3 Principles for Living Better (Pt 1- Bath Time)

Being vegan, for Nicole and I, is about much more than food. It’s about living better. For us, that means embracing minimalism, living peacefully, and “doing” more things instead of “having” more things. The truth is, we struggle with all of those things, at times, but we grow closer to living the way we want to every day. To borrow the old cliché, it is, of course, about the journey and not the destination.

I want to share with you the value of those three principles, as I see it. You might find it helps you along your own journey.

Embracing Minimalism

Being a minimalist is trendy now, but we have been moving that direction for a long time. We started by donating or discarding three things for every new thing we acquired. Eventually, we brought that down to two things for every new thing, and now it is a happy (but tough) one-to-one ratio. We have always lived in a 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment together but our lease is almost up. I like having lots of space with minimal stuff to fill it but we really do not need the space. Giving up the second bathroom, though, has always stopped me from downsizing our dwelling. I like having my own private area without girlie stuff cluttering it up, and without being rushed because someone needs in.

For the last few weeks, though, we have been experimenting with sharing only one bathroom, and it is actually working fine. By downsizing our next apartment to a one-bed, one-bath we can save hundreds of dollars per month. That means an extra vacation or bigger retirement savings, or both. That’s the beauty of Minimalism. When you cut the excess from your life, you learn two things. The first is you have a LOT of excess that you do not actually need. The second is you can live MUCH better with less. For everything you give up, you gain freedom from that thing. By giving up a second bathroom, for example, we gain freedom over money, time, and togetherness.

It turns out not having a second bathroom means I try to be more efficient with my bathroom time, to be respectful of others. That means I inadvertently have more time (that I am not wasting, alone, in the bathroom). Living in a smaller, one-bathroom apartment means more money in our pockets or bank, of course. Having more money to spend on things we love to do together (like taking a paddle board vacation in the Keys–coming up!) means having more time… well… together.

The second principle is “living peacefully” and I’ll explore what that means to me, in my next post.

 

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