The Tannehill Homestead
Minimalism Simple Living

Minimalism Confessions Volume 2: Contentment

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Opening up to people is not easy. It is especially difficult to open up about any struggles we face, especially on the internet. In my Minimalism Confessions Volume 1, I opened up with a struggle that I felt I should have conquered already.

In fact, I had at one point. But the joy of life is that we all have a roller coaster lifestyle. The only difference is who is willing to open up and share.

I am not going to lie. I was completely nervous to open up with you, but I am so glad I did! Being able to see that I am not alone in struggling is enlightening.

Plus, I was able to help a few of you in the process, and I am eternally grateful that you trusted me with that.

So I promised you that I would make this a monthly scene on the blog. Now let us get to it!

Contentment is something I am consistently practicing. It is a great thing to develop, but hard to keep at times. As I continue in my minimalist journey, I am reminded of why I chose this lifestyle.

Minimalism Confessions Volume 2

This minimalism journey, as I said above, is a roller coaster ride full of ups, downs, and plateaus. Right now, I am currently trying out some new ideas in my routine, but for some reason, none of them seem to work.

It seems that my stress levels have gone up a bit, too. For today’s focus, I want to talk to you about:

contentment

So recently, I have made some purchases that have replaced clothes or things in my home. While I am excited to trade out a few things, I noticed my contentment for these changes dwindle.

As I discussed last time, I have backtracked with the progress I have made towards consuming less.

This has also brought way of loosing my contentment. If you have heard of “shiny object syndrome,” this is exactly what I am experiencing. By going into stores to replace certain things, I am seeing the newest and trendiest things on the market.

Of course, I think these things are pretty or purposeful, and I find myself thinking that I need all of it. When the reality is that I do not need anything besides what is on my list.

One thing that really gets me is seeing trendy women in stores that are all put together and look beautiful. Suddenly, I do not feel as confident in myself before going into the store.

I loose my overall “big picture” to what I want for my life, which is not to be super trendy or a consumer of all the “latest and greatest.” I just want to be content with being myself, and knowing that is okay.

Marketing strategies have discovered every way possible to make sure that I do not feel up to par by trying to live content, and fuel off of that to make me purchase things I can live without. It is a shame that our society is to the point that it is with consumerism.

If I cannot step out of a store feeling the same as before I entered into it, something is wrong. I do my best to hold onto my values while shopping, but that does not mean that I do not feel less by doing so.

Which when you think about it, I should feel great about myself for not falling for marketing schemes, and only purchasing what I need.


Contentment is something I am consistently practicing. It is a great thing to develop, but hard to keep at times. As I continue in my minimalist journey, I am reminded of why I chose this lifestyle.

It is not for the approval of others, but rather the approval within myself. Having contentment while pursuing my dreams is one of the most important things to me. It is a tool I use to further develop my morals, passions, and values.

When it is pulled away by marketing schemes or people I believe have a little something more than me, I am only hurting the person I want to become, and that is not okay.


What are you struggling with in your minimalism journey? I would love to know! Please comment below to share or ask any questions!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life
    June 19, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I definitely find that the more I go to stores, the less content I feel. I see so many things that I “need”…

    We’ve had some financial setbacks recently and for some reason, feeling like I can’t buy something (because we don’t have the money for it right now) makes me want it more. When I can afford something, I feel like I’m making a choice not to buy it if that makes sense. Silly thinking though.

    You mentioned working on new habits or routines. Have you read Better Than Before yet? I loved this book and it helped me realize why I often have a hard time creating a new routine or sticking to a habit I really want to form.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

      You are not alone, Christine! I feel the same way when it comes to not needing to purchase something. It seems that when I do have the extra cash, I can never find what I need and vice versa. I have not heard of Better Than Before, but I will definitely look into it! Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Reply
    Terri
    June 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    My biggest problem i have is always talking about clothes i want to buy for myself and never do. I want to look nicer but do not either have the money to do so or the patience to even go into a store and try them on.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Terri, I am the same way. Right now, I need to replace a pair of jeans and tank top. However, the process of having to replace them is not something I want to endure. I would like to shop second hand or through an ethical shop for these replacements. I know I could order exactly what I need from a particular store without hassle, but they do not share the same values I do now.

  • Reply
    Dee
    June 19, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I enjoy your thoughts!

