourselves, the new life waiting for us on the other side.
When I decided to enjoy my travels, my life became easier. Just like the files I purged, I am constantly purging my life, and no longer have to think about it.
I am on a journey, and always will be. Life is like that, the old and new intermixed, a constant transformation. But now I enjoy this path, no goals, no long lists, no plotting my travels. I am truly on my way to an unintentional life of simplicity. And I am loving every minute of it.
Enjoy your journey!