For me, there’s always a reason to buy a pair of shoes. Whether it’s an upcoming special event or the outfit that makes my legs look great, it seems that I aways need a pair of shoes. Or so I tell myself.
I was doing some online shoe shopping earlier today. Why was I doing this? Yes, part of the reason is that I was helping my aunt (who has a legitimate need for shoes) find a new pair. The main reason, though, is the fact that I always believe that I need another pair of shoes.
Until I made a commitment to simple living, I never questioned this “need.” I believed that I needed shoes, so I bought. And bought. And bought. Fast forward a few years and I have a HUGE plastic tote full of shoes. But did that stop me from shoe shopping today? Of course not!
I am pleased to report that I purchased no shoes. Why? Because minimalism has destroyed my love for shoes? Not at all. It has made me stop and think, though. While salivating over my computer, I was able to stop and ask myself “Do I really need this?”
Today I was forced to reexamine my constant “need” for shoes. Why do I need more shoes? I only have two feet! I have enough shoes to last me a long time. I don’t have a genuine need for shoes. What I have is a desire for more shoes. And that is another matter entirely.
For me, this is what minimalism is about. It’s not about denying my needs. It’s about determining my needs, and focusing on those needs. It’s about asking myself “Do I truly need this? Can I do without?” It’s about focusing on what I need rather than collecting every single thing that I want. It’s not about asceticism or self punishment. It’s about freedom from excess.
Minimalism has caused me to question my “needs”. Even my need for more shoes. It has caused me to focus on my real needs, and to stay away from excess. For me, that’s what simplicity is about: choosing needs over wants.