In The Atlantic, Rebecca Rosen focuses on the Minimalism Movement. That's the community of people who embrace living with less. They gush about the freedom it brings. Also, there is no wolf to keep away from the door. Here's that article.
Yes, not piling on new material possessions and getting rid of old ones can be freeing. I know. In 2013, I resolved never to take on again a This Old House and a vacation cottage, plus way too many books and rescue animals. I was in a financial, business and emotional bottom. Here is the memoir Download Geezerguts.
The thrill of really being able to renounce conspicious consumption carried me for years. Clearly, I was superior to those chained to their nice stuff.
Now here it is 11 years later. My financial house is in order, as they say. Unlike the non-minimalists I have nothing to complain about. And I glaze over when they go into high angst about how much it costs to air condition their big houses here in the desert.
But, I am getting a peek into the brittle smugness of our lifestyle. I mentioned to a fellow minimalist that I was toying with the idea of buying a small house. How weary I had become of all the rules imposed on renters. Of course, that didn't go over well.
He warned me if I did that I would never sleep again. Every night I would be, "like them," worried about the mortgage, the roof and if to move that end table to another part of the house. His tone was harsh.
Back before my crash of '03 I had been smug. I assumed with my talent I would keep increasing my earnings. Now, I am fearing that this absolute commitment to nothingness may be just another kind of smugness. What types of trouble can it get us into?