|Source: shutterstock // via IFL science|
Since I first questioned my consumption habits - moving back from Japan - eight years passed. Since I suddenly decided to give up my feminine style armor and started actively simplifying my life, four years passed. These days, I'm noticing changes, slight and gradual, which are starting to really show. Today (and you'll see why I chose the solar eclipse day to write about this), I'd like to talk about hobbies and projects, and how simplification helped me reconnect with what matters.
Many aspiring minimalist bloggers ask, as I have, this simple question: what to replace shopping with? In our consumerist society, acquiring and maintaining collections of material items takes a lot of time. Wishlists, plannings, shopping trips, organizing everything we own, researching the next perfect purchase...
Once you start simplifying your life, little by little, you start spending less time on these things. And I find very interesting to witness the way it changed how I spend my time.
Rediscovering Childhood HobbiesIt's incredible how easily we tend to forget who we are, what we like, deep inside. I don't know why. I don't even know if this is a regular tendency or if it's just me. But I forgot a lot of things about what made me dream when I was a child, what I was excited about, what I was interested in.
As time passes, teenage years happen, then studies, the fear of unemployment, energy focused on career, on finding love, too, being busy becoming adults in a way. Along the way, I forgot a lot of what mattered to me when I was a child. When I was unpolluted by daily worries, social influences and conformity...
I'm writing about this today, because the solar eclipse, that is happening over the clouds here in Paris as I type these words, brought a flow of memories. This computer software, in amazing 3D, modelling the planets of the solar system, and there was an egg, which dropped quicker or slower depending on the planet's gravity. Going into Nature & Découvertes shops, the astronomy corner, dreaming over telescopes and solar system maps. Lying down in the grass, during a warm summer night, up in the mountains of my home region, and watching the bright countryside stars. The subscription my parents offered me to the magazine "Sciences et Vie". Dreaming about the infinite.
I forgot how much I liked space and stars and planets, how excited I felt about all this. Now I remember. This is the latest, though not the first, of these phenomenons I have lived since I simplified my life. I've started writing again, I bought a violin on a whim and take weekly lessons now. I've rediscovered my minerals collection and now display them in my living room.
So I'm wondering, what if a long term side effect of simplifying your life was to rediscover what you are really passionate about, interested in, excited about? What speaks to your soul so deeply that you felt attracted to it since childhood, but then forgot?
When you remove physical and mental clutter, when you question social norms and everything you "should" like and do, and free some time to really think about it, what comes up?
First, I don't know if this applies to everyone, or if it's just me. After all, I had parents who were very understanding and let me discover and pursue what I liked as a child. Maybe some of you never "forgot" your passions.
A Long Road
And, in any case it's a long road. After all, eight years happened since I first started thinking about all this. Over two years happened between the first time I considered playing the violin again and the day I attended my first lesson. And today, as I turned 29 years old and enter my fifth year of active simplification, I just remembered another old, forgotten passion of mine.
But I'm posing the question here. Could it be, that one of the biggest positive effects of simple living is to reconnect with your inner self and pursue what really matters to you?