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Minimalism and Redundancy (a hard lesson)


I've always hated redundancy. I'd rather spend an hour mapping out the most efficient way to travel when running a variety of errands, than spend that hour in the car backtracking. I really enjoy thinking of ways to combine two needed things into one. But, this recently bit me in the behind in a big way.

In my last big clean out, I decided to keep only my stainless steel ear tunnels. I much prefer them over the other earring plugs I have, and so why have the others at all? I also took a trip, and on that trip, I left not only one of the stainless steel tunnels behind, but also my grey blazer. It may not sound like a big deal, until you realize that I only have that one pair of earrings and that one grey jacket. I have other outerwear options, but not in grey, and I've created my wardrobe in a way that it's important to have that jacket to continue the line of grey with my grey pants. I'll get them back eventually, but in the meantime, I'm down and out in the ear department and the grey long line department.

Really that should have altered my aversion to redundancy, but did it? Ha. Just a week or so later, my internal hard drive tanked. I wasn't worried- I had an external hard drive with a backup of my entire system, didn't I? I swear I set it up, but my external drive disagreed. My tanked drive is so busted it won't even mount. The location I'm currently in is so remote, and so prone to bad driving weather, that there is major wait time in between orders for various parts. So here we are, over three weeks after the death of my drive, and I'm waiting on more parts. I may never be able to rebuild all that I lost, and I'll spent countless hours trying. Thankfully I've got a janky system together that allows me to at least blog with you again. 

It's amazing how much of our lives we can have on a computer. When mine went down, I felt like I could only twiddle my thumbs. All of my books, movies, music, games, and other forms of enrichment and entertainment were gone. All of my personal projects and artistic projects involve my computer programs in some way. My smart phone allowed for a bit of facebook and pinterest time, checking for important emails, and that's about it. I've been at a standstill. I went through a withdrawal and threw internal fits and battled days of depression because I wasn't able to feel productive, nor take the sting out of that with entertainment distraction. In the end I might be better for the distance that has been forced on me, but it has still been a personal lesson on the occasional value of redundancy.

I know that in part my aversion to redundancy is a reaction to my family's celebration of it. This is a generational trend. My grandpa keeps his old, broken electrical razors. My dad has so many bottles of backup mouthwash that they expire. Broken, worn-out things are replaced and then kept. In case there is an apocalypse and we can somehow figure out how to mend the broken things or need to use the expired things? I see a logic to it, even as I feel adverse. I fear being burdened by too much more than I fear having too little. A sign of the abundance of my place and time. 

What I've learned is that careful choices for redundancy are wise. Certain "what if?" scenarios should be prepared for. I imagine that just what those scenarios are will vary based on the individuals priorities. I mind being without an earring tunnel pair more than I mind missing my grey blazer. I mind being without all of my computer programs and files most of all. Bedding is another good point of redundancy- not just in case you need to quickly replace your own, but in case you both need to quickly replace your own and provide for house guests. If you wear a style uniform instead of a varied capsule or full wardrobe, redundancy will be especially important to you. We define our own lines of necessity, and some of mine have shifted with this lesson.

Where do you value redundancy in your wardrobe or life?  

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