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055: Minimalism

Hello! Welcome to episode 55 of I’d Rather Stay In. This week, we are unpacking minimalism and all of the privileges that go with the perfect minimalist aesthetic.

Quick links

Article: The Rise of Minimalism

Article: History of Minimalism

Essay: The Pitfalls and the Potential of the New Minimalism

Minalima and their illustrated Harry Potter

Episode transcript

Welcome to I’d rather stay in with your hosts Megan Myers and Stephie Predmore. This week we chat about minimalism. And specifically, we rant about a couple of documentaries that we recently watched. Stay tuned.

Well, hello, Megan.

Hey, Stephie I feel like it’s been a while.

I mean, for the podcast, It sure has.

Yeah, for me. It’s not been that long. It’s been a few hours.

I so we have had some guys here doing some painting at our house. They are very, very COVID safe. I trust these people. 100%. Our friend owns the company. And they wear masks and all of the things so don’t @ me anyway. But because the baby has a nap schedule, and I have a very barky dog. I’ve been taking the barky dog over to Megan’s house this week, so that she does not just bark at the guys and their ladders and their paint rollers all day long. While the guys are here painting, so Megan and I have been co working this week. So I literally saw her like three hours ago.

Yeah. It’s been fun.

It has been nice, actually. Yeah. It’s been nice to have a little, a little co worker for the week. Cuz, you know, my husband’s not very exciting. mean coworker, I love him dearly.

They’re good for other things. I

said, Oh, yeah, they’re great for other things, but as coworkers. And

that’s whenever when they always say that they like to work with their husband, like on their website. And I was like, that sounds horrible. And you’re like how?

Right? Like?

I don’t think so.

So Megan, since we last recorded because it has been like over a month since we recorded a podcast. You added to your family, our Instagram followers will know this. But if anyone doesn’t follow us on Instagram, they don’t know that.

Yeah, we adopted a dog at the beginning of December. I love her so much.

She she’s awake now. But she was conked out for a while. That’s because she has some two big play dates with Anya this week. So

yeah. Oh, she’s laying down again. Take a nap. Yeah. She was snoring a buzzsaw earlier.

Well, she’s a pit bull. So

yes, that’s true. she’s a she’s pretty much a puppy herself. She’s not had proper training. I don’t think. She had a set of puppies. When she right when she went into foster care, and we let the puppies you know, grow up and get weaned and everything. And as soon as they were ready to go off to their own homes. We were able to bring her home.

Yeah. And I think it was funny because I know sometimes when you bring home, like new mama animals, like dogs or cats, sometimes they tell you like they might not know how to react when they’ve like just been separated from their kittens or their puppies or whatever. And with Mystery, and then our cat Roux was the same way. I think you got them home and they were like, Oh,

yes, I could just be a baby now.

Yeah, many more.

They’re just like, I’m the only dog here.

This is great. Yeah, she’s such a sweetie. She’s rambunctious and so loving and just wants to give you all she loves hugs, and wants to give you all the kisses. She’s a good girl, she’s gonna be really I you know, it takes a while as someone who’s had many rescues in my life. It takes a while for them to settle in, after they’ve come home and to like for their personalities to come out and all their anxieties to kind of subside, but she’s gonna be a very, very, very good she’s already a very good dog, but she’s gonna be an exceptional dog when she settles in.

Yeah, she already loves the boys and the boys love her. So she really well, yeah,

yeah. I love that.

mystery. love her so much.

So we decided to start the year talking about minimalism, I guess because, you know, fresh year, people start thinking about making changes in their lives.

Yeah, and I feel like that’s, a lot of times people be like, I’m going to minimize my staff for I’m going to downsize or I’m going to purge or I’m going to whatever as you know, there’s some of their new year’s resolutions and so it seemed like a good time. To talk about this topic, well, you know, people are thinking of these things. That’s not to say and I think we talked about this last year when we talked about New Year’s resolutions like you can actually start a resolution anytime of year. It’s true you anytime, which is any day of the year could be

June 22. And you can be like, I will start something new today. But sometimes it’s nice to talk about these things when it’s sort of top of mind for people. And we, interestingly enough, have a lot to say about minimalism for two people who are not exactly minimalists.

That is true. Yeah.

Not and we’re not minimalist, at least to the extent of like, I don’t what what we’ll get into, but like,

Yes, I think we are minimalists in areas of our lives. But yeah, in the like influencer sense of the word.

No, and definitely not in like the areas of our lives that encompass like kitchens,


our bookshelves. No, absolutely not. Absolutely not.

But we have talked before about, you know, bringing things intentionally and change your life. Yes. So that’s, I mean, this topic we’ve covered so I thought maybe get a little bit more into like the actual minimalism thing. And one of the reasons that the timing for this worked out so perfectly, is that a new a new documentary drops at the beginning of the year. Yes, that was actually a sequel to another documentary about minimalism, and we got fired up about the topic.

Yeah, so we in preparation for this, we watched both of these documentaries. The first one is called minimalism, a documentary about the important things. It was made in 2015. It is on Netflix. It’s like an hour and 20 minutes. It was directed by Matt Davila, and produced by this by him and then these guys named Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua fields Milburn, who run a site called the minimalists, and apparently the this director Matt Davila is also a minimalist himself. And then the one that just dropped on Netflix, like January 1, is called the minimalists: less is now which is a title that makes me want to punch somebody and it is made by the same people. So Matt Deval also directed it, and then it focuses even more heavily if it pot if possible, than the first one on the minimalists. Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua fields Milburn.


and then it also the second one also brings in some other experts, Dave Ramsey is probably one of the most notable experts. We’ve talked about him before in our financial episodes. He’s a finance budgeting expert. And so they talk to him as well as a few other experts who I aim to be quite frank I’ve never heard of before. He was the only one that I had ever heard of. So those are those are the two that we watched in preparation for this episode, if you want to check them out. The first one was, I think, douchey er than the second one.

