Ah, a brand new, clean slate for the new year! I love having a brand new calendar that awaits for me to write down all the ideas that I want to pursue. I am open to all ideas... but I am not a fan of someone shoving their ideology down my throat. For example, I once knew someone who is vegan and essentially said I was a walking contradiction by saying I was an environmentalist and eating meat (I could write a whole blog post about how damaging that sort of mindset it). Although all of our group ate meat, for some reason she honed in on me, to the point where I felt she was bullying her for not seeing things her way.
If I have learned anything about communication as a science communicator, it is that you do NOT go about sharing information this way as it just turns people off to your message. I'm a fan of giving people the facts with little bias and being open to any questions, allowing a person to make up their mind on a subject matter.
For a while, that's how it felt many in the "pursue less" ideology were like. The idea of pursuing less in a more intentional way is a topic that has been around for a while now. In an age where materialism is very real, many people blanch at the thought of having to give up their possessions. People on either side wore their stuff (be it much or not a lot) as a badge of pride and it sort of felt like a pissing contest I wanted no part in.
"Wait, if you want no part of it... then why is your blog title 'inspired by the pursuit of less'?" Because I had a change of heart - like many do about many topics - as I grew up.
If you know me, you know I’m a dreamer, a constant thinker. I can be pretty intense - sorry. I'm not saying that to say I’m doing or accomplishing more than others, because that’s not true; I simply have a brain that works on overdrive (and it drives me bonkers sometimes). My thoughts are all over the place and there are so many ideas that I want to run with (hence the brain dumps being super helpful). It can be great at times... but to be honest, it can be exhausting and just A LOT.
My internal seems to mirror my external, as there’s a lot going on in that front as well. My life is full of clutter and excess. Everywhere. Things pile up, appointments stack one of top of another, and soon the clutter internally and externally just overlaps and becomes too much. For example I have so many ideas (internal clutter) to expand on for TFUI and ConCiencia Azul and my Ecos Marinos shop and Pins United but I don't have the time to do all of that and also go to my regular 9-5 job, presentations, and actually have a life. So the ideas and half-finished projects sit on my desk (external clutter) that makes me feel like I don't have my life in order (internal clutter) and so on and so forth. Exhausting, ya see?
I mean there are entire shows and books dedicated to this issue. And basically this is all just to say I’ve been truly inspired by the idea of pursuing less in life. I'm not saying cutting down on my pursuits (though I probably should...). I'm saying living with less stuff, buying and thinking intentionally. Removing the clutter from inside and out. Pursuing LESS.
Why this idea has sparked me to make changes in my life
Reason 1 – More Time for Things That Matter
We have only 24 hours in the day and sometimes we focus on things that don't matter instead of those that do. How much time do we spend on things that we don’t enjoy, and that don't increase our happiness? "Melissa, we have to work." Well, yes, duh. But is there any flexibility in what you’re doing? Could you be working towards doing more things you love and that make you feel alive? Do you even know what those things are? Our busy "go, go, go" #hustle culture doesn't help us slow down, and I get it! We have stuff to do! But, the idea of pursuing less to leave time for the things that actually matter is incredibly appealing to me. Are we so confused with the things we think we have to do that we forget about the things we want to do?
Reason No. 2 – Less Stress
The clutter cycle is real, and I cannot work from home comfortably unless my house is clean. It genuinely distracts me. Clutter is stressful! Physical clutter leads to mental clutter and vice versa. So maybe just nip it in the bud early by having less stuff?
Reason No. 3 – Less Mental Clutter
My mind is similar to my computer screen: a hundred tabs open. I am constantly thinking and having ideas... so my mind never sleeps and it is cluttered with nonsense. Clutter has a negative impact on our psychology! I’m excited by having a simplified life which will maybe lead to less thoughts, haha.
Reason No. 4 – Simplified Spaces
For any of y’all who have read Marie Kondo’s book and have simplified your space, you probably know what a simple home can do for your mind. And this is one area that I really need help with because I live with a guy who is not as tidy as I am. Maybe some of y’all can relate.
I’m so drawn to the idea of a simpler home containing only items that I LOVE. Or even that I NEED. I want my home to be somewhere that feels serene and peaceful – and think my mind will have an easier time following suit from there.
Reason No. 5 – More savings
Now that I've been accepted to a PhD program, I really have to reign in my budget. Acquiring less things definitely helps with saving money! I haven’t done it yet, but I can see myself trying to do a no shopping or spending challenge (outside of the basics).
Definitely stay tuned for more on this subject, because as you can tell – I’m excited!
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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