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In 2010, a chance encounter with Leo Babauta saved me from a terrible mistake.
I’d recently had a minimalism epiphany after our family moved for the second time in 3 years.
As I unpacked box after box, I saw how our stuff was driving decisions we never consciously made. We mostly bought little things–a new fry pan one month, a toy for our young daughter another–but we also rarely threw things away. Over time, our stuff had become a burden (at least to me).
The way I saw it, it was a vicious cycle. The more stuff we needed to store, the more furniture we needed to hold it all. The more furniture we had, the bigger house we felt we needed. And then you had to spend all that time cleaning…
It was driving me crazy and I wanted to make a big change … right now.
My zeal backfired. My three-year-old felt under attack and protectively guarded every toy. My husband, who is sweetly nostalgic, couldn’t bear to part with his softball mitt from his childhood. “What if she plays softball one day?” he bemoaned.
The more I tried to convince them that they needed to change, the more they resisted me. In fact, the more they resented me.