I mean, I would, yes, I would agree with that. Um,

although I found the way I found the style of the second one to be really irritating,

I think, because they were trying to be I mean, for both of them, they were trying to be inspiring, but I think in the second one, because they were diving so much more into their actual personal history of like, why they were doing it, which I think should have been in the first one. It came off, like they were very, like, I’m going to preach about this thing and the way that they were talking to the camera. It was weird. It was weird. It was and I’m not against necessarily the idea of what they’re trying to espouse.

Right? So but so let’s talk about minimalism, just sort of literally the foundation here. So when we’re talking about minimalism, we’re not talking about art. We’re not talking about architecture we’re talking about when people the the lifestyle that people will take on they will say often say like I am a minimalist in their lifestyle, where they are looking at paring down the amount of stuff in their life, and only having the stuff that is like most necessary. And oftentimes, I think you see, when you’re looking at people who are minimalists, and have they have websites about it, and they blog about it, and they’re influencers and stuff like that, a lot of times they’re also like shedding their corporate jobs, and they’re just going to a much simpler way of life in general. So that goes live in a year. Yes, they’re gonna go live, you’re gonna go live in a you’re off the grid, like that kind of extreme. minimalism is a lot of what we’re talking about here.

Yeah. And it sounds like based on what we’ve read it, it’s a kind of, it’s like we mentioned a start, we mentioned the art thing, it’s kind of started in the art thing. And then it kind of went a little bit more toward like, the simple living thing and like the slow food movement, and like, just intentional living in general. And somehow that idea of intentional living just became like, get rid of all your stuff.

Yeah, it kind of spiraled.

Yeah, a little bit. And everything. If you if you watch this first documentary that we talked about, it’s all very, they show their apartments, and they’re very, like Stark and white, and empty. And they’re like, I only own like five shirts and,


have one chair and if you have a guest, then

Well, too bad. One chair. Yeah, there’s there’s some. There’s some, there was some, like culty aspects to the way they were talking about it in the first documentary, I think, in particular, towards the end of the second one, it got very, they were reminding me of evangelical youth pastors that I have known. They don’t necessarily say that in a good way.


So it was just they were very, like, I’m so cool. And I got my long hair, and I just so cool, and I got my black t shirt. And, but I’m going to lead you into my way of life, like the way that they were kind of preaching about it towards the end of the most recent documentary, but throughout the first one, just the way they were talking about it, there was it was almost culty. To me.

I remember when I watched the first one the first time because I watched it a while ago. It made me so mad. I don’t know why, like it just made me like viscerally angry, and I’m like, I’m gonna finish this, but I’m so angry

about it. So, okay, let’s unpack that a little bit. So I think that I think we want to just say upfront, like, again, there are absolutely aspects to more in to minimalism that we think are great. Particularly and I think maybe less this like influencer style of minimalism, but more intentional living and like we’ve talked about this before, like, you know, when it comes to the things that we bring into our homes, like Megan and I, we don’t, we’re not like more is more kind of people. You know, we don’t want to just have a bunch of stuff I know, like with our parenting, like, you know, for example, for me, Eden is still young enough that I can kind of have a little bit of a grasp on and have a little bit more control over the stuff that’s coming into our homes when it comes to like birthdays and Christmas. And so I was really trying to think about like, Okay, what are toys that are going to grow with her and are going to last a while as opposed to just kind of like plastic crap that she’s gonna outgrow really quickly, like, if we’re gonna bring it into our homes. How can I be intentional about that? You know, so there’s absolutely aspects of this that resonate with us. But there are definitely some things about the way that influencers portray minimalism that make us angry. So let’s unpack that a little.

Where to start? I mean, first of all, I think we already talked about the stark whiteness, which is it’s it’s weird because it’s, it’s like a metaphor for the stark whiteness. Yeah, minimalism.

It is it is so it just seems that it affluent white people. So I think I think this is where I think this is where We really struggle with it. And I actually found an essay in the New Yorker that was written or published at the beginning of 2020. The it’s titled the pitfalls and potential of the new minimalism. And it is actually, it’s a really interesting essay, it’s pretty long. But I pulled out a couple of quotes, because they it really kind of hit the nail on the head for I think we’re where we have problems with this. So the writer says, less is more attractive when you’ve got a lot of money. And minimalism is easily transformed from a philosophy of intentional restraint into an aesthetic language through which to assert a form of walled off luxury, a self centered and competitive impulse that is not so different from the acquisitive attitude that minimalism purports to reject. So you know, it’s saying that it’s easier to be a minimalist in the way that many people think of it, when you actually have a lot of stuff. And when you have a lot of money when you have a lot of financial privilege, and use spent years just acquiring more and more and more and more stuff, you do reach a point where having less stuff is attractive. Right, but you have to have more to find that less lesser lifestyle, like really attractive.

