Joshua Becker and Minimalism

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What an honor to meet Joshua Becker!

I have few heroes, but Joshua Becker is one of them. As humble as he is, he would probably be uncomfortable being considered anyone’s hero. But nonetheless, he is mine. I first learned of him through a niece’s Facebook post (thank you, dear little Dianne, who isn’t little any longer, but will always be called that!) several years ago. I have followed him since, through his blog, his online course, and his books. It was a thrill to see and hear him in person this week in Charlotte.

Joshua’s definition of Minimalism is: The intentional promotion of things we value most and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.  Minimalism is not about organizing; organizing is a temporary solution that does not benefit anyone else. When we minimize our stuff, getting rid of what we do not need, we are able to give those things to others who do need them. Culling our stuff allows us, or even forces us, to face ourselves, and answer uncomfortable questions. It helps us focus on our purpose in life and rid ourselves and our home of any items that do not help us live out our purpose. It shows us the life-giving benefits of owning less. Once we commit to minimalism, spending money, time, and energy on things we do not need is no longer an option.

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Joshua’s wife Kim manning the book table

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Joshua Becker’s latest book, The Minimalist Home, is a great resource and is a step-by-step guide for living a decluttered, refocused life. Joshua asked the audience the following question in the presentation in Charlotte: “What is the purpose of home?” There was similarity in the audience’s answers: safety, stability, security, shelter, and love were all answers given. Joshua’s answer was: “The purpose of home is not to house stuff.  Home is shelter, stability, and love; a landing pad from which we go out and live our purpose.” Home is a special place for me, not really having much of one growing up. I am hanging on tightly to our primary home although it is too large for two people, Mike and me. We travel so much that we are rarely even there. We should probably downsize or right size. But I am not there yet.

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A good reason for Minimalism

Those who know me will be surprised that I have any interest at all in Minimalism. I have always loved stuff and have too much of it. While I have never thought stuff made me or anyone else happy, I still have and hold on to too much. But I am changing this, one small step at a time. I have (almost) stopped bringing more stuff in. I am also letting go of some things. It is, and I am, a work in process.

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Our 750 square feet condo in Midtown Atlanta that we might should move into!

I find truth in the words Joshua autographed in my copy of The Minimalist Home: “Own less, live more.”

Patti name

 

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Free to Be You and Me

david-everett-strickler-KpAi3H4MCbU-unsplashJuly 4th, Independence Day in the United States, celebrates freedom, our independence as a nation. On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. Americans should remember how many still fight for this freedom around the world. While we are celebrating this holiday with family and friends, we should pause and remember those who died fighting for our freedom. We should never forget their sacrifice. Continue reading

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Those Lazy Days

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Sunset from our deck at Caswell Beach, NC

How is your summer going? While summer technically just started a few days ago, in our area, the eastern U.S., it has felt like summer for several weeks. To the delight of many kids, school is out for a couple of months, and summertime activities are in full swing. Continue reading

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Letting Go

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I have always had a hard time letting go of anything. This includes stuff, clothes, and even organizations. If I want to analyze this, it probably comes from my childhood, which was chaotic, at best. Continue reading

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Common Courtesies Not So Common

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View from our Hilton Head condo.

Our family is on our annual week-long trip to Hilton Head. There are 10 of us for the entire week, and there are a few others for a portion of the week. We are staying in more than usual this time due to lots of rain, but we are still having a wonderful time. We have completed one puzzle and are on our second. We have eaten in more than usual and have watched many World Cup Soccer games because our 12-year-old granddaughter, Elsie, was assigned that by her soccer coach. I am going into this much detail about our schedule to validate that we haven’t even had the usual involvement with others outside of our family. Yet we have all commented on the lack of common courtesies.  A few examples. Continue reading

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More Experiences/Less Things

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Off to New York!

Many people today are electing experiences over things. I am one of them. While I have always loved things, I have become more and more aware of the impermanence of them. Regardless of what we collect, things wear out, break, and lose their luster and even attraction over time. Experiences stay with us, and their memories last forever. Mike and I took our oldest granddaughter, Mary Grace, to NYC this week for an experience I hope she will always remember. Continue reading

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A Life Well Lived

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Bernadette loved lobster!

She called me on my birthday last November and sang “Happy Birthday” to me on my voicemail. I saved it, so I can still hear her voice.  I found her last handwritten “Thank You” note this morning, thanking me for a gift of perfume that I sent her. So, I have her handwriting as a memory of her thoughtfulness. I have a lovely crystal vase she gave me several years ago, for which I failed to send her a thank you note, although I always planned to. She will never receive that note. My daughter Tara and my granddaughters drove to Canada to see her last summer, and she and they had a wonderful time together. In her thank you note to me mentioned above, she said, “I did so enjoy my visit with Tara and the children. Hope they come again.” They wanted to go back this summer, but if they do, they will not be able to see her. Continue reading

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