Unintentional Minimalism

So I started working for a company I had wanted to work for. They had just been bought out by a mega carrier. Things were still pretty good though. The mega-carrier culture was starting to creep in around the edges though. When I left the Second, I had very little more than the clothes on my back to my name.

I had unintentionally become a minimalist.

I didn’t have much, but I didn’t need much. Right now sitting in my truck, I still don’t have too much more than I started with. The two cats, one of which will stay home soon are the only really significant additions.

I did not do an intentional purge of belongings, I didn’t play the 30 day minimalism game. I packed what I knew I needed and what I thought I needed and I left. Spoiler, a lot of the things I thought I needed I didn’t.

I do now intentionally cull excess items from my space. I don’t insist that pet does likewise, but she goes through phases where she wants to get rid of things.

I don’t really want to tell anyone else how to live their lives. I can say though that the more that I do the things I do on purpose the happier and healthier I am. I don’t know that minimalism would make the average person happy, but I do know that from my perspective the accidental accumulation of stuff for its own sake looks awful stressful.

I have begun to look at virtually every aspect of my life and ask if what I’m looking at adds value. When I think about it, I started down this road a long time ago. I don’t mean just over a year ago when I literally left my home, my wife, and nearly everything I owned behind

I mean when I saw my mother for what she is and left her behind. I lost a lot then. I didn’t let go of much of it willingly, but I was starting to grasp the notion that I don’t need to allow things in my life that hurt me. Shit I guess I can trace the roots back even farther to when I left the First.

This is me working through things in real time, lucky you, you get to be my therapist, you don’t have to be licensed but you aren’t getting paid either.

Anyhow, I made a conscious decision, not to allow things that cause me harm to remain in my life.

To tie this back to the company I worked for when I left the Second. I’m not obligated to keep a job that isn’t taking me where I want to go either. I have a commercial driver’s license and a clean record. I can have another job by the end of the week. Probably a better paying one. The more experience behind the wheel you get the smaller and better paying companies you can work for.

I was hauling a load of furniture from a terminal down in North Carolina to a terminal up in Washington. With that company a terminal to terminal furniture load didn’t really have a time limit on it. The only real limit imposed was that you are paid by the mile and the more miles you complete the more you get paid, so it’s a good idea to get these things done so you can go haul something else.

The route I chose took me through two places I want to talk about, the first is Deadwood South Dakota. I could have stopped there and gambled away a day in a casino and nobody would have batted an eye. I’m not a gambler any more, I would far rather take the sure thing of the paycheck. Farther up the road, I drove through Montana where I live. pet just had knee surgery the day before I passed through our town. I only drove about four hours that day, I stopped at home for half a day, because my girlfriend needed some help and I wanted to see her. I was not under any time pressure, beyond the self-imposed pressure of wanting to get paid for this incredibly valuable run.

You’d have thought I killed someone.

These same people who would not have batted an eye if I wasted a day in a casino were outraged that I dare stop for my family for half a day. I took my half a day. I didn’t feel bad about it, I still don’t. I did another couple loads, much smaller ones. Then I decided I needed to go home and think about things for a few days. I was pretty steamed.

I was sitting on a small pile of cash, so I decided to take two months off.

The geniuses who hired me after my half hour job search and threw a fit that I prioritized my family over the job. Decided that I could only have one month of leave. I told them I would see how I felt after the one month. I was pretty sure about how I would feel about it.

The month went by and pet was healing nicely, but I had already put out feelers for other companies, and had gotten a better offer for more money from the place almost literally next door.

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