Last week I saw the man of my dreams on The Today show. The fact that he is hot and a millionaire is beside the point. His name is Graham Hill and he is a minimalist. What is a minimalist, you say? I am, for the last year and a half. I hope to be one for the rest of my life. It refers to someone who has minimized ‘the stuff’ they buy and own to live smaller, cheaper and lighter. His arguments and reasons for such a lifestyle are similar to mine. First, it is eco-friendly and will help us sustain the planet. You can learn more about this by going to his website: treehugger.com. I did it for more selfish reasons. Though I only owned a small home and one car, I was still feeling encumbered by the growing amount of useless stuff around me. Much of this stuff requires cleaning, maintenance, upkeep and time. Time I spend acquiring, caring for, organizing and managing my stuff is time lost for more valuable life experiences (i.e. mowing the lawn when I could be hiking, shopping when I could be having coffee with a friend). When many people talk of winning the lottery, they dream of the boats, houses, jewelry and clothes they will purchase. I used to say if I won the lottery, I would not buy things. I would hire people to take care of my current things, so I could free up my time to live my life. Graham commented that people buy things to make them happy or fill them up. He said that what is really important to him are people and experiences. When I heard this audio from the other room, I raced to the TV to see who was spouting my beliefs so clearly to millions of people. I am not demonizing the many good people in the world living lavish lifestyles who find comfort in these things. But, it’s not for me. In 2011, I sold most of my belongings and moved to a small space with my bare necessities. It was the most freeing experience of my life and I haven’t missed a thing. I realize that I am not your typical female. I only own half a dozen pair of shoes. I realize that I’m not helping the consumerist economy. I don’t shop much and have no debt. I realize that I’m not your typical American. I only want to live in a tiny cottage. But, I also know that I am happy and stress-free. I am traveling, laughing, exercising, acting, writing and playing. I also work a job now and then, so I can keep doing these things. It’s not the life for everyone and I’m a firm believer in looking at what’s right for you. But, if you are stressed, unhappy or overwhelmed, it might not hurt to ask yourself whether it is due to managing material things to maintain a lifestyle you have no time to enjoy.