You Have a Brain and a Mind of Your Own

You have a brain and a mind of your own. Use it, and reach your own decisions. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on eartch.

Napolean Hill

In your quest to become a minimalist, may I suggest that you use your own brain. Your life is like no one else’s and only you know what will make you happy. By the way, you are responsible for your own happiness. You are the one that determines that you are happy. No one else gets that honor or burden.

It took me a long time to figure out that I owned my happiness. When I didn’t have it, I blamed Husband #1 or Husband #2 usually. When that would fail I would offer up my job, my children, or my house. None of them really held much muster. I had to eventually face the reality that if I was unhappy it was my own doing and I was responsible for digging myself out of the mire.

As a woman of middle age, I have recently wallowed in self-pity and spent what seems endless hours trying to figure out how to get back on track, get my life back and regain what has been lost. I’ve used all of my surefire ways of rekindling the flame of existence, all to no avail. I kept wondering what I was missing. I couldn’t help but circle back around time and again to minimalism and the familiar satisfaction and control it gave me to clear the clutter then write about it as if I had conquered something evil. Alas, something was missing. If I have a life with little in it, what could I be missing? A brain.

How can I give back to the world without asking people to buy something? Can I survive without selling anything?


Scouring the internet to try in vain to find some way to live, to fund my life without being beholden to a mate, without selling out, without marketing was exhausting. I’ve given up many times because I’m so irritated by those funnels of people trying to make a buck from “educating” others on how to educate others. Anything I tell you could be found a million other places on the web, in a bookstore, or pasted to a sign on the corner. I don’t have anything that unique to give and I certainly don’t feel like marketing. I work an 8-5 job that is pleasant but I want to work from home as soon as I can and preferrably for myself. I often find reasons to give up on that dream because it seems too hard or I might have to actually put time in and think and work at it. That’s it.

It Finally dawned on me what I had been afraid of all these years…

I thought back to when I was a girl. Being a writer was always foremost in my mind but I also wanted to be married to a man that would take care of things for me. Actually, everything. I envisioned him bringing me coffee up in my cozy office while I hammered away on a keyboard writing my latest novel. I didn’t have to worry about income, negotiating with “book people” like editors, publishers, or the like. I could just write and never have to worry.

In reality, whenever I started to write and it was too hard or I thought about the real process of getting published, writing query letters, and selling my work I became paralyzed and quit. Oh I blogged my little heart out until the day that I deleted my whole minimalist blog thinking “what’s the use?’ Then the abandonment of all writing ensued and I couldn’t get my words back. Only recently have I started blogging again and it’s painstakingly slow.

During that time away from writing I learned that I don’t really want to do anything else. It’s always been in my heart and although I love my day job, I still want to write solely for a living. I’ve also learned to go with my gut and that yes, it might be hard. It will be hard but at the very least I will learn something about myself. At the most, I have a brain and I should use it.