Yeah, because I think for most people, you know, it’s one thing to you know, get rid of, like, you know, leftover newspapers or magazines laying around, like getting rid of the clutter and trash, right? That’s one thing, but to do this minimalism lifestyle that people are trying to promote, you have to have the comfort and knowing that if you get rid of a bunch of your stuff, you can just buy it again if you do need it. Right. And most people don’t have that luxury right?

This this essayist goes on to say, it is rarely acknowledged by either the life hack minded authors or the proponents of minimalist design, that many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstances that render impossible a serene, jewelbox lifestyle. Nor do they mentioned that poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline rather than a burden. Many of today’s gurus maintain that minimalism can be useful, no matter one’s income, but the audience they target is implicitly affluent, the pitches never about making do with less because you have no choice. And I think that that like is a very good summary of where a lot of our issues yours and my issues with this, this style of minimalism comes down to like there is if you are not in a privileged financial position, to just I’m going to give away my things I’m going to live with so little but I, I also know that I can’t just go to IKEA and get something new when I need it. Like, right, there’s a big difference between I am going to not have extra stuff just for the sake of having extra stuff versus like, I’m just gonna get rid of all my things, but I can get extra things if I need them later.

Right. And one of the things that they talked about in the documentary which I thought was weird was they mentioned the fact that like all people have all these things, they have boxes of you know, mementos and they have boxes of holiday decorations, and I’m like, I okay, I don’t like have tons of holiday decorations. But I do have holiday decorations and they make me happy,


Like the one thing that they never seem to talk about in these minimalism things is that it’s not a frivolous thing if it brings you joy in your life,

right and that is it’s it’s honestly wild you know, and it’s funny because this the writer that that wrote this article, she actually starts off by saying like that she kind of fell down this rabbit hole because she read Murray condos book and, you know, sort of ended up on being that annoying person that shows up at her parents house for the holidays and is like does this bring you know it’s gonna go? And so like, but it sort of led her down this rabbit hole of Oh, okay, now I’ve done this but also what did it do and also So, is this a problematic sort of movement? Because it’s so focused on affluence, and it is so heavily, you know, pushed by white voices, like, Where is this leading, and sort of led down all of this, you know, figuring out what is really at the heart of minimalism as we think of it as a movement in the United States. And so, yeah, I just I think that

there, I don’t think

that there’s anything inherently wrong with having things that make you happy, like so. Joshua fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, the minimalists, they talk about their their, like, the way that they came to minimalism, or whatever, the way that they saw the light, basically. And I guess that Joshua had kind of gone through this, and suddenly, he was just so much happier. And that his best friend Ryan sat him down at lunch one day, it was like, why are you so happy, and Joshua was like, it’s minimalist, which is where I was like, Oh, my God is like, a religion. And so Joshua had gone through the process of sort of paring down his belongings over the course of a few weeks or a few months. And instead of taking that longer period of time to do that, Ryan was like, okay, dude, we’re gonna come over to my house, we’re gonna pack up everything I own as if I am moving, we’re gonna put everything in one room, all the boxes in one room, and then I’m only going to pull out of the boxes, the things that I need over the course of three weeks. And then basically, whatever was still in the boxes after three weeks, like, I guess he got rid of. And but he also, instead of, you know, just listing things like, you know, just your normal everyday belongings, he was also like, Oh, yeah, and then we packed up my art and my photographs, and you know, the decor on my walls. And they only pulled out the things that I needed over the course of those three weeks, like,


I don’t know about you. But like, if I were to pack up all of my things, including the art that’s on my walls, and pull only the things that I actively need to use over the course of three weeks, the art that’s on my walls is not going to be pulled out. But that doesn’t mean that the art that’s on my walls shouldn’t be on my walls, because it brings me joy. Right? It makes me happy, it creates a homey feel for my home.

I mean, there’s a reason why art has been something that has been part of our culture for 1000s of years.


Because we need it in our life.

Yeah. And like, what about like, okay, so you have a bookshelf of books, obviously, over the course of three weeks, you’re not going to read every book on your bookshelf or need every book on your bookshelf. But that doesn’t mean that those books shouldn’t be there, just because you’re not actively using them. And like maybe, and granted, not every person is like us and has an overly large amount of books. I will admit I have a lot of books, but I like to surround myself with books. So I suppose the argument there would be well you just go to the library, I suppose. But I like having books that I can also abuse a little bit like my copy of East of Eden is marked up to hell. Because every time I read it, I find something new and I like highlighting under less I don’t blend it out anymore because I’m like no one else wants to read my copy of this book. Like when I have friends that want to read East of Eden, I literally go and I buy them a copy give them a copy instead of giving them mine so I don’t know there’s just like some of it I’m like, Okay, guys, like you say it’s fine to keep these things but then the way that you’re living and that you’re showing how you’re living doesn’t make it seem like you actually think that that’s it’s an okay thing. I don’t know, it’s it was it’s just very weird and just at the end of the day, just had so I just have a lot of issues with this. Just I think the audience that they’re talking to and the way that they are saying this is going to change your life. If you just drop everything, quit your corporate job, start a website and just live more simply and Not everybody has the privilege to be able to leave a job that they don’t like, or that doesn’t make them feel fulfilled. Like, anyone can start a website, but let me tell you, you’re not necessarily making a living off that website, within the first year, two years, three years, 10 years depends on the website, right. Um, like, I know, because I’ve known people that have just like, picked up, they, you know, they lived in the city, and they just pick up and they like, buy a bunch of land out in the middle of nowhere, and they quit their job, and they just pick up and they move out to the middle of nowhere to like, live off the grid. And all of those things, like, if that makes you happy, and you have the ability to do that, by all means, go for it. But I think we have to be really careful when, when we’re talking about these things, if we have any sort of a platform. And we talk about these things like this is the key to your happiness. What happens when when someone who does not have the savings, like not because they have been financially irresponsible, but because cycles of poverty have kept them down. They may not have the financial means to just quit their job, move out to the middle of nowhere and live this quote, simpler life. or pick up everything and live in a van and drive around traveling around for a year. Like those are things that take an incredible amount of privilege to be able to do. And again, you want to do it. That’s great, go for it. But if you have a platform, and you’re saying like this is the secret to unlocking your happiness, what message is that sending to those people who just, it is not within their means to do that, that they’re never going to be happy? I don’t I don’t think that that’s the right message to be sending.