    Since I’m older than you — possibly old enough to be your granny — some of what I’ve found may not be helpful. THST said, here goes:

    I only shop when I need something, never just to pass the time. And what really makes a difference — I shop in second-hand stores. There are several advantages:

    *Lower prices
    *Many are tax-free
    *The sheer volume of donated (discarded) stuff gives real pause as to whether I truly need or want an item
    *Sometimes the quality is higher
    *Most shoppers are dressed casually
    *Very few big marketing pushes/displays like in department stores
    *i avoid shopping with friends who tend to encourage me to purchase something Im not sure of. I often find that I can decide to wait overnight or til my next visit, figuring that if the item is still there and I still need (or want) it, it’s probably a good decision to buy. … Or not!

    That’s all I can think of now. Good luck and keep writing!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Thank you for sharing, Dee! I do a lot of what you mentioned already, but sometimes I get caught up in wanting to be trendy or fashionable. We do have a new second-hand store that has some great pieces in it, so it will make the process easier. I love shopping second-hand, because you never know what treasures you will find for a fraction of the price. Also, it helps the environment by not creating another need for something new.

  • Reply
    Sarah Althouse | Pretty Simple Ideas
    June 21, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Funny story, the other day I wore one of my favorite dresses and a reporter at a hearing came up to me to say she had the same dress…and that she couldn’t believe we both still wore it even though it was from 2007. Ha!

    I’ve actually been struggling with contentment with my clothes lately too. I recently started a new job a month ago and of course start believing I need to buy all new “work clothes” to impress who knows who. Instead I’m trying to focus on my relationships instead of new shoes!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:49 am

      I love your story! I wish I could still fit my clothes from 2007, because I would totally wear them today! haha!

      I know exactly how you feel, Sarah! It is easy to get caught up in trying to impress others versus being ourselves. I am glad that you saw it quickly enough to refocus your attention to the relationships, because they last a lot longer than a top or a pair of shoes (hopefully!). 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela @ Setting My Intention
    June 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    As a blogger I actually find blogging keeps things from being simple! I love it but there is always something “to do”. Do you struggle with this?

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Oh yes, Angela! I definitely struggle with this. One thing that has helped a lot is automation for social media apps. I started using Boardbooster a few weeks ago, and it has freed up a lot of my time. I still get caught up in the feeling of needing to know what is happening, but less often than a few months ago.

  • Reply
    Megan
    June 24, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I am feeling some of the similar things you are. Trying to change my mind from a consumer mindset is difficult. I am trying to avoid shopping in stores in person and am sending my husband instead. He doesn’t buy into consumerism. My only downfall I’m noticing is Amazon. It is so easy to purchase one click. We are starting to go hiking. Super easy to buy hiking boots and even a hiking backpack. It’s all a work in progress.

    I think the biggest step here is that we have become more aware that we are spending even if we are still drawn to the shiney. It does make you question what you purchase.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      June 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I wish my husband would do the shopping for us, but he would purchase a lot more than I would! haha! Amazon is definitely a downfall of mine, too, Megan! I have found that if it does not store my credit card information, I am less apt to purchase something on a whim. It is a lot harder for me to dig out my credit card than it is to do a one-click purchase.

  • Reply
    Vivien
    July 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I can identify with all of you here!
    My weakness is eBay and Internet shopping(yes, Amazon) especially as I don’t get out much.
    Sooo.. I’m (going to try and stick to) taking the apps off my phone and have my payment card in a separate purse. Its too easy having them both in close proximity to let the green eyed monster have its way.

    Also, like some of you have said, I’m having to update my wardrobe as either things have plain worn out or they don’t feel or look good with a few extra (middle age spread) pounds. Soooo….what I’m trying to do is to incorporate my love of sewing and transforming clothes, either stuff I’ve got or from the charity shop, and plan to even make stuff from scratch from the pile of fabric I’ve collected! (I did give a lot away when we moved).

    I’m shocked at how much money I’ve frittered on things I don’t need, which have caused me anxiety and stress.

    I’m so glad I can come here and share the truth honestly about my battle with decluttering.

    The charity shops here in UK are so expensive now, which is sad. I’ve just donated a couple of bags to the womens refuge, and given some things away as gifts, and in the process of filling another bag.

    Its getting into the habit of evaluating whether or not I really need something versus impulsive buying… I may be slow but making progress.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      July 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Vivien, this is definitely the place to share any frustration or struggle. I thank you for being so open, too! I love your idea of transforming your clothes. You have inspired me to turn a tank top that was destined for the trash into a scarf! Now it has a second life. Thank you for that as well!

      It is great that you have a bag you can fill constantly. That really is key to keeping your home decluttered. For me, I have a tote that keeps everything I do not want until I take it to my local homeless shelter. I am lucky that they take everything and give it to those in need. They even recycle glass jars for me, which is great because I tend to accumulate a lot of them.

      Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and it is key to get to where you want to be. Your comment really warmed my heart, so thank you again for sharing!

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