For the past two years I have been working hard towards becoming a minimalist. In these past two years I have come to acknowledge and accept that becoming a minimalist is far deeper than riding yourself and life of excess stuff. Becoming a minimalist is something you have to work at daily. Minimalism is not something that can be mastered. To be a minimalist requires consistent and constant hard work. With each new day, I work towards living a life based on experiences, rather than consuming worldly possessions.
I am sure many of you recently celebrated Valentine’s Day this past weekend. I hope all of you had a great day with your loved ones. I hope whatever you did made you feel special and as equally memorable.
My husband and I use to celebrate holidays by going out and buying each other the latest gadget, clothing, and or jewelry. Oh, and let’s not forget the importance of picking the “right” card. The verbiage had to be just “right”. Those words that you connect with, when you pick up a card and read it… I write hand written letters/notes to my husband. Cards are nice but the feelings I feel… I can explain them a lot better in my own words on a plain sheet of paper and it’s personal.
Over the years as we have grown together our mindset has changed. There comes a point when you realize after looking around your house and seeing old gadgets that are dated and just collecting dust that those items that were once important have lost their value. I mean we have iPad’s that are as big as bricks. Most of those iPad’s are useless and no longer can be updated. Yet, we have one from each generation.
It makes us really think as we declutter the house, “What were we thinking?” Simply, pointless and poor investments.
Physical gifts are nice but trust me I couldn’t remember when I got what and for what occasion. Even cleaning out junk drawers and stumbling upon holiday greeting cards that had been stuffed away, out of sight made me realize how unimportant and insignificant items become over the years. It was at this point when my husband and I decided to stop indulging in consumerism that is hyped around the holidays.
We don’t expect holiday gifts. We realized that the greatest gift is time spent together. The greatest gift is experiencing life together. Traveling. Sight Seeing. Eating good food. Drinking good coffee. Experiences do not lose value. Memories do not fade. And even if our mind starts to wither with age, we will still have pictures to look back on. This is a concept that we have chosen to instill in our children and we know for a fact that they will appreciate this.
This past weekend we celebrated our love together with our children and took them to our favorite island. Our weekend consisted of watching the sunrise and sunset across the Atlantic and the sound. Listening to the ocean’s high tide and gusting winds at night.
We visited a sea turtle hospital and fed the turtles. This was truly an adventure for the kids as they learned more about sea life and the impact that our actions has on the oceans. From saving a straw and using reusable containers to properly disposing of your trash.
We even had a chance to watch Antares NG-13, NASA Wallops first rocket launch of 2020 from the coast.
These types of experiences are priceless and are what draw us closer together. We hope that our children will continue to pass down the traditions that we have created to their children. It’s amazing to see how our children cherish the ocean just as much as us. It’s truly our home away from home. We are no longer tourist in a small coastal town. We are just as local as the locals and it’s deeply felt from our visits to the local coffee shop to the local village bookstore.
And this is how the McKinney’s are overcoming consumerism, one vacation at a time.