One thing that I feel like maybe they were trying to hit on in the second one, but didn’t fully get there, partially because it’s so short. But I mean, we talk a lot about trauma on this podcast. And I feel like a lot of what they are saying about their history, how they grew up. You know, what led the guy to even start becoming minimalist was basically him dealing with the trauma that he experienced as a child and with his mother’s death. And he doesn’t really He never says that. But I

feel like that’s really

he was able to achieve his happiness is because he confronted his trauma and he dealt with it in his way early.


I was crossed a chain while I was watching this, which is why I wasn’t texting you every five seconds as I was watching it,

but I take that stab things while you

step steps up. And I pretty much the entire time I was watching the second one. I was like talking to the TV and I was like or you could have gone to therapy. Like if you had really gone to like a trauma informed therapist, you could have unpacked all of this like without having to go down this route. Like me. Yeah, you did it whatever you found your life purpose. Great for you. But I agree. I think that so much of the how and the why. Joshua fields Millburn. Like even started this process was to tackle the trauma in his childhood. And I think that that is also why his friend Ryan did it as well, like so they both grew up in had really tough childhoods. They grew up in single parent homes with moms that were addicts and just like hard stuff grew up in poverty, like hard stuff. And instead of really dealing with those things, they were like, I’m going to get this corporate job and I’m gonna make tons and tons and tons of money and it’s gonna make me happy and then they were like, oh, stuff doesn’t make you happy. Gee. So weird. So weird. That stuff doesn’t make you happy instead of earlier. saying like, Okay, I think I need to go to some therapy and like works through some things

I made. I think that actually kind of brings up a good point. A lot of people do have that mindset. I mean, I feel like I mean, even myself to some extent, like We didn’t have everything that I would have wanted as a kid. Lots of necessarily like poverty, but it wasn’t awesome, right? And so like, when I became an adult and got a job, I was like, I can buy stuff. Right? Like, it didn’t necessarily make me think that I was going to unlock the key to happiness. But it does bring you like a certain level of I mean, aside from like, comfort for sure. Right. But just like there is a bit of self satisfaction, I

guess. Right? Have I made it now? Like? Yes, yeah. Yeah.

Did I did I tick off that box? And like, make, make it in the world kind of thing? Right. I thought one thing that I thought was also really interesting in between the two was that between the two documentaries, I mean, is that they show their the places that they lived in each one. And I remember that Joshua’s apartment, and the first one is like, it’s like a some an apartment that someone just moved into. Yeah, it looks like nothing

at all. She’ll sell it has so few things in it.

It made me so sad and depressed. I, it was white, everything was white. There was like a small table, and maybe two chairs. There was like five things in his closet and a suitcase. And I was like, Oh my god, there’s nothing on the walls. But I noticed in this one, they both like, have stuff. Like, they look like they have real lives in their houses now. And I was like, Oh, so they’re still. I mean, they’re, they’re still talking about minimalism in this weird way. But also, they clearly have grown as people and realized a little bit, at least that people like have to find their own level of what actually you need in your life to make you write function, first of all, but also happy,

right? Yeah, the one thing So the one thing in the second one that they talked about you and I chatted a little bit about this earlier today. But the one thing and the second documentary that they talked about, that they didn’t really touch on in the first one, that that did resonate with me. So Joshua, his mom passed away from cancer. And after she passed away, he was going through her apartment and was like, trying to figure out what to do with her stuff. And he initially like, got this big u haul, and was gonna take it back to his place. And then he sort of realized, like, what am I going to do with it, like, I’m just going to end up putting it in storage. And I can actually, like, probably bring more joy to other people, if, by, you know, letting her friends come and take things that are, you know, significant or memorable to them by, you know, donating things, giving things away, you know, stuff like that, and really paring down instead of just taking all of his mom’s stuff, and just taking it back and putting it in storage. And that really resonated with me, because I have a storage unit full of my mom’s stuff that I still have not opened, it’s, the stuffs been sitting there for almost three years. And I still haven’t opened it. And now that Megan is here in town, like we’ve talked about, like once, it’s spring, and the weather is nice, like, she’s gonna go and help me go through it. And so and I texted you, I was like, Okay, I want you to remind me of this, when we go through my mom’s things like because I know, there’s gonna be stuff that I’m going to be like, I feel like I have to hang on to this because it was significant to my mom. But it may or may not actually be significant to me. And so that reminder that I might actually pass on more joy by, you know, either giving things to some of her best friends or by you know, donating things or, you know, whatever it might be letting go of those things might give someone else the same joy that my mom had from it that I might not get from it. And that might in turn actually give me more joy from it. And so that that really did resonate with me. But a lot of the other crap did not.

