Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Utility- #AtoZChallenge

I'll admit that for some reason, coming up with a topic for today was a bit difficult. I was quite literally reading the U section in the dictionary, looking for any possible ideas, when my spouse made a suggestion. He even said that it could work with the overall theme of Living and Learning. At first I thought it wouldn't quite fit, but after I slept on it, I started seeing how it could work.

So thank you, my love, for giving me this idea: for "U" (see what I did there?), today is about Utility.

Utility has several meanings of course, but in this case, I am going with "the state or quality of being useful; usefulness; something useful; a useful thing." 

I find many things useful: sharp knives, small non-electric appliances, books. I, myself, strive to be useful, by learning new skills when I can. What about things that have a spiritual or emotional context? I find them useful too- they are useful to the soul, to let you feel mentally good, which is part of feeling physically good (good morale and all).

I will never be one of those people who sells all their belongings to live a minimalist lifestyle- in fact, living in sterility and perpetual neatness would probably kill me! I can't imagine living life without the things that say "I have lived a life! I do live here! I am still living here!" We have actually received compliments from friends about how comfortable and lived in our house is!

People can argue for the minimalist look because "junk and clutter makes you frustrated and anxious," or any number of other reasons, some more wish-washy than the rest. "Less is more", and all that. While I agree that proper clutter can be overwhelming if it gets out of hand, the "having material belongings" bit is not the reason most people have anxiety issues. So instead of telling yourself "I have too much stuff- I should get rid of it", try shifting your perspective a bit, and focus on whether your belongings are useful to you.

Since I moved here, I have found myself looking for things that have a properly useful function. I both wanted and needed a utility knife, for butchering chickens and skinning wallabies, so I bought one- this was very satisfying, both for the work I needed to do, and for myself, and my joy in a good sharp knife. I don't have many small electric appliances due to limited kitchen space but, because I enjoy old timey objects and don't mind
using a little elbow grease, I went ahead and purchased the hand cranked egg beater, the wall mounted potato chipper, and even a proper box grater, instead of buying an expensive food processor.

What about books? They create a lot of clutter, surely! Well, maybe. I do have a few paperback novels that I could do without, and I've even sent a few to the second hand bookshop recently. However, the majority of my books cover two very useful functions for me- they either teach me something, or they make me happy, thus fulfilling their function as a "utility" in my life.

Objects that are considered useful will vary from person to person- so long as they serve a useful function for your home and your state of well being. If you've read this and still want to get rid of everything, that's your choice. I'm just here to tell you that you don't have to live like a monk to feel fulfilled and happy.

Less isn't always more.

See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. U was a hard one, but you really rose to the challenge!
    I could never live a minimalist life either, although I do occasionally try and thin out some of the "stuff" that accumulates.
    Carol at My Writing Journal


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