Some are good and some bad.
While I don’t like being labeled, sometimes labeling myself is a good thing.
Call me a slob?
Them’s fightin’ words.
But deciding to call myself a slob? That has been very freeing.
If someone else called me that, I would wonder what they meant. Are they calling me lazy? Inept? Gross?
But when I call myself a slob, I get to decide what it means.
Labels can help identify a problem. When my son was having health issues, we were completely dumbfounded. We had no idea what was going on, and our feeble attempts to solve an unknown problem weren’t doing anything. But after his problem was identified, we could do something about it.
It had a name. A label. It wasn’t a label we wanted to hear, but while I cried plenty of tears because of my lack of control in preventing or curing this disease, I felt relief to know what it was and what to do about it.
That’s how I feel about my self-imposed slob label. It frees me to know that I’m different, and accepting that I’m different frees me to find ways of dealing with it.
Sometimes labels can give you the freedom to act differently. Directing theatrical productions is my area of expertise. I’ve been in situations where someone asked me to help them with a production, but wasn’t willing to label me the director.
Generally, that doesn’t work. I don’t feel comfortable walking into a rehearsal and ordering people around when they don’t know who I am or where I came from. So, in these situations, I generally ask to be introduced, and publicly labeled as someone who is coming in to direct the production or fix the problems. Once I have that label, I feel complete freedom to be the bossy, confident director who expects the actors to do as I say.
The personality/action change that comes with taking on a title brings me to my point. I’m considering a label that I think could give me freedom in my home.
It’s a biggie.
I’ve heard people refer to themselves as minimalists before, but thought they were referring to a personality trait, rather than a conscious choice.
I was brought up as a maximumist. Not a real word, but totally a real thing. I’ve shared before that my mother is prepared for each and every situation that life could possibly throw at her, but that she also has the ability to keep it all in order. She spends time in my not-as-bad-as-it-could-be kitchen making gingerbread houses with my kids, and when I arrive home, she has somehow straightened all of my clutter. Even though it’s all still there, it looks infinitely better.
I’m not her. I have the maximumist tendencies, but not the ability to handle it. So I’m considering this minimalist thing. As I sit here typing, I see five bottles of glue on my desk. I’m guessing that a minimalist would only have one. And probably would choose the best, multi-purpose kind to have.
Being a minimalist is probably what my slob-brain could best handle. But really, even if I get rid of 75% of what is in this house, I’ll still be, comparatively, a maximumist.
So why bother trying?
Because the vision I see of myself as a minimalist relaxes my heart.
I truly think I could function better mentally. Getting there, as others define it, might be impossible. But calling myself a minimalist as I make stuff-reducing decisions could give me freedom.
Freedom to say:
“As a minimalist, I don’t need to keep 16 pairs of jeans when I only actually wear the pair I like.”
“As a minimalist, I don’t need to keep this Pac Man Plug and Play game that the kids never use anymore, just in case someone decides to play it . . . on a whim . . . once every two years.”
“As a minimalist, there’s no reason to keep boxes of envelopes in every possible size, since I only ever use them to divide up our eating-out cash each month.”
I sincerely doubt that people who champion “minimalism” would choose me as a spokesperson. But if my decision-making could be helped by taking on this label, I may just need to go that route.
Like I said, I’m considering it . . .