Yeah, I think that’s actually a really good point. Because I think many of us when a loved one dies and you’re left to deal with their stuff. There’s a huge killed factor of like, Well, you know, it they whatever it is, you know, they love that ceramic pig. I hate pigs but I got to keep that ceramic And kind of thing when you, you don’t need to just because they owned it, right first of all, but there might you know, even if it’s even if it’s somebody that you don’t know, like, if you have an estate sale or something, there might be some person out there who freakin loves ceramic pegs, right?

That could be that literally, ceramic pig that makes their collection.

Yeah, exactly.

Yeah. Cuz like, I know, my mom had all of these dolls, and I don’t,

I don’t really want them dolls man.

And like, there might be one or two that I end up keeping that or whatever. Maybe not. But I know that there are people who really love them and collect them. And my mom had some really beautiful ones. And she took care of them. And you know, had them in like a cabinet or whatever. It sounds really creepy. It never creeps me out as a kid. So whatever anyway.

But maybe because I grew up with them. So they never freaked me out anyway, that’s beside the point. But like, I’m sure there are people who would love to have them. And it would bring them a lot of joy, to have them. And so that’ll be something that is hard for me to let go of, because I know how much my mom loved them. But I have to recognize somebody else can probably get more enjoyment out of them than I will. And like hanging on to them and thinking like, well, maybe my daughter will love them someday, like they’re just going to continue to sit and then somebody else is going to have to deal with them. Like, is there something I can do with them right now I actually have this conundrum with, I have my mom’s wedding dress and my wedding dress it like preserved in their boxes under the guest bed and the room that I’m in right now, as I’m recording this. And like, I don’t sound like I’m like hanging on to them. Because like, maybe Eden will want to wear my wedding dress someday. It’s really more like, I don’t know what else to do with them. They’re just sitting in boxes right now and I need to come up with something I can do with them. Like maybe that means I end up cutting them apart somehow. But that maybe that’s okay. If I’m coming up with a different way to enjoy them. And those memories or capture memories, as opposed to just having them sit untouched. inboxes for another 30 years. Yeah,

I mean, I think I think most married women have the same problem. Right? What the fuck do I do with this wedding dress?

Right? Like, and I mean, I could probably like if I let go my wedding dress, it’s still in style enough like and it was pretty, it was pretty, like timeless, I guess or whatever. But like, I could probably sell it and someone else would really love it. It’s a beautiful dress. It was really well made and stuff. My mom’s is from the 80s no one wants. Like, if I’m gonna do something with that one, that one’s probably the one that I’m gonna like, come up and figure out something to do with. But yeah, like, it’s stuff like that, where I think that we have these things that like, have great memory. And one of the things that this guy did say was like, just because you let go of something that has a memory attached to it doesn’t mean you’re losing the actual memory. Mm hmm.


which is not to say like, I think we should get rid of all of our family photos, and like all of those little mementos. But I I mean, I experienced this a little bit with by sharing the role of mother with Taylor with Taylor Eden’s birth mom. I try to send things to her that have significance. So, you know, I sent her the outfit that Eden wore home from the hospital, which is something that a lot of moms would keep. You know, because it’s got that memory attached to it. I was like, I still have that memory, I got the privilege of being the one to take her home from the hospital, the least that I can do is share a little something with Taylor. And so you know, recognizing like, just because I’m letting go of this thing, doesn’t mean I’m letting go of that memory. So I don’t know. I think there’s like finding a balance between those things.

Yeah, and I think for me, I I am not like a super, super sentimental person.

And I think one really, Megan I hadn’t

I know that about crazy. I think one of the reasons is that don’t have a lot of the things from growing up. Yeah, like, I have like a box. And it has like my yearbooks from high school, like my leather jacket letters, because I never got an actual jacket. And like a few other things, and that’s like it. So that is basically like, you know, 18 years of my life in this like, tiny box, right? And I don’t have any stuff like from my parents house, like, I just got my grandmother’s China Yeah, like, a couple of months ago. And I have like, one thing from my grandfather that he maybe I don’t have anything from my other set of grandparents, it’s like, very odd for normal people to like, not have any of this stuff. But I think

I don’t think that that’s, I don’t think that’s totally

abnormal, because I know other people that are like that. And so I think it’s interesting, because I think you sort of, in some ways, sort of take on that. Like, if you didn’t have a mom, who hung on to things and was super sentimental about stuff, like, you’re probably not going to be as likely to be super sentimental about stuff, just because that’s not what you grew up with. Whereas I had a bomb that was super sentimental, and hung on to there is probably in that storage unit, we will probably uncover bins of my school projects. And we’re going to Well, I mean, great. Here are little projects for when she was in the third grade.

I mean, like, my dad has a bunch of stuff from from the house where we grew up. And when when I was growing up, we had stuff from my mom’s dad’s house, like all over the house. So like, it’s not like they didn’t have the stuff it just never like when I moved out. It just didn’t travel with you. I was Yeah, cuz I get partially because like, I was going to college. Yeah. And then, like I write when they like, kind of like was around the time of day moving out of that house. Like, I was getting married and starting my own life. And like, the idea of like, having any of that just never really came up, I guess.


