My daughter was born in late May (2017) which transitioned nicely into a cosy Winter during which I spent many sleep deprived days, breastfeeding and holding my sleeping newborn with my new friend Netflix to keep me company. It was during this time that I fell down the food and health documentary hole, starting with The Minimalists which proved to be very inspiring and ultimately the catalyst for me to start making changes in my life.
Having worked in brand and design for many years – I’d naturally been enticed by brands and products; and I purchased these with passion. I’ve owned a lot of stuff – clothes, magazines, gorgeous wee vessels and vases, wobbly ceramic bowls, design books, mid-century furniture, kitchen equipment – you get the picture. With every house move I would be astonished at how many boxes it would take to move all this stuff, yet I felt like I didn’t own much at all. Sometimes unpacked boxes would just move from house to house, unopened.
Of course, having children provides the perfect excuse for more stuff to be purchased. With your first child you can go crazy buying moses baskets, change tables, change baskets, organic bassinet sheets in off-white, organic cotton onesies in muted neutral tones, nappy bags, change mats – there are multiple products for every facet of parenting.
With my second child I now knew that some things were nice to have, but by no means necessary, yet I still went overboard – due mainly to my newly acquired fixation with Instagram.
So, after devouring The Minimalists documentary, I started to feel uncomfortable about the way I had spent so much money on these things. I now had only two months left of paid maternity leave and had budgeted to stay at home until my daughter was six months old (a decision I had never been comfortable with as she would still be so little). I was about to face some tough decisions regarding finances and going back to work (I was also made redundant during this time). I started to feel a loathing for the way I’d behaved; irresponsibly spending money in exchange for things when I should be saving money to give me more time with my daughter at home. After all, isn’t time what we are wanting more of these days?
I suddenly wanted all this stuff to go – I felt a radical shift in my appreciation of these things, they were now a reminder of my consumerism. I watched The Minimalists again to confirm these feelings – it all – well mostly all – had to go.
So this is where my journey began. My quest to find freedom in wanting and owning less. Discovering a simpler, more purposeful and ultimately joyful life for myself and my children. I’ve gone through many of the processes outlined by The Minimalists and other influencers (I'm a huge fan of Project 333 - life changing), as well as my own ideas for freeing up money, time and my mind. All in the pursuits of becoming a truly HappyCamper (this is another story entirely about my life-long dream of owning a motorhome) for most, if not all, of this beautiful life.