The other day I read a post about being labeled a minimalist on This Tiny Blue House and it has been resonating with me. Sometimes my wife and I say “we are a sort of minimalist” because it is an easy way to label and explain some of the things we do. I have never really liked saying we are full on minimalists though. It always felt over the top and leads to people assuming false things about us. My comment on the post was how I like to refer to myself as an essentialist more. Labels seem needed at times it encompasses more of my attitude to how I choose to live. The reply back was simple and perfect, having an “ist” creates a sense of competition. I realized how true this was and by assuming my own label I had missed part of the point. I realized by having such a label on my life, something for me to compare myself though I in some way still “keeping up with the jones’s.” On a side note, is it Joneses or Jones’s? Anyway, I do realize labels and title do serve a purpose and there are places for them in our lives. But by changing the focus from the words minimalist or essentialist to “simple living” there is a change in assumption and competition. I’m no longer putting myself in a box in which to be judged against all other whith those labels. I’m sure I will refer to minimalsim and essentialism still because I enjoy and use much of the philosophy. When it comes to self labeling though or quick explanation, Simple Living will do the trick.