I don’t know. It’s kind of weird. But I do have like, like, the things I just mentioned, like I have a few momento. So it’s not like, I don’t hold on to anything, right. But I hold on to like, the thing that might embody the person that it’s from, and that’s the thing that I care about it. Yeah, like, I’m gonna keep every single greeting card I’ve ever gotten, which is just would be obnoxious. I know people that do that. And we’re just like, where do you put it?

I have a number of years of Christmas cards, like in the box with my Christmas stuff. And at some point, I’m just gonna have to be like, why do I have these like, it goes, but then I but then I also have this little ceramic purple cow that my great grandfather gave my great grandmother and she cherished. And so and like when my grandmother was moving out of her house, it was around the time that my mom was sick. And my grandmother asked her, like, What do you want, and the purple cow was like the only thing my mother really wanted. And because she knew how much her grandmother, my great grandmother had cherished it. And so like, that’s one of the few things I have that it like, has a place of honor. Like Nobody messes with a purple cow and everyone can. Cow is weird. I love the purple cow. Because it to me, like it embodies my great grandmother and the love that she had for my great grandfather, who I never got to know, like, just all of those things. So I think like, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little like, if you have something that just to you like to you, it’s just reminds you of that person. Mm hmm. Like, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hanging on to that thing. Even if it’s not, quote useful. This ceramic purple cow is not useful in any way. But Oh, woe to the person that tries to pry that purple cow out of my cold dead hands. So, I don’t know. Like, I just I think that there’s a lot of stuff. I think there’s a lot of good things that these guys and other people who sort of preach this minimalism. Like. I don’t think that their intentions are bad. I want to be really clear about that. I don’t I don’t think they’re trying to be douchey

I don’t think they are either. I think they’re I think it’s clear from the second one for sure that like this is something that really did change their lives and they just believe in it. so passionately. This is comes off a little weird when they tried to talk about it, right? Which I think is a case for anybody who was like super into some subject and you’re just like, oh my god, she’s talking about cheese again.

Right, stop. But cheese did change my life, Megan.

But I don’t know, I don’t know where I was going with that I got distracted by mentioning cheat cheat you’re like,

ah, cheese. I mean, I think what you’re trying to say is like, I think that anyone who has their life changed by a thing is going to be very passionate about the way they talk about it. And maybe to the point of annoyance,

yeah, and.

But I also think that again, like, maybe this is just a lesson in thinking about how we frame things, and considering our own privileges, when we talk about things that like have really been impactful, and like life changing for us. Because our privileges no matter what they are, whether it is race or financial stability, or you know, that being able bodied, or any number of things can play into why something has changed our lives and why it was able to or why we were able to do that thing. Like maybe we can just acknowledge what our privileges were, instead of trying to say this will absolutely work for everybody without recognizing that there may be some privilege and why we were able to do that thing.

I also want to bring up one other mini sub topic on this. Yes, before we wrap up, and that is

Tiny Homes.

Oh my god.

I feel like minimalism and Tiny Homes are really wrapped up together. Oh my god. They

are so rubbed me Sheila I know you’re listening. Hey, Sheila’s my mom’s best friend. She has a lot to say on Tiny Homes and she listens to our podcast. Hi, Sheila. I love you. I know you’re listening. Oh my god, Tiny Homes. It’s not so much the tiny home. It’s the people that buy the Tiny Homes.

It’s the I feel like it’s the way it’s it’s the privilege factor again, like I saw a meme the other day that has been going around where I think it comes around every every few weeks or so someone revives it on Twitter, where they’re basically like, Oh, what is something that is trashy? If you’re poor and classy if you’re rich? And immediately I was like tiny homes because a tiny home if you’re rich is like a fancy bougie amazing thing. And if you’re poor it’s a trailer home right because that’s what they are their trailer home they are they are trailer Homes is nothing wrong with a trailer home

at all.

I mean, I think minimalism is similar, just like, in that way that not having a lot of stuff is really cool if you do it with the right aesthetic. But if you’re not doing it with the right aesthetic, then you’re just poor. Right? Like, and so I think that how are you viewing those things? Like are you are we’ve seen it suddenly it’s cool because in its minimalism, because it’s done with the right beautiful aesthetic that you probably spent a lot of money on. Or is it not cool? to just be like poor and just not have a lot of stuff and to live in a trailer?

Right, exactly.

Outside, like, if you’re buying a tiny home, you’re gonna be a douche and buy a tiny home. Please do not go on Tiny House Hunters. And then be like, but where’s the closet? And where’s the bathtub? And every fucking tiny home that you see?

I have never watched the show. Don’t but I mean, do you like that would make me so mad.

Oh my god. I like do but don’t. I just I get so annoyed by the people. I mean, I also get annoyed. I get annoyed by the people that go on House Hunters period. The people that go into International House Hunters are annoying because they go to like Europe, and they’re like why is there not a giant walk in closet? Like I don’t know

why do you have to take the stairs because you’re

buying a house? You’re buying like an apartment in Spain You dummy

like right after Piazza shut up

right like they don’t have that.

The people

that buy Tiny Homes and go on Tiny House Hunters are also the same because they are like I would just want to get rid of everything and live a simpler life in 200 square feet. And they say like, they’ll be like, I want the maximum amount of space for my house to be a maximum of 250 square feet. And then they look at all of these tiny homes. And they’re like, but it doesn’t have much closet space. Or doesn’t have a bathtub. And I’m like,

bro, lady, you just want to go live in a hotel room?

Yes. And that’s fine at the sky hotel, go to a hotel room. But again, like, I mean, yes. And I, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with downsizing. There are absolutely times where if you are living beyond your means, and you’re like, you are,

what is it?

