Remember my DIY, Minimalist Diwali of 2016? Well, Diwali of 2017 was no different; only happier, calmer and more fabulous.
When I met people before Diwali, they asked me if I had finished my Diwali shopping? I said “What shopping?” I can’t tell you how liberating that was. It’s the same feeling when people ask me what gift I bought or got for Birthdays or Anniversaries. I say “What gift? We don’t do gifts any more.”
The day I learned that we need not buy things to make ourselves happy, was the turning point of my life.
Pursuit of simple things in life and Minimalism have enriched our lives immensely. We no longer worry about what to buy before every festival or celebrations.
Since last year we decided that any celebration was not worthwhile if that comes with a lot of stress. Celebrations should be about love and togetherness; and not buying stuff to mark the celebrations. Happiness is within, remember? So, we stopped being crazy about things, we started finding value in having fun.
Things which were perfect this year:
- Starting the preparations early. This helped us to relax on the day of Diwali (even though I was out of town for 10 days immediately before Diwali). I remember during all my earlier Diwalis, I used to be cleaning or doing something till the time we would be rushing to do Pooja, only to end the day in whirlwind without truly enjoying anything. Not any more.
- Using tiny twinkling lights around the house. They look so lovely. It’s over a month since Diwali but I still switch them on once in a while to perk up my mood. They look so festive. We didn’t buy any, we just used what we already had.
- Not buying new clothes. No clothes were bought for both the boys; and for me, I pulled out a really old (but seldom used) lehenga (skirt) and reinvented it by getting a new blouse stitched. Moreover that blouse can be worn with a saree, a skirt and even jeans!
- No lights were purchased, no rangoli powder was purchased, only bought flowers for decoration. No crackers were purchased.
- All the sweets etc were prepared at home because it is healthy and reminiscent of our own childhood.
- We bought a small stainless steel container for Dhanteras and only because it was needed. [I need to do a post on my kitchen. I have removed all the non-stick and almost all aluminium cookwares. We use metals, glass or wood as much as possible. There’re still some plastic containers which are getting used till their life cycle. I have completely stopped getting any new plastic, non stick wares into my kitchen. ]
Learnings from this year:
- I can stop buying the clay idols and use the silver ones that I already have.
- We bought a very small quantity of sweets for Pooja (worshipping) because whatever was getting prepared at home was also simultaneously being eaten. But I know this can be managed. We can completely stop buying any kind of sweets because adulteration is rampant during festivals owing to the demand.
- I would like to be more organized and focused during cleaning so that I can actually clear off things. Otherwise they just pile up on another corner to be given away later since we are caught up in so many things simultaneously.
I look around and find people doing so much. It’s inspiring. There’s still so much to learn and adopt but we have certainly come a long way. What inspires me in this journey is how it makes us better people.