It has certainly been a while, and a lot has happened. Since our last update in November, we’ve gotten married, sold off most of our furniture for the sake of moving apartments in Gothenburg – only to realise the move wasn’t going to happen – and, which explains our scandalous blog neglect: we’ve both had our pretty arses completely full due to our respective careers. Do note the irony: wannabe minimalist bloggers too busy to update their blog. The humorous dimension of this is, of course, also at the very core of our attraction towards an intentionally simple life: we’d love to have more time on our hands. Time to write, read, play and roam. Neither one of us much appreciate being repeatedly and vigorously hit in the head with the sudden workload-stick, but here we are. And we’re not particularly sorry for being absent – strict priorities have been necessary in order to preserve some of our wits, though it’s been a close call. Also, apologies seem a bit pretentious. But we are grateful – and quite surprised! – that new readers manage to find us and that old ones keep coming back.
We’ve been pursuing the thought of forming some sort of communal living in the Swedish countryside. A surprisingly large amount of our friends, and some people we didn’t know before, but got in contact with as part of our explorations, proved to be greatly attracted to this idea. This possibility is a very strong contender as we’re grappling with the meaning of life as such minor questions. We’re also very actively exploring the possibilities of living in Gaucín. We do have a house here – yes, I’m in the village as I write – and we’re not far from paying off the reminder of our humble loan. After that, our monthly bills if living in Spain would add up to no more than 200 euros, everything included. That’s very tempting. If you only needed to make, say, 300 euros a month, how much – or rather how little – would you have to work, and, perhaps more important: what would you do?
I’m really very invested in my line of work – I have a degree in Gender Studies and have the privilege of working with matters close to my heart, such as lgbtq-questions, gender equality, researching and preventing intimate partner violence and honour related violence. I don’t want to quit, but I do want the chance to choose the projects that I believe in the most, even if they don’t pay well.
We use the term minimalism to describe our strive towards greater independence in terms of material possessions, money and work. Some prefer “intentional living”, or simply “intentionality”. Others go with “simplicity” or the like. No matter the wording, this blog is a way of exploring the practical, emotional, political and philosophical possibilities of slowing down, needing less and making conscious life decisions. That is, genuinely needing and wanting less in terms of the material – not suffering, or depriving ourselves of things we secretly crave.
We’re constantly trying to rid ourselves of habits that are expensive, time consuming, create clutter, or in any way prevent, or delay, the life we want – be it in Sweden or in Spain. One example is that I’ve finally come to prefer and greatly appreciate ice cold showers – which, should we make the move to rural Spain, is very handy. One of my pet ideas at the moment is to build a tiny, minimalist house in the countryside close to Gaucín – with no indoor shower. This would lessen the need for space and eliminated the need for a wet room, making the build cheaper and quicker. The thought of building a brand new house without a shower in it may seem extreme or just a bit nuts, but it’s a fine illustration of the point of creating minimalist everyday habits: it gives you knew perspectives on the taken for granted. If you swim in Swedish lakes all year round, which we both do, the convention of hot, indoor showers suddenly seems arbitrary.