What do they call it your like, house, poor or house, or something poor? Yeah, we’re basically you’re paying way more on your mortgage than you can afford, then, by all means, downsize. If that is, you know, something that you feel like you need to do and was is within your means to downsize and get a home that still works for your family and your lifestyle and is more in your budget, by all means, do that. But so often, the people who are buying Tiny Homes are doing it because of the aesthetic. And like, I just want to be one with nature. And I just want to travel around all the time. And I just want to do blah, blah, blah, blah. And again, like Megan said, if you’re not rich, and you’re doing that, then you’re just white trash in a trailer. Yeah, why? Basically most of what our culture would say,


I don’t know, I just I think it’s important to look at some of these things critically, and are we doing it? Because it’s really better for the environment? And you know, it’s really something we believe in? Or are we doing it because of the aesthetic? If you’re doing it for the aesthetic, like, go for it, but can like, Can we just be honest about that?

Yeah, I think any big change you want to make in your life, that that’s the kind of those the kind of questions you need to be asking yourself, anyway. Yeah, I mean, there’s, there’s so many things that could apply to you aside from minimalism, where it’s just like, you know, I just moved across the country, right? And I but I wasn’t like, I’m gonna be so much more happier if I move across. I mean, I am happier. Because I live it. Two seconds away from you. Right? And that’s amazing.

Well, but you also like, you also set you were straight up, like, we had, like, you had a really nice house in Austin. It was a very nice new construction home. But you also were really honest about the fact that like, the aesthetic of the home wasn’t, didn’t feel like your forever home. And that moving into this historic house that, you know, has a lot of charm and history in it. Like that felt more like your forever home. You weren’t like, Oh, well, I’m just I’m gonna just gonna save so much like you. I mean, yeah, your mortgage is probably a lot cheaper here than it was in Austin. But yeah. But also like you straight up or like, the aesthetic of this home feels more like home to me.

Yeah, that’s true. But also at the same time, I was not like, moving into this home will solve all of our problems, right? Is the same thing where people, you know, if they’re having marriage issues, and they’re like, having a baby will solve all our problems, and I’m like, actually, you’re just making more problems. And it’s worth it for minimalism. It’s, that is something that you have to think about, especially when it comes down to like what we said before, like, if you’re getting rid of all your stuff, what do you do when you actually need that stuff again, that is something that you have to plan for,

right? Being figuring out how to live within your means. So you don’t have financial stress. So that, you know, maybe you are the type of person where clutter makes you very stressed and anxious. like figuring all of those things out and living in a way that isn’t stretching you financially isn’t stretching you mentally, I think is really important. But just going into like I’m going to get rid of all of my things is going to solve all of my life’s problems. Like Maybe try therapy first. And I don’t say that like, that’s even like a throwaway statement. Like, I actually mean like, maybe try some therapy and see like maybe do you have some unresolved trauma? Like, what? What do we what do we have going on here? Like what else might be going on?

Yeah, like maybe it’s not all of your stuff. Maybe it’s something else happening.

Right? Yeah,

I don’t know. So I think the TLDR version of this is like, if this is the right lifestyle for you, that’s great. But like, with adding a big lifestyle change, maybe be honest about what it’s like, the reason that you’re doing it, really figure out why you’re doing it. And is that actually going to solve the problems you think it’s going to solve?

And if you have kids, Godspeed, Godspeed.

You’re the one of those weirdos who’s going to live in a tiny home with your three teenage children and your two big dogs.


and you think that your teenagers are going to be cool with that?

Or you think that you’re going to be cool with that after like a week. Like I have one teenager and he has his own room and he is smelly. not want to live in a tiny home with three teenage boys.

Sounds so horrible. Yuck. Oh man. Yeah. So anyway,

that but if you are interested in minimalism, like watch those documentaries documentaries.

Although Yeah, I don’t know that you need to watch both of them. The second one repeats a lot of the stuff that the first one did. But yeah, I

do think the second one maybe is a I mean,

I don’t know it’s hard. there’s pros and cons to both of them maybe do watch both of them and then message us and tell because if you go on IMDB the second one does not have great radiance from users because they’re basically like you said the same thing you did the first time but do share like I like you people

Yeah, I do wish I had talked more like I thought it was gonna be different. I liked that they had other people that they talked to and I would have been nice if they talked to more of those other people because it would have been like a more like these people took it on and this is what happened kind of thing whether that instead of just like a two second interview with them. So

yeah, this is the Yeah, and these other two guys talking about how you’re gonna change your life with minimalism in a very youth pastor II kind of way, just like bless their hearts, Godspeed to them.


nothing, it’s not for us. It is not for us. We will. We will keep the things you know it will keep the things that work for us and discard the things that don’t and a lot of this

will put it in our Marie Kondo pile.

Yeah, we’ll put it in our Marie Kondo this did not bring me joy pile. It’s fine.

What’s bringing us joy?

But what is bringing you joy Stephie high

actually have things that are bringing me joy this week. Like I don’t have to sit here and think Oh shit, what was bringing me joy, I forgot it. It’s wild. So I mean, talking about the purchase of more things, and those things being books. I just got the minalima edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. So minalima they are graphic designers out of London, I think. And they do some really beautiful stuff I’ve heard their shop is like incredible that you can’t get out of there without spending like an entire paycheck because it’s just like such a rabbit hole, beautiful, expensive things. But they did an new illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it is gorgeous. And I just got it. You can get it at Target. I think they have it at Barnes and Noble too. You can get on Amazon too. But it’s illustrated but then it also has these like sort of interactive elements. So like the letter that Harry gets his his Hogwarts letter, like they’ve got a little thing that like folds down and then like unfolds and it’s the like parchment of the letter. There’s like later in the book where the with the chess set, there’s like a 3d chess set that like folds out like there’s just It is so beautiful. And we have the illustrated like the big illustrated Sorcerer’s Stone or whatever. For for eatin, but this one is Mama’s book because it is. And she’s not gonna get to handle it until she knows how to handle books with respect.

I think I was you’re showing me a video of you like flipping through it. And I was thinking it’d be a really good idea for me to get because personally, I don’t like the art in the originals American versions. My actually, the second half of the series, I have the British adult


Oh, because they hated the art so badly. That’s fine. But I max at the age where I want him to start reading them. And I think I think he’s at the level where like, the first one would be okay for him to read by himself. Uh huh. But the books themselves you look at them, like, they just look like a really big fat book. Yes. And so I think this would be like a really good way to like, get into it, because it has all this interactive stuff

is really like cool pages. Yeah, and it’s just like even the there’s definitely there’s illustrations on a lot of the pages, but even the illustrations, or the pages that don’t have like, pictures, like just there’s like beautiful, like kind of gilding around the edge, and the paper just feels really nice. Like I do, I feel like seven or eight is like a good age would be a good age to start, like interacting with this particular edition. And like appreciate all of like, the pretty things and the cute thing. So I’m, I’m like, gonna, I’ve read this book bajillions of times, and I’m absolutely going to reread it just because I want to see all of the pictures and all of the little interactive elements. So that came in the mail today. And I was very excited to open it. Because I just Yes, I have. I think that I now have four copies of Sorcerer’s Stone somewhere in this house. But that’s fine.

It’s fine.

I was gonna go, I was gonna try to go to the store when I was in London last year, and I did get the chance to go it made me so sad. I mean, you probably would have come back really poor. So it’s true. I mean, I bought a lot of stuff that when I was there the first time anyway, so

they actually so they actually also have I think that they’ve done because I was I kind of fell down the rabbit hole. I think that they have done some versions of other classics. Like, it looks like there might be like Peter Pan’s Jungle Book beating the beast, I think there might be maybe some, like fairy tale books. So I’m actually kind of interested and maybe looking and seeing what other like classics they’ve done as well. To get just because they’re really beautiful.

Yeah, their art is

lovely. So very nice. So anyway, what is bringing you joy, Megan.

And while we can’t we already talked about this a little, obviously, with my dog. And it’s not necessarily it’s not specifically that my dog is bringing me joy. But seeing my kids with the dog is bringing me a lot of joy. They’ve never had a dog before. In my life, no one else in our family has a dog. And they don’t really hadn’t really gotten to interact with dogs very much in their lives. And they love this dog so much. They’re both like, they’re always trying to get her to like lay on them to take naps and they’re always snuggling with her and it snowed last week. So I showed max how you could like make snowballs, and she would chase after them like they were real ball. So and like, it was just really cute and fun that he loves to play with her and he like, likes to feed her and let her take care of.

It’s a really excellent dog.

He’s a very good dog owner and then he’s

insanely de age for that. Like to be learning that responsibility.

Yeah, I think it’s partially because he can like with the cat, there’s

all this extra work involved. Because dog he can just do it old and needs medicine. Right? Yeah.

But then, like max had played fetch with her out with the snowball and then the state like later on when Reese woke up because he’s teenager just rolls out of bed whenever he went out and he was throwing snowballs with her. And I was watching him. Watch her and like the smile on his face. was, like so heartwarming and I was like, so glad we got a dog.

She’s She is such a sweet dog but

yeah, it’s your kids. Yeah.

Cuz it was funny because before you got her like, if we were at your house for dinner, Max would be like, well, what? Why worry? Where are we at Stephanie’s house and you’d be like, it’s because you want to see the dogs, isn’t it? And

you’d be like, yeah.

I don’t really know what to do with them, but I really like to be around them.

It’s so sweet. It’s and having Anya over there. Like, Anya so annoying. And she is she finds like middle sized kids to be suspicious, like babies are fine. Big kids are fine. But Max’s age, she’s like, I don’t know what they’re gonna do. And they make me nervous. And so like max if he moves too fast, like bark, but she also loves Max, as he’s like, learned that he can just like come over and like Pat her on the head. And she’ll be like, Oh, I’m sorry. Like, give him like really good with her. And it’s just very, very cute. I love it. Yeah. Yeah.

So it’s pretty great. And also my husband who was like,

we don’t need a dog.

We’re not going to get a dog. gives her hugs and kisses, multiple times a day and always talks baby talk to her and loves to give her baths

so it is precious. I mean, I knew what was gonna happen. Oh, of course.

It’s always the person who is the biggest outer.

Lulu think we did the dog. Look over and they’re like, Oh, yeah, we did. A dog. Yeah, sure. Yeah. I love it. I love it. Well, next week, what are we talking about next?

Next week’s episode

Next week, we will be talking about diet culture with a special guest. Yes, we

are. So in the meantime, leave us a review on Apple podcasts and listen to us with us on your favorite platform. You can follow us on social media at irsipodcast or send us an email We’d love to hear from our listeners. Bye

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