Friday, July 14, 2017

It's Hard to Downgrade Lifestyles

I love to blog about clutter/decluttering. My progress on the Kon Mari method is not going as fast as I would like, but that is in part due to the fact that I was holding off until our move. Well, this is the weekend. We are going to double our square footage and I am super pumped. Instead of one bedroom and bathroom, we will now have two of each. We have no separate dining nook and now we will have a spacious one. Our living room and kitchen are much bigger and we will go from no garage to a one car.

But like I wrote in the past, if we feel just as cluttered in the new place in a year or two as we do now in our 525 square foot apartment, it's probably not an issue of capacity but rather our human nature to fill up whatever space we have with more luxuries.

It's hard to "downgrade" one's life. Once you get used to a certain space or a certain luxury, it sucks to go back. For example, my husband and I survived the first 7+ months of our marriage without a washer and dryer. We would go over to my parents house to do laundry or they would sometimes do it for us if we left it there a day or two (this second option was pretty darn sweet even without them folding it). But now that we have a washer and dryer, it is even more amazing. If we have messes or spills, we can just throw the stuff in the washer right away, no need to wait or go anywhere.

Another luxury I love is the Bluetooth speaker in my car which I use daily to listen to podcasts on my commute. When I have to drive a different car on occasion, I miss this extra feature. Speaking of luxuries, talk about smart phones. As much as people love to hate them, they make social media and information accessible with a click or two. Going to a flip phone would be a huge step backward in my quality of life.

But why does it matter if I get used to more space, more luxuries, and more stuff?

The more I have and the more I rely on/get used to, the more fragile I become. This means that during a tough time, I have more to lose than gain. Conversely, those that are anti-fragile become stronger through volatility.

The Art of Manliness blog has some ideas about how to become more anti-fragile. Becoming anti-fragile does not mean we reduce our lifestyle to our top 17 items. It means purposefully injecting stress in your life sometimes so that if you ever did lose your job and have to reduce your life down to 17 items you wouldn't just give up on life. You would get stronger.

Are you fragile or anti-fragile?

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