Everyday Baggage

Hi all,

How was your week? I hope you all had a great week. I want to discuss the extras in our lives today. Our baggage in a sense.

We hear discussion of minimalism and how to apply it every now and then. The less we own, the better we feel (as long as our basic needs are covered). This has some advantages: (i) there are fewer things to get attached to, which helps us to focus on ourselves, (ii) the clutter in our living space is reduced, which in turn helps reduce the clutter in our minds and (iii)  we spend less money. I have been a natural minimalist in this sense all my life, I think and I can tell you that it is great.

But I believe we need to be minimalist in other areas of our lives too and in those, I failed in those terribly. The most important is emotional minimalism. This is when we do not take the emotional burden of things that we do not need to. For example, we cannot know the future. So, ideally, we should not carry its burden now because we can’t do anything about it anyway. Or there is a person who we like and we want him to be a better person by changing an aspect of their personalities. If we focus constantly on trying to change this person, that is extra emotional burden too. After all, this person has his free will and it is up to him to change at the end. I failed in both of these hundreds of times in my life.

I think it is also important to be minimalist in our physical energy too. What I mean here is that we should be physically active but not in a way that will wear us out. As much as our body needs is fine. More tires it out. We should keep in mind that our bodies are our vessels and we should take care of them. I failed in this multiple times too.

So, overall, we should try to get rid of all types of extras in our lives. This will make us feel lighter and more connected. After all, who would want to carry someone or something else’s luggage when they are traveling, right?

Now, let me know what you think. Are you a minimalist? If so, in what sense? Do you think it is necessary? If you have tried it before, what changes did you notice?


41 thoughts on “Everyday Baggage

  1. A great, very insightful post.
    You accurately describe all the areas were minimalism helps us.

    In retirement, we changed from a very materialistic, stressful lifestyle, to a very minimalistic one, living in a fishing village at the edge of North America.

    Our health and happiness improved.
    At the moment, I do not own a suitcase. 🤗⚘

  2. I really pushed myself by running a long way last weekend and this week I have really struggled to stay balanced and well. I feel ill and just a bit tearful. And yet I still feel this need to push myself. Thank you for reminding me that it’s not necessary and not healthy.

    1. I do get that urge sometimes too, but I think it is important to resist it and maybe channel that energy to something else because it is not good in the long run.

  3. Hi Betul! Great, insightful post! I try to live minimally because when I do, I’m better able to see what really matters most to me. Oftentimes, excess “stuff” (like you mentioned) gets in the way of really seeing this. I feel much lighter when I pair down to what really matters.

  4. Great reflection! I need also to take care of that emotional baggage from the past. I have done great job until now, but it is always something that sticks out…work is in progress

  5. We can learn from the past and then let it go or we can be trapped into reliving it. We can plan for the future or we can live in fear of it. It is the difference between an overnight bag and being handcuffed to a a steamer trunk.

    The problem with that kind of baggage is that to the extent you own something, it also owns you. OTOH, I don’t think it is possible to get by without some baggage. So only keep that which is useful and contributes in a positive way to life.

    1. Exactly! We would not travel without anything with us, right? We need at least one suitcase or a backpack. That much is enough though. I agree with what you said in the first part too!

  6. Betul, a great post that I hope people will really reflect on. I think many people are anxious because they feel the need to perform and measure up to others, in both material possessions and in achievements. But it is a form of greed and narcissism to not accept and be happy with less. I think it is praiseworthy and great, to be modest. Look at a flock of birds, we don’t think this bird or that bird is not achieving, just they are all great birds. So are all people (and dogs too, I have to say)!

  7. Great post, I love the part about not trying to constantly change someone else. I definitely find clearing physical clutter to be helpful too 👌❤️

  8. Excellent Overthinking, Betul! 🙂 I am not sure about being able to achieve minimalism in my work, as my job is making order our of chaos, so without chaos, I’d be unemployed! For emotional minimalism though, that’s different perhaps. I see that as essential, for it comes to me as a 3-part outlook I have with others. I cut it down to honesty, respect and open communication. If I can’t be this way with the people I interact with, then I just can’t interact with them effectively. It’s pretty minimal, but seems to provide some clarity for me, and for them too perhaps.

  9. Despite past failures we can always try again. At least you’re aware of things that drag you down. That’s half the battle sometimes. Keep it up Betul! And great post.

  10. As we grow older, energy becomes more limited. Simplicity and a minimalist approach make life easier, both in terms of material possessions and emotional baggage. We try to save energy for the things we enjoy. Thought-provoking post, Betul! <3 Have a great week!

  11. I like your analogy! My best girlfriend passed away a few years ago. I don’t know where she got this from, but she used to say,

    “Not my monkey. Not my circus!” to curb herself from getting involved. It still helps me to be compassionate but to mind my own business!

  12. Wow this was right on time. Thank you for this blog, I’m always telling my boyfriend how much I overthink and it drives him nuts! I needed this message, I can relate to this message also. Keep writing more please, great blog and it’s definitely inspiring for me to get back into blogging. Well needed.

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