I am an analytical person. I loved being called a nerd as a kid. I embraced that I would never be that creative. I painted and colored well enough as a kid, but I enjoyed numbers and words more, the numbers behind my junior watercolor stand. It was the respect that numbers and words have in our society, especially to parents and employers, that drew me to them as a kid.
As a young adult, I thought I wasn’t missing anything. I had a flexible job that paid well. I had my feet on the ground: I had no dreams of music or travel like most of my counterparts. When we’re young, we always seeing things as we are, not ever as anyone else. I thought I was a whole person, even though there was an imbalance.
Creativity is a necessary component of efficiency and minimalism in general. It is also a necessary part of raising children: You can tailor a course or words to better reach each child. Intuition makes compassion so much easier, and it is a beautiful thing, as many mothers can tell when something is wrong with their child, without the child ever saying a word. Many women can anticipate where there is a need or danger without any words spoken. We can often feel pain deeper and warm people better. That is magical. Creativity, emotion, and intuition, I all saw in a different light.
Minimalism opened my life in more ways than I can quantify in one blog post (and it grows every new year), but the best thing that it gave me was that it was the catalyst to my realization that creativity and ingenuity is important for living. The organizing of my bare minimal contents appealed to the analytical person, but creativity is necessary when paring down clothes and food. How can I maximize utility and joy? Maybe I can use honey instead of syrup. Maybe I don’t need a second sheet or coffee table. Where are the easy replacements and solutions?
In Norway, I was living the dream that I had never been comfortable with — following my heart — a pursuit definitely more suited to the creative. When the temporary furniture rolled in, much of it was not what I was used to: The couch was scratchy, and the work chair was painful. The heat made sleep difficult. The old me would have put myself in a box, dwelling on it or forcing myself to accept it, but there are easy fixes to all of these.
All you have to do is stop thinking like your normal self. There is a new avenue for those who can clear their minds. There is a solution just around the bend of ordinary thought. That’s what a lot of lifehacks are: They are just simple solutions to problems a lot of us face. It’s that aha moment that is there for every challenge, if we can put aside our regular pattern of thinking. Most of the time, there is a very simple and amazing solution for all of the clear minds.
For the scratchy couch, for the duration I was there, I just put a plain comforter over it. Temporary, comfortable, and affordable.
For the heat, I put ice cubes in containers and filled them with water and got a small fan. (Tip: If you don’t want your ice to bleed everywhere, put a sponge in a Ziploc with water, pop it in the freezer, and then when you take it out to use as an icepack, it won’t sweat everywhere.)
For the uncomfortable chair, I got rid of it and used a dining chair with a pillow from the couch.
Here are two simple solutions to everyday problems:
Flyaway hairs? Just put eyebrow gel to keep them in place. Way easier than hairspray.
Cat hair all over your couch? Just use the squeegee you wipe down the shower walls with, use it to clean the couch.
In the end, analytical or creative, I know that neither is better than the other. Both have their place.