family | mindwi.seedit
First off, I'm a soloist since early in my childhood. I like being with my own thoughts, day dreaming. External solicitors disturb my tranquility. That being said, I live with my girlfriend since the age of 17 and am a father since 30. I struggle frequently about creating space in my day-to-day to be with myself only, but the challenge is not impossible, actually rewarding instead.
When we learned that my girlfriend was pregnant for the first time, against all expectations, it was a surprise, as we never really imagined having to think about having a child. In fact, the reflection did not last long and rather went natural without much questioning. Life has brought us this far and we are now willing to take a path so far unknown to us.
More than 2 years after, another pregnancy surprised us and we accepted it fully. During the 40 week period, we moved quite a bit, but decided to resettle in North Vancouver where we feel home.
First child born on April 3
A rare and unique moment in adult life.
In full health, from the top of its 54 centimeters and 3.6 kilograms, it is now part of our daily life, our aspirations and our life planning! Much remains to be learned from our side, but we are confident that we can provide for his needs and see him grow through our eyes of wonder over the next few years. Such a small being asks only for love and care.
Second child born on March 23
Three years after the first one, a second jewel arrived in our life, with all the joy and the difficulties it comes with.
My mother and I
We probably have a few things in common, but my mom and I have a big difference. Born in the 1950s, just after World War II, the culture of the time was undoubtedly light years away from what we know today.
And that has been reflected lately. I told her that one of the gifts I had received from her was no longer in my possession. Indeed, in my big decluttering which has been going on for 2 years now, I quickly decided to give a close acquaintance a suitcase bag which I did not see the use of since I travel very light and I hate to keep an object for no reason.
Thus, by informing her that this suitcase bag had been given away, the reaction was very negative, to the point of emphasizing the fact that normally, in family values, we ask the one who gave the gift before getting rid of it. I must say that I had never performed this kind of behavior before. This explains the transfer of several pieces of furniture and other objects between certain members of the family. In their view, each item acquired has a different value than an identical item in the store as it can be used by other family members in the long term.
For me, an object, whatever it is, must be usable and used. Without a raison d'être, the object in question is a better allocation of resources when it is given or sold to someone else who sees a beneficial use of it. But this had not been well received by my mother who was undoubtedly angry with me for giving the gifts I had received before.
At the same time, I came across a text by Leo Babauta which mentioned:
Gifts. Often we keep these for the same reason as photos and mementos — they remind us of loved ones who gave us the gifts. Deal with those in the same way as photos and mementos above. But often we hold on to gifts because of a sense of obligation, as if we owed it to our loved ones to hold on to every gift they have given us. No! Gifts aren’t an obligation, a burden to carry for the rest of your life. They are a gesture of love, one that is received as soon as the gift is given, but the love isn’t in the gift itself. And the love certainly isn’t in the sense of burden and obligation. Instead, snap a photo of the gift, and give it to someone who will actually use and treasure it.
After having shared this excerpt with my mother, she now understood my vision very different from hers. Without altering her vision, however, she accepted my choice to part with the famous suitcase bag without consulting her, seeing it as a positive act rather than a negative one.
Sometimes a few words are enough to correct a problematic situation.
Souvenir linked to this event:
This situation reminds me of the day when, at Christmas, I realized that gifts do not bring real happiness to me. At age of around 10 years old, I vividly remember unpacking a stereo with a compact disc player. At that moment, I had had no smile, no joy. Turning to my parents and telling them in front of everyone else that I wanted to return it to the store, they were stunned. I was asked if the color or the model was not suitable, reminding me of the fact that it could be exchanged for anything else. But my choice remained the same: no gift.
Since that time, every time I received a gift, the stereo came to mind and I had to be sure to make good use of the good received. More than ever, what I own must have maximum ultimate use and must satisfy me to achieve a specific goal. Whether it is a spork or a mattress, everything around me has been the subject of prolonged reflection, which ensures that I benefit fully from it.
Memories of my childhood
Deep in a suburb was my family of 4, inked in, what I hadn't imagined yet, a way of life that was passed down to me, but that I now refuse. How can I summarize my 30-year journey on the planet so that it is relevant?
I had started a document with notes for a future book project on my humble existence, but having given up, I decided to retransmit some passages here.
The fountain in the park near the house
Barely five years old, I was already wondering about the relevance of a decorative fountain in this municipal park which was illustrated through the side window of the family minivan. Was wasting so much water necessary? To this question, my mother was surprised at my keen interest, then explained to me that the water from the fountain was not wasted. If I was not convinced then, still today, I think about it and reflected on this innocuous example, but revealing on the vision that I am trying to explain to this day. Having discovered that the water circulated permanently in a closed loop, I first saw it as a sensible and wasteful solution. Hindsight rather makes me reconsider this situation differently. It was necessary to treat the water with chemicals to maintain such purity, it was necessary to use energy produced in one way or another to power the pumps, it was necessary to have material and human resources to maintain the fountain as a whole. All of these must be considered in my eyes to understand that although water is not wasted every time it spurts out vertically.
The local primary school
My school career was different from the initial plan, let's face it. The first real passage of the course that is the primary school consisted of a geographical proximity very common to this kind of schools in suburban districts. Without great memorable memories, it was in hindsight, probably the best school time I had given the openness it brings to life, but also the way of life that it allows a child from 7 to 12 years old. . My daily life therefore consisted of lunch boxes prepared by a chef (in fact my father), of a bicycle which represents freedom and possibilities, and of a real development of social life. Thinking about it, these are some of the principles that I consider central to my current lifestyle: culture, food, human-powered transport and community spirit. I have not always considered these to be important, in fact, I have rather just rediscovered their respective importance.
High school away from home
My high school broke most of these principles. The imposed courses reflected a sort of compulsory molding, as if society demanded identical thinking, not really centered on the alternativeness of choices. Human-powered transport (i.e. walking and cycling) has given way to the automobile at the center of everything. Going from the suburbs to the city was done in the car, thus becoming the solution that I was going to apply in my personal life when I have a job and a house, me too in the suburbs. Food was not what it was for lack of time. Everything is accelerating non-stop, requiring more effort to make a real difference in a healthy diet that does not necessarily focus on meats. Finally, the community spirit knew how to transform me within the 4 walls of this school. Turning from a curious and open child, I curled up inside to become a bit more airtight.
Don't be fooled by blogs or websites about minimalism which sums it up in an excuse to get rid of things and live in a clean place, while saving money. It is much more than that.
The free time, the (physical) energy saved and the openness that this brings should not be neglected. Throughout my journey, I have discovered these benefits that I did not expect. And I continue to do this every day. Even today, I took the time to change outside by renting a bike and take advantage of a sunny afternoon to pedal through the wooded paths of the city where I am passing through these days. this.
This simple activity takes me back 15, even 20, years ago, when I was 10 or 15, equipped with my first real bike. Remembering childhood memories is really fun. Riding mountain biking at 30 with as much energy and fun as at 10, it puts our priorities back in place and it quickly reminds us how good it is to focus on your passions instead of creating. a life that is not his, filled with tasks that do not interest us.
Before the breaking point towards minimalism, I was very reluctant to do activities that I have always enjoyed, such as cycling for example. Quite simply because the "responsibilities" of adulthood had to be prioritized.
Since that time, I have meticulously removed what seemed to me far from my priorities and I constantly try to get back on the path of my childhood dreams. No more money at all costs, no more professional promotions, no more mortgage and management of a house that is too big for me, no more hundreds of expenses related to a life that is unlike me.
Sometimes, taking the time in spite of yourself brings back good memories and becomes a second breaking point.
Parting from family
Embarrassment, anxiety, shyness, social phobia, stage fright. These are not usually words that are associated with the December holiday season.
However, I realized yesterday (Dec 2013) that I no longer fit into a family that seems to me to be totally disconnected from my reality. A family who offered themselves a Christmas dinner in which I attended. But the conclusion made me discover that maybe I had not become who they hoped for, by comparison with others or by difference from the norm perhaps.
Swimming in the Facebook generation, where you have to glorify yourself all the time and show yourself as happy, having made 10 trips in the last years, with projects of all kinds, sporty, I arrive with my pure personality, which cannot be found not on this socializing site. I see myself as an alien, people seem disinterested in me, because they know too little. I see that the tendency turns towards continuous ignorance, that is to say that they do not try to go into what they know about me.
Discussions seem to me to be weak in retroactivity, feelings are almost absent, smiles are forced, interest is zero. After an evening that was supposed to be festive, friendly and happy, I found myself alone in front of a growing problem: the fear of others.
It was not the first time that I left with a funny impression of a family event. But this time, it was the first that my inner fort felt terribly shaken, to the point of trying to indulge in a few paragraphs here. A feeling of betrayal, abandonment and shame. The heart was wriggling, my vision of the immediate is cloudy. What do you think of a family that seems to lose interest in you because others have done better?
Are they not capable of accepting the difference, of accepting the fact that I am living my life by walking a path which is not theirs?
From now on, I will no longer have the same view of others. Replacing optimism with doubt, happiness with mistrust, and diversity with the unilateralization of thought.