I think it was the weekend before Christmas and Ben and I were driving home from a shopping trip. Without warning I heard, "I think 5% of me would be okay if we sold our house now instead of in ten years."
Out of my own mouth.
The reality of our finances caused a dull, inescapable hum, as it tends to do around the holidays. The recently-woven dream of downsizing and paying off our debt with the proceeds in ten years did not bring me the comfort I thought it would. Even though it was plausible, with the kids easily being in their twenties and likely living their own lives by then.
In quick succession I heard the statement again.
Out of his mouth.
And by the time our six-minute drive home was done, 5% became 99% and we had the outline of a plan.
The conversation continued up in our bedroom - it's a strange feeling, having a hard conversation and being excited about it - as we brainstormed what this plan would entail.
Later that night, I flipped through Netflix's new releases on the 43" smart TV Ben had just won at his Christmas party and discreetly set up in our bedroom.
Hmm. What's that?
Melissa had been tossing the term minimalism around the house over the past year and I wasn't sure if it referred to the style of art or the tendency of some to furnish an all-white room with a single white chair.
So I watched it while folding laundry and possibly with my mouth gaped open for the full 78 minutes.
You know that scene in The Matrix when Trinity sucks the bug out of Neo's belly button? He freaks out when the bloody parasite comes into his view, just before she tosses it out the car window and it dies its little electronical death.
It felt like that, an ugly truth about self and the world held at eye-level in all its nauseating, convicting glory, but with hints of actionable hope. Like a great sermon.
And so began the slide down the rabbit hole. I think I watched it again the next day. I looked up The Minimalists and every contributor shown in the film. I asked people if they'd seen it and if not, recommended it. I extracted key points and swallowed them whole as I went about my day, looking at my clothes, my kitchen, my stress, my life.
I had finally discovered one of the tools I had been longing for to address the disorder that was suffocating seemingly every area of my life.
Next: minimalism and such