Minimalist at Nursing School

nursing shoes older than me

nursing shoes older than me

Reader Erin asks if minimalism would help while trying to go to nursing school while raising toddlers.

Well ……….Yeah!

As you already know, minimalism helps everything.

When I was in nursing school, I had only one child and I lived in a town far away from family. So I did not have the usual resource of relatives to help. Even my son’s father lived in a different town.

We rented a studio apartment near campus. We shared a fold-out couch for the first couple years, and later someone gave us a toddler bed. There was a table and three chairs, so we could even have company for dinner. The space was small, so it didn’t take much time to clean it. I had a set of four plate and bowls, so it was impossible for the kitchen to overrun with dirty dishes.

My son had eight outfits, and I did the laundry at a laundry-mat weekly. I had two pair of jeans, a week’s worth of tops and the all-white student nursing outfit.

The first two years, we didn’t have a car and we walked where we needed to go. I had a red Radio Flyer wagon that transported groceries and laundry. I typed papers on free typewriters available at the school.

I was able to get work on campus, both as an English tutor and as a model for the art department, so I scheduled work in between classes. Any free time during the day, I studied.

I took my son to day-care in the morning, walked to school/work, picked him up around 5pm and then we would have dinner and play and read books. After my son went to sleep, I would study for 2-3 hours before going to bed.

I didn’t date, I only went shopping when we needed something and my entire focus was on providing the things my son needed and school.

I had a friend with a son abut the same age as mine, and once a month or so, we would go to Chuck E. Cheese and nurse a beer for a couple hours while the boys played.

It was tough at times, but it has allowed the rich and abundant life I now enjoy…so very much worth it.


13 responses to “Minimalist at Nursing School

  1. I consciously turned myself over to minimalism during graduate school, I had no children, however I did have some health problems that are controlled by diet & lifestyle that were very absorbing at the time (hours in the kitchen cooking, and working on managing stress etc). I had been a minimalist by default in the years before when I had lived in NYC and had no space and limited resources. During graduate school it was a conscious way of maintaining sanity in the face of very limited energy while balancing a demanding program and demanding health needs. I continue living with less by choice now as it has been so freeing to me in the past!

  2. As i decluttered again this weekend, I came across an article by Daniel J. Leviting (he’s a neurologist and senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Toronto’s Baycrest Hospital) which discusses his new book, “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload”. He tackles the issue of too much information and all the technical tools, e.g. ipads, ipods, 200 million websites. What was the most interesting to me, as a minimalist, was when he referenced a survey that says 3/4 of Americans report that their garages are too stuffed with junk to fit a car, and another inventory of a typical household that counted 2,260 visible objects in just the living room and two bedrooms. All that clutter creates stress – particularly in women, he says – and the release of the hormone cortisol, which, in turn, can lead to cognitive impairment, fatigue and even a suppressed immune system.

    Clare Kunar, a professional organizer who runs her own productivity consultancy in Toronto, says her clients are often in severe distress when they read out for help. “Their environment is screaming at them,” she says. “They feel stifled.” But after a thorough decluttering, and being taught some basic strategies to put their lives and homes in order, most find that their productivity and happiness suddenly spike.

    Isn’t nice that we don’t fit into that category of people having 2,260 objects and having found minimalism!!

    • Diane-I find it very exciting that cutting edge science is finding rationale for what we have learned intuitively. I hope it brings more people to the wisdom of living with less.

  3. Oops, that’s Levitin and not Leviting.

  4. So touching and teaching. Thank you for sharing. One of the best posts on this blog! May I ask you a question, Fawn? Have you always been a minimalist or maybe there was a period of crazy consumerism in your life (kinda a relaxation after times of stress)? If the answer is yes could you please tell about it?

    • I think I have always had minimalist tendencies. I have never been a crazy consumer, but I did have a period in my twenties ( I was married) when we spent every cent we made on stuff like clothes, eating out and traveling. Which, reading other people’s stories, sounds like a sort of “normal” young adult thing to do.

  5. I enjoyed reading this post. I had never thought of minimalism until recently so I am new to this thought process. I have paired down some areas and realized how much freer I feel in not having too many items to clean and maintain. I am now much more thoughtful when buying or replacing an item.

  6. I like and agree with your post Diane.

  7. I enjoyed this reading this post. Thanks, Fawn 🙂

  8. You have all my admiration . My childhood with my mother was similar To your son,s….but now We have too much stuff at home, my children, husband and I. How can i downsize, will they follow me ??? (Writing you from in Spain) I am not a big consumer but keep everything…

    • They probably won’t all follow you. But if you reduce your stuff and your tools in the home, it automatically makes your life easier. That is reason enough to begin. None of my children is a minimalist, but they each are willing to let go of things that they feel they have outgrown. And bless their hearts, they all humor me. (and laugh at me too)

  9. You’ve gotten among the best webpages.|

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