The life changing magic of not giving a f**k
So i left off with my last post mid 2015, when i started my dream job as a consultant, in small consulting company. I was in love with my job. I liked the variety, i adored my colleagues and i had an amazing manager. My job was very demanding but I loved it. I was living with my partner in The Hague with our two cats and we were searching for an apartment to buy in Amsterdam, where we would start a new family.
Let’s fast forward a year and a half to December 2016, and make a similar summary. I’m still a consultant but i’m not really able to find the same joy in it that i used to. I’m living in Amsterdam on my own, in a rented apartment. I have just sold the apartment i have bought with my ex. - At least some positive in the story, we made quite some profit. But not something I would recommend, it’s kinda emotionally intensive.
I live on my own but I’m not single. After a thorough exploration of the Dutch dating scene, things are turning pretty serious between me and one of my okcupid dates - another example of a freakishly good algorithm.
So what happened in between? Looking back now it seems that the reason I was struggling to create a vision of my ideal lifestyle was that I was taking my existing life as basis. No future extrapolated from this resulted in anything I liked to look at. I have seen people in my surrounding having families next to 9-5 jobs and I could not see myself being happy with a similar lifestyle. So I have decided to make some quite drastic changes.
But since this post is also about minimalism let’s get back to the KonMari method. During the period of turmoil, I went through a couple of more rounds of clean up, throwing away more and more mind cluttering objects. I found that answering the questions, ‘Does it spark joy?’ with every object, helped me to understand what are the things in my life that are really important to me.
Having less items also made life so much more simple, in many aspects, a smaller wardrobe size being number one. If you happen to be a girl, thinking about minimalism and clothes most likely sets off a full blown red alert in your head. ‘I cannot live without my clothes!’. To be able to explain why i think you should still consider it i first have to tell about another life changing book, the title of this post: ‘The life changing magic of not giving a f**k’ by Sarah Knight.
I came across the book at Schiphol Airport in December 2016, as I was flying out to Stockholm for work. It immediately grabbed by attention because of a book I read earlier, written by a Japanese lady, Marie Kondo, titled The life changing magic of tidying up. See part i. of this post.
As the title already suggest the book was inspired by Marie Kondo’s book but it expands on it. Think about the KonMari method as a conscious decision on how you allocate the space in your home between your objects. Sarah Knight’s book describes a method on making the same conscious decision on how you allocate your time and energy - or in other words, fucks - among all the things you are expected to do. Because you will need to chose. Unless you’re some magical creature, the amount of fucks you can give (or in other words, your time and energy) is limited, so you need to use it wisely.
Having a lot of clothes not only takes a lot of space in your home, it also provides you with a lot of options to wear. Which is great on one hand, but on the other hand takes a lot of energy - at least for me. Maybe not a lot of time, but honestly, for me spending mental energy on a daily basis on what to wear, is not a good investment. It could be for you, this is a matter of personal choice and preference.
Don’t get me wrong. I was not planning to lower my fashion standards. I still wanted to look good only with less investment from my side. So i started to think about going towards a more uniform-like dressing code. Yes, like Steve Jobs. Or Elon Musk.
And omg! i totally get it why they do it. The difference it made! The first change i adapted was that i would only wear black for work and only items that do not require ironing. This simple change on it’s own meant I needed to do one laundry and i was set for work for the whole week. Application of the KonMari method meant i only kept my favorite items, so every day became a feel good day, wearing something i adore. Minimalism also made a more conscious consumer. I used to be such an impulse buyer!
Just as i decided spending time on picking out what to wear was not a good investment of my energy, i applied the same technique to some other activities and started to refuse to go to social events i didn’t really feel like attending, using the ‘not sorry’ method.
This exercise helped me to get my priorities right, and lead me to a lifestyle where i had more time and energy for the things i really wanted in my life. But my journey continued further, so watch this space...
Comments and questions are more than welcome. Thank you for reading.