Minimalism is a popular, trendy lifestyle that many people are putting on to see if it fits. Young people are especially attracted to this lifestyle because it is an excuse to throw off material possessions (and also the responsibilities by which they can make money to acquire those possessions) and to travel as a nomad, live their passion, etc. etc.
Minimalism looks cool on social media living out of a van and eating kale and chia seeds. But have a kid. Just one kid and see how that job with insurance, the house in a good neighborhood with good schools and a lot of storage space looks then. Have a health crisis, and let’s see how minimalism holds up.
With age and experience comes wisdom. That’s how it works, no getting around that. And while minimalism seems to be most popular with younger people, does it have any appeal to the wise, old Baby Boomers? Those people in the 53-71 year old bracket?
I think minimalism is actually more congruent with those who are considered Baby Boomers than with any other group.
And here’s why:
- Our lives are in a state of “throwing off” anyway. In this stage of life we are going through major changes that are naturally causing us to downsize. Our kids are leaving home, some of us are retiring or we’re changing to less demanding careers, we find that our large family homes are just too much to take care of now and don’t fit our lives anymore. So, we are naturally becoming minimalists.
- Some of us are becoming grandparents which makes us become more introspective. It makes us realize that value of relationships over stuff. And we are more than willing to make sacrifices of time and money to be able to input into our grandkids. Again, we are naturally becoming minimalists.
- We are aging physically and coming to grips with our own mortality. We realize we want to focus on what’s really important. We want to live longer and healthier. We find that we have to spend more time focusing on eating right and taking care of our bodies. And usually that means letting go of bad habits and taking on new ones including rest, mindfulness and becoming more spiritual. These are very minimalistic pursuits.
- We have more time and money to do things we love and to pursue our passions. This is the time of life where we can travel and do those things we’ve always wanted to do. We can take that pottery class or a cruise or live out of a van for a week (but we can eat at some really nice restaurants along the way, haha!). And shedding some of our stuff to have more time and money makes it easier to do the things we love.
- We can “stick it to the man!” As a Boomer, we were born to protest. And minimalism is in its essence a protest against society’s pressure to acquire more. To embrace minimalism means you are choosing to decide how you want to spend your time and your money and you will choose what you value – not media or society at large.
So, you see, the older generation is actually built and ready for minimalism. So, let’s fill up social media with photos of our passionate, exciting lives and give the kids #lifegoals!