You know I jump on a lot of bandwagons. The blogosphere is full of minimalists, frugal people, simplicity folk, vagabonders, zero wasters, and social justice people. I like all of them. Social responsibility takes a lot of different forms, and none of us have it all figured out. I have heroic dreams around justice, but those need some day-to-day, mundane, shape. Right now, they consist of trying not to throw stuff away, and trying to be generous when we don't feel sure of the future.
I want to encourage you if you think you've sold out, as I sometimes feel. Whatever bandwagon you're on.
I'm starting to think you can be kind of a minimalist and super frugal, but you can't be all-the-way minimalist-parents-100 things-still-super-frugal. In 10 days, we'll be really close to the 100 thing mark, but we're also eating out A LOT. We're no longer prepared for the eventualities of daily life with a 17 month old. We have no tricks to draw from, few books, few toys. We're using free (credit card points) gift cards to eat out, sometimes, but it doesn't feel like a frugal moment in our life. It feels like a moment where we should enjoy the great things about not having much. And there are great things- I love the stuff we do have. There's a massive amount of freedom in letting go and trusting that Gumtree or the Cape Town Freecycle or our neighbors will supply our needs.
At the moment, minimalism is also not very simple. Maybe because we're still getting there. It involves quite a bit of scanning and lots of rather obsessive sorting. I guess that's just moving internationally, not necessarily minimalism. For a few weeks, we'll be vagabonding. Traveling and working simultaneously, on one-way tickets.
In the midst of all this change, we're also expecting Noah (also known as little blob, in a previous life) to be joined by Tiny blob late next April. See how I just slipped that in there?
When we arrive in Cape Town I'm hoping we can take as much as we can from our brief experience of minimalism, and somehow balance it with the new moment we'll be in. It'll be a time for frugality, perhaps simplicity. I'm encouraged that social responsibility and social justice can draw from many different inspirations at different stages in our lives. This does not mean that we sell out or indulge ourselves, but that we recognize the moment we're in and enjoy